The Carousel Theatre for Young People did it again! C S Lewis’ first instalment in the Naria series – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – has been transformed into a mesmerizing & wonderfully magical 95 minute production (includes a 15 minute intermission) at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover an old wardrobe that leads to an enchanted land, Narnia, full of mythical creatures, talking animals, quests and secrets. In one of the greatest battles between Good and Evil in children’s literature, the fate of the four children unfolds in a grand, otherworldly adventure.
For anyone who has read the book or seen the movie, you know a LOT happens during the children’s first visit to Narnia. Somehow the Carousel Theatre production team managed to capture all of the magic and make the tale accessible for young audience members without having the production run exceedingly long. I was especially impressed with the way the performers acted out the battle between Asland and the Snow Queen. Rather than watching swords swing and bodies fall, we got treated to a dramatic chess game. The power struggle between good and evil was clearly portrayed but the young audience members were saved from having to see bodies strew about the stage.
If you are unfamiliar with The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, here’s a quick synopsis. While staying with an uncle in England 4 siblings – Susan, Peter, Edmund, and Lucy – go exploring. Lucy climbs into the wardrobe and stumbles out the back of the piece of furniture into the magical world of Naria. Naria is in a state of perpetual winter but Christmas never arrives. The wicked witch – who calls herself the Snow Queen – holds the power in Narnia. Eventally Lucy convinces her fellow siblings to join her in Narnia. The children, along with Mr Timnus the Fawn, Mr & Mrs Beaver, and the ever-power lion Aslan, work to defeat the witch and return the normal seasons back to Narnia. At the end of the tale, the four children, who have been crowned Kings & Queens at Cair Paraval, find their way back into the wardrobe only to realize barely anytime has passed and they are being called down to dinner.
The Carousel Theatre for Young People’s production explores sophisticated themes and grand adventure. The stakes are high, sacrifices are made, and the White Witch asserts intense, deathly power. We recommend familiarizing your kids with the story in advance of your theatre adventure. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is recommended for ages 5+. This age recommendation is from Carousel Theatre, I would actually push the age up a little bit more and say the production could seem scary to children any younger than 7 years.
We attended one of the first performances of the production and the show was SOLD OUT. Once word gets out about this high calibre production I guarantee tickets will be hard to find. Buy yours now!
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe:
Dates: November 25, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Where: Waterfront Theatre
Address: 1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver (Granville Island)