The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

Date: 19 November 2004, 8pm Venue: Capilano College Performing Arts Theatre

Reviewer: John Jane




C. S. Lewis
1898 - 1963
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is an excellent example of C. S. Lewisís allegoric style of storytelling. He often prefers the use of symbols to soften naked realism. The storyline here bears little focus on verisimilitude, yet through the relationship between animals and children we observe the triumph of good over evil.  

In translating the storyís spirit from page to stage, Dawn Moore has pulled together a most vivid production, as enjoyable as reading the book itself. Helped by a hard-working young cast of theatre arts students, who no doubt had to juggle rehearsals with a regular commitment of classes, Moore allowed the audience to follow the four young siblings through the same portal (the wardrobe) into a phantasmagorical land of mythological creatures and perpetual winter.

Arriving in Narnia, the quartet of siblings (heralded as the two sons of Adam and the two daughters of Eve) are soon drawn into conflict with Jadis, the treacherous white witch, and Fenris Ulf, her conniving henchman, delightfully overplayed by Linzi Voth and Antonio Olivito.






Ms Voth obviously felt that when one is cast as an evil sorceress, you may as well have fun with it. And was it set designer, Dave Winstanleyís idea to use the GOP elephant logo as Jadisís standard emblem?

Nick Fontaine as Aslan & Abby Creek as Lucy
Photo: David Cooper

I personally enjoyed hearing Loreena McKennitt's music-- Celtic melodies from her CD Book of Secrets that provided a natural soundtrack through the theatreís sound system, though at times it did drown out some of the actorsí dialogue.

The humiliation, death, and resurrection of Aslan the Lion were handled with due sensitivity. The parallels with Christís sacrifice were plain.

A good part of the fun in attending a family show like this is seeing the joy on the faces of the children. Judging by the apparent enjoyment on the countenances of the junior members of the audience, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was a success.

To discover more about Narnia, visit www.narnia.com

© 2004 John Jane