Saturday, June 16, 2012

A smiling Kate dazzles as she leaves William at home to watch the football and takes 150 children to the theatre instead

By Rebecca English

..The Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a secret trip to the theatre last night - leaving her husband at home, like millions of men, watching the football.

While Prince William sat in front of the television at Kensington Palace with a few beers glued to England's European Cup match, Kate was taking 150 children from one of her charities, The Art Room, to see a production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

The performance took place in Kensington Gardens, a stone's throw from the royal residence where she and William live.

Thank-you: Kate is presented with an Aslan lion toy by Suhani Kapoor as she hosts 150 children and young people from The Art Room at a performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at Kensington Gardens

For me? The Duchess is evidently pleased to be handed the gift

Having fun? Kate fits in with the rest of the group who also hold toy lions, whilst right, she is evidently having an enjoyable time

Indeed Kate, dressed in a teal dress from one of her favourite High Street stores, Zara, and Whistles black jacket strolled through the royal park on foot to the 85 foot high tent where the play was being performed.

The children who accompanied her were from six schools in London and Oxford to which the charity, which helps children from disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds to express themselves and develop confidence through art, are linked.

The show, which runs all summer, is a dazzling retelling of the C.S.Lewis classic by renowned company Threesixty and is performed on a remarkable circular stage.

The voice of the lion Aslan is provided by actor David Suchet.
During the interval the Duchess chatted animatedly with the children about what they had seen in the first half.

'Did you see all the animals on stilts and wasn't Lucy cute?' she asked.

She added:'Wasn't it amazing? I just loved the way it is held in a tent. Really clever.

'Some of the characters are really quite frightening. I hope you don't get too scared.'

Turning to another group she asked: 'What I really want to know is have any of you tried turkish delight?' referring to the famous luring of Edmund Pevensie by The White Witch into betraying his siblings and the fawn Mr Tumnus.

Kate became Patron of The Art Room in January this year and has visited several of its projects already.

Founder Juli Beattie said the children, most of which had never seen a stage show before, had been 'thrilled' at the invitation.

Before she left the Duchess met members of the cast including several fawns and badgers as well as a spectacular life size Aslan.

She described the show as 'amazing' and said it was wonderful to go to something 'on her doorstep'.

One member of the cast joked:'She has got to meet us baddies - we are the interesting ones!'

Asked whether she knew the story, she said:'Of course! I read it as a child and have seen many adaptations. This was spectacular though.'

As she left on foot she clutched a gift from the show - her own £15 cuddly lion.

For details on the show see:

Group effort: Kate, centre next to lion, opted to leave William watching the football as she took a trip to the theatre

Interested: The Duchess of Cambridge talks to the cast after a performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe



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