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David Suchet is the voice of Aslan in C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Posted: 08 May 2012
David Suchet is the voice of Aslan in C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Approved by ATG's PR & Communications Officer, David Bradbury

David Suchet will provide the voice of Aslan in Threesixty Entertainment's major new production of C.S. Lewis’s classic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which opens in the historic grounds of Kensington Gardens on 29 May with previews from 8 May. The production stars Sally Dexter, Forbes Masson and Brian Protheroe in the roles of the White Witch, Mr Tumnus and the Professor respectively and Carly Bawden, Rebecca Benson, Philip Labey and Jonny Weldon as the legendary Pevensie siblings.

In a unique collaboration this dazzling production is adapted by award-winning director Rupert Goold and staged by Threesixty (producer Charlie Burnell), who gained international acclaim for their first production Peter Pan, and directed by Rupert Goold and Michael Fentiman.

The show will be staged in the state of the art Threesixty theatre tent where this visually stunning live production will use ground-breaking surround video and enchanting puppetry to bring to life the magic of Narnia in one of the world’s best-loved stories.

Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, discover the magical world of Narnia when they pass through a mysterious wardrobe door. Ruled by the White Witch who has cast a spell making it forever winter, the children together with new found friends battle to bring happiness to the land in this classic tale of good versus evil.

Threesixty’s inimitable productions offer audiences of all ages an all-encompassing theatrical experience delivering some of the greatest stories ever written as they have never been seen before. Peter Pan, Threesixty’s launch production, rapidly became a phenomenon and played to over 150,000 people over 16 weeks in the summer of 2009 before moving to the O2 and on to a tour of the USA.

Rupert Goold is Artistic Director of Headlong Theatre and an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Productions for Headlong include Earthquakes in London, ENRON (2009 Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Director), King Lear, Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Rough Crossings, Faustus, Restoration and Paradise Lost. His other work as a director includes The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet (RSC), Time and the Conways (National), Oliver! (West End), No Man's Land (Gate Theatre, Dublin/West End - Irish Times Award Best Director), The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Lange (West End); the world premiere of Speaking Like Magpies, a new play by Frank McGuinness, for the RSC; and a national and international tour of Scaramouche Jones with Pete Postlethwaite. In August 2006 he directed The Tempest with Patrick Stewart as Prospero for the RSC. Rupert's Macbeth, with Patrick Stewart, transferred from Chichester Festival Theatre to the West End in 2007, then to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and finally to Broadway, finishing in May 2008. He was awarded the 2007 Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards for Best Director and the film based on the production was broadcast on the BBC in December 2010.

Michael Fentiman is currently Artistic Director of Beggars And Kings Theatre Company.  His credits for the RSC include Ahasverus and the Opening Ceremony, and as Associate Director As You Like It, Romeo And Juliet, Hamlet and A Tender Thing; Crackers (Belgrade/Coventry), Blue/Orange (Cockpit) and Spoonface Steinberg (Clwyd/Greenwich/Glasgow Citizens/tour).

Tom Scutt’s theatre design credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice (RSC), Constellations, Remembrance Day (Royal Court), King Lear, Through a Glass Darkly (Almeida), 13 (National), The Contingency Plan: – On the Beach/Resilience (Bush) Vanya, Unbroken, The Internationalist (Gate) Aladdin, Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk (Lyric), Mogadishu (Royal Exchange/Lyric) and Hamlet (Sheffield). Tom also designed Rigoletto for Holland Park Opera. For Headlong he has designed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness, for which he received the 2007 Linbury Biennial Prize and Jocelyn Herbert Award.

Carly Bawden plays Susan Pevensie. Carly graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in 2009. Her  theatre credits include Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory),  Umbrellas of Cherbourg for Kneehigh Theatre (Curve Theatre & Gielgud Theatre), Sleeping Beauty (Wakefield Theatre Royal), Whistle Down The Wind and The Mistress in Evita for which she received a TMA Award nomination.  Carly’s radio credits include roles in Glass Eels and The House in the Trees (BBC Radio 4) and Black Dirt (BBC Radio 3).

Rebecca Benson plays Lucy Pevensie, she graduated from the  Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2011. Her theatre credits include Little Otik (Vanishing Point/National Theatre of Scotland) 365 (National Theatre of Scotland/Edinburgh International Festival) , and most recently The Wheel (National Theatre of Scotland) at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. On screen Rebecca has appeared in You Instead (Sigma Films) and Holby City (BBC).

Sally Dexter plays the White Witch. Her theatre credits include Hamlet (Young Vic) in which she played Gertrude opposite Michael Sheen, Tis Pity She’s a Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Recruiting Officer, Closer, The Theatre of Blood, The Winter’s Tale  (National Theatre),  King Lear, Troilus and Cressida and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC). Dexter has also performed lead roles in several major West End musicals including  Billy Elliott and Sister Act and received an Olivier Award nomination for her performances as Nancy in Sam Mendes original production of Oliver! Her many television appearances have included A touch of Frost, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Dalziel and Pascoe and Night and Day. She also co-wrote the three part BBC comedy drama series Sugartown.

Philip Labey plays Peter Pevensie. Philip trained at the Guildford School of Acting. His theatre credits include Peter Pan (New Vic Theatre), the title role in Hamlet and Henry V (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Adam Lives in Theory (Finborough Theatre), Famous Five and Our Boys (Tabard Theatre) and And Then They Come For Me (London City Hall). On screen Philip has appeared in  Red Dwarf (BBC) and Under the Greenwood Tree (ITV).

Forbes Masson plays Mr Tumnus. Forbes is best known for his comedy partnership with Alan Cumming, together they wrote and starred in the BBC’s comedy The High Life. Masson’s other television appearances include Red Dwarf, EastEnders, Is it Bill Bailey? and A Young Person’s Guide to Becoming a Rock Star. He has performed extensively with the RSC, most recently in As you Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Morte d’Arthur and The Grain Store. His other recent theatre credits include King Lear (Liverpool Playhouse/Young Vic) and the new musical comedy Crackers  (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry) in addition he has also recorded many dramas for BBC Radio 4. Mason has written and composed a series of critically acclaimed musicals; Stiff (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Mince, nominated for a TMA Award, and Pants (Dundee Rep Theatre).

Brian Protheroe plays the professor and Father Christmas. He has worked considerably in the theatre and on screen.  His recent stage credits include Broken Glass with Tara Fitzgerald and Antony Sher (Tricycle then Vaudeville Theatre), Moonlight and Magnolias (Watermill Theatre), Noises Off (Birmingham Rep), Pericles, The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale (RSC).  He also performed the role of  Saruman in the original West End musical of The Lord of The Rings. On television Protheroe has appeared in My Family, Spooks, Love Soup, North and South and 55 Degrees North. Protheroe is also a successful singer/songwriter, he released his first three albums, Pinball, Pick up and I/You in the 1970’s followed by Citysong in 2005. In 2006 EMI released a Greatest Hits collection of his work, Pinball and Other Stories.

David Suchet is the voice of Aslan. David is one of Britain's most respected actors on stage, screen and television.  Best known for his role as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Poirot his other television work includes the award-winning BBC drama Maxwell for which he won Best Actor International Emmy Award in 2008, The Life of Freud, Victoria and Albert, Murder in Mind, Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now (BAFTA nomination) and more recently Great Expectations and Richard II for the BBC. Suchet's film credits include Effie, The In-Laws, Executive Decision, A Perfect Murder, Flood and The Bank Job. Aside from his television and film work, David has also worked extensively in theatre. His recent stage credits include All My Sons (Best Actor What' Awards, Evening Standard Theatre Awards nomination and Olivier Award nomination), Complicit (The Old Vic), Once in a Lifetime (National Theatre),The Last Confession (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Troilus and Cressida, The Tempest and Othello. Other credits include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Critic's Circle Award), Separation (Olivier Award nomination), Oleanna and Amadeus (Best Actor, Royal Variety Club Award, Tony nomination on Broadway and Olivier Award nomination). David is currently starring in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

Jonny Weldon plays Edmund Pevensie, he trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Jonny’s theatre credits include Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island (Bristol Old Vic) and Caroline or Change (National Theatre), he has also performed in the West End musicals Les Miserables and Mary Poppins. His television credits include Doctors (BBC), The Bill (ITV) and Half Moon Investigations (CBBC).

Full casting includes: Paul Barnhill (Mr Beaver), Carly Bawden (Susan), Rebecca Benson (Lucy), Audrey Brisson (Mrs Hedgehog), Sophie Louise Dann (Mrs Beaver), Sally Dexter (The White Witch),  Christian From (Aslan puppeteer), Philip Labey (Peter), Jane Leaney (Aslan puppeteer), Will Lucas (Aslan puppeteer), Forbes Masson (Mr Tumnus), Abigail Matthews (Phoenix),  Jack North (Satyr), Peter Peverley (Fox), Brian Protheroe (Professor & Father Christmas),  Stuart Ramsay (Centaur), David Rubin (Maugrim), Susannah Van Den Berg (Mrs Squirrel), Jonny Weldon (Edmond), Sam Wilmott (Ensemble) and Miltos Yerolemou (Ginarbrikk).

Director & Stage Adaption Rupert Goold

Director Michael Fentiman

Set, Costume & Puppetry Design Tom Scutt

Composer & Sound Score Adam Cork

Sound Design Adam Cork & Sebastian Frost

Lighting Design Tim Mitchell

Puppetry Director Steve Tiplady

Video Designer Chris Randall

Puppet Maker Max Humphries

Experian Hitwise Winner Verisign