Alberta Theatre Projects Presents: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Something enchanting is happening in downtown Calgary.  There are part-human, part-animal beings busily scurrying about making sure that a witch’s eternal winter spell is broken, that Christmas comes, and that spring returns.

This is all being played out on the intimate stage setting of the Martha Cohen Theatre at Arts Commons.  Here, an energetic and passionate cast of performers from Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) are pouring their hearts and energy into the final weeks of their seasonal production of C.S. Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

Eager to hear that lion roaaaar!

The story

The story tells of four young siblings who stumble into a fantasy world called Narnia.  Their discovery is made when they explore a large wardrobe in the bedroom of a country house where they are staying to escape the bombings in London during the second world war.

The wardrobe in the opening scene

Narnia is under the control of a wicked witch.  She has cast a spell that has gripped the land in perpetual winter with no hope of Christmas nor the promise of spring.  When some talking half-human animals – most notably, a nervous fawn called Mr. Tumnus, and an endearing Beaver couple – discover the four children, they recognize them as being the ones whom prophecy has foretold could break the witch’s spell. 

Throw some other devious forest halflings, the wicked white witch and a foreboding lion called Aslan into the mix and you have the makings of a mighty captivating story.  The engaging cast takes us on a journey to the eventual demise of the witch, the breaking of the spell, the royal coronation of the four children, and the understated victory of Aslan. 

The story may provoke deep thought in adults, enthrall kids and offer the family some engaging entertainment.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he (Aslan) isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

While the outcomes of this fantasy may not affect the onset of winter in Calgary, the parallels between the portrayed fictional land of Narnia and aspects of our current world’s political and social climates cannot be ignored. 

The world needs a saviour. 

The world has a Saviour. 

That’s what Christmas is all about.

Enjoy this fabulous presentation of a stirring classic, adapted and dramatized by Joseph Robinette, and directed by Darcy Evans.  The production has a cast and children’s chorus of 23 members with a creative team of 11.

Appreciate the seeming-simplicity yet cleverness of the set and switch-overs.

Immerse yourself into the characters that are brought to life by the creative costumes and entertaining interplay with the audience and the space surrounding the stage.

Marvel at the mechanics of the puppetry that is “Aslan”.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first of seven books that Lewis wrote in a series known as The Chronicles of Narnia.

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