Piggy-back rides, tip-toed theatrics and transforming fur coats (from the wardrobe of course) are just a few fantastic elements from the Pacific Theatre stage adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This performance opens in Vancouver Friday, November 13, 2009 at 8 p.m. and runs to Saturday, January 2, 2010 at Pacific Theatre on the corner of 12th and Hemlock. The two-player show uses minimal props but through the power of suggestion (and pointing) and the clever use of fur coats, the audience ventures with grown-up Peter (Kyle Rideout) and Lucy (Donna Lea Ford) when they return to their uncle's magical house and recount their adventures in Narnia.
I last read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 20 years ago. Only tonight was I reminded of that awful 1988 BBC TV production of the series, in which I was totally engrossed at the time, yet the story is engrained in my subconscious. I was made painfully aware of the religious context of the story at a young age by my strictly atheist father and so I put the book on my shelf of disparaged literature. The performance tonight reminded me of how magical the story is, regardless of the underlying message and how this time of year allows us to step down from our moral high ground for fantasy and magic.
During the performance adult Lucy (Donna Lea Ford) describes hearing the name of Aslan (the Lion) for the first time and feeling the way you do when someone says something in a dream that you don't understand, but it's utterly important, "a dream so beautiful you remember it all your life, always wishing you could get into that dream again."
Beliefs suspended, a night well spent.