Photo by Emily Cooper
Anyone familiar with C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a play, movie or book will enjoy the Christmas show at Pacific Theatre. In fact, anyone who enjoys a good yarn, with a bit of magic, will enjoy this show according to the ensembles’ publicist.
We were all set to do an interview with Richmond’s Shelby Wyminga, the play’s assistant director, but the same bug, that’s laid low half of the Sentinel office, struck suddenly. So, publicist Julia Lank stepped in last minute to speak with us.
Pacific Theatre, under the artistic direction of Richmond’s Ron Reed, often chooses shows with depth.
“We are a faith-based theatre company. C.S. Lewis’s work as a central part of the Christian canon, is always a wonderful choice for us,” Lank explained. “His work is so beautiful.”
So do you have to be Christian to enjoy this show, to get it?
“Absolutely not,” Lank says. “I’m not Christian. I’m Jewish and I loved Narnia as a kid. The version we do at Pacific Theatre was the first production I saw as teenager in high school.”
The play explores good versus evil, betrayal and forgiveness, courage, transformation, the natural world, and magic as experienced by some bored children who hide in a free-standing closet, the wardrobe of the title.
The wardrobe backs onto a magical world under the spell of an evil-but-beautiful snow queen, the witch. The children explore, learn, love and with courage work to transform this once magical kingdom back to its former glory. To find out about the lion, you’ll just have to see this production.
Lank goes on to describe the Pacific Theatre’s production: “It’s a two-person play with Rebecca DeBoer and John Voth.”
As this version of the story opens, Peter and Lucy are reminiscing, recalling their adventures in Narnia after having grown up and gone on to other things. As they remember this magical time, Narnia literally comes to life around them.
Director Sarah Rodgers, who brings her creative vision to Narnia and its denizens, says: “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was one of my favourite books growing up. I am so thrilled to be guiding Ron Reed's delightful adaptation with two inventive, witty, talented actors while collaborating with Vancouver's finest designers: Lauchlin Johnston, John Webber, Julie Casselman, and Sheila White. I feel like I have entered a magic wardrobe myself.”
Lank adds: “And our beautiful wardrobe is where the magic happens, literally.”
Suitable for all, Lank says, “There’s nothing inappropriate in the play. You could bring children of any age.”
Though she says it might not hold the interest of children under school age.
With something for adults as well, Lank says, “It’s just a beautiful, transformative story.”
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe opens Friday, Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 29 at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave (at Hemlock).
Tickets online or phone: 604-731-5518