Pacific Theatre's remarkable two-actor adaptation retains all the magic of the enchanting C.S. Lewis novel, which has been rated the best-loved and most widely-read children's novel of the twentieth century. For good reason - a profoundly insightful story of sacrifice and redemption, and the finest expression of the "baptized imagination" of its author, the book holds as broad an appeal for adults as it does for children.
A massive large-cast version of this story with all the theatrical tricks we could muster wouldn't engage the imaginations and hearts of an audience in the powerful way of the original story. This adaptation, utterly faithful to the novel, places its story firmly in the imagination of the audience, wrapping them in the wonders of the tale as they work together with the actors to create the world of Narnia.
Don't worry: nothing gimmicky. You stay in your seats, and nobody waves a magic wand and asks you to imagine that you're a tree. But as Lucy and Peter, reunited in Uncle Digory's house several years after their Narnia adventures, remember together the story of their time in the land where "it's always winter but never Christmas," the viewer is drawn into the world of their story as powerfully and irresistably as the two Pevensie children.
What a joy is was In 1998 to see four- and five-year-old children leaning forward in their seats, utterly enraptured from start to finish. To talk to their big brothers and sisters at intermission, as engrossed in the sheer adventure of the tale as thoroughly as the little ones. To read letters and emails from their parents (and other grown-up children!) who had been moved to tears by the power of this deeply True tale. Our Vancouver premiere featured Anthony F. Ingram and Miriam Brown (now Miriam Gutierrez), a production so popular that we chose to remount it in 2003, this time at the Norman Rothstein Theatre. Morris Ertman directed Anthony F. Ingram and Tiffany Lyndall Knight in the production that was seen by 11,000 patrons at our weekend and evening performances, and I helmed the daytime cast featuring Julia Mackey and Paul Moniz da Sa (who won a Jessie award for his performance) - they played for an additional 11,000 school children from all over the Lower Mainland and even Washington State.
Anthony F. Ingram, Tiffany Lyndall Knight
This year Kerry Vander Griend is in the director's chair, chosen for the wonderfully theatrical and entertaining vision he brought to such PT shows as CHICKENS and THE FARNDALE CHRISTMAS CAROL - also, he's got two kids of his own! And you'll be wowed by the chemistry between cast members Donna Lea Ford (you've seen her in CARIBOO MAGI and THE NERD) and Kyle Rideout (HALO, BEGGARS, FARNDALE, and a long list of Bard and Playhouse productions) - just watching them in auditions was a thrill.
We really do encourage you to take out a season subscription this year, so you don't miss even the shows with hard-to-get tickets. Subscribe now, the shows are already marked on your calendar, and other things just fit around those amazing evenings of theatre. Wait to pick up tickets one show at a time, they'll pass by - or be sold out - more times than not.
Book yourself a trip to Narnia - a return to your own childhood, a journey of the imagination, an encounter with "a deeper magic."
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