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Thursday, February 22 News

'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' this weekend at Bedford Middle School

More than 90 sixth-grade actors this weekend will take audiences on a tour of Narnia -- a world with talking animals and mythical creatures -- during four performances of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at Bedford Middle School.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The sixth-graders performance of the C.S. Lewis fantasy features a giant puppet -- Aslan the Lion -- that stands 8 feet tall and is 9 feet long, the show's organizers said.

Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults. They may be purchased at the door, if available, by cash or check only.

Published in 1950, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is the first of seven novels that collectively make up "The Chronicles of Narnia."

The story is set in 1940 in a big, English country house were four siblings have been sent to escape the bombings of London early in World War II. While playing in the attic, they discover a large wardrobe. Inside it is an alternate world -- the magical land of Narnia. It is perpetually winter in Narnia because of a curse by the evil White Witch, a tyrant who rules the land. She turns her foes to stone and is intent on capturing all humans. But with the help of the mystical lion Aslan, the siblings defeat the witch's forces.

The lion puppet, made by the New York puppet builder and performer Fergus J. Walsh, is so large it takes three eighth grade students to operate it.

A 2005 film version of the story starred Tilda Swinton as the White Witch.