Narnia: A musical tale of good vs. evil at the Sid

At the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay from Dec. 27 to Jan. 3.

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (Percy Gledhill and Michelle Sinclair) confront three of the four children lost in Narnia

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (Percy Gledhill and Michelle Sinclair) confront three of the four children lost in Narnia

Valerie MacDonald

Special to the Record

Courtenay Little Theatre is preparing to unveil its annual Christmas gift for Comox Valley audiences:  the musical, Narnia, based on the classic fantasy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay from Dec. 27 to Jan. 3.

Many baby boomers were raised on the books of the Chronicles of Narnia series, while later generations have also enjoyed television and film adaptations of the story of four English schoolchildren during World War II who discover the fantastical world of Narnia after hiding in their uncle’s wardrobe.

Director Brian Mather spent his early years in England, which fostered a love of theatre that revolved around his parents’ involvement in the local theatre guild. He later took his Bachelor of Education with majors in Theatre and Environmental Education, “Just to keep both sides of my brain balanced,” he quips.

Mather first encountered The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe while teaching elementary school in 1968 and he later directed the musical version in 1991 at Lake Trail Middle School with a cast of 56 students.

CLT’s current production of the shorter version of the same musical has brought Mather full circle as he has reunited with set designer, Jay Crowder, and wig and makeup designer, Nancy Parker, who both collaborated on the earlier production.

The Chronicles of Narnia is an epic journey that parallels Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” said Mather of his attraction to the material. “Both are stories of a classic good versus evil in a world that is disjointed and is in danger of being destroyed. They provide insights into such basic human values as honesty, loyalty, courage, and love.”

Mather describes his current cast of 26 actors, who have been rehearsing since October, as “a wonderful mix of seasoned performers and some relative newcomers. They bring an energy and excitement to the stage. There is humour in the Beaver couple (Michelle Sinclair and Percy Gledhill), evil in the White Witch (Kara Derma), love in the Great Lion, Aslan (Ross Stephanson), and a personal understanding in each of the four children (Michael Taylor, Sierra Krug, Annemarie Taylor, and Monique Collins).”

Other well-loved characters are brought to life by Tony Arnold (Professor Digory), Sophie Bouey (Tumnus), Gary Caine (Father Christmas), Jayden White (the White Stag), and Aidan Passingham, Jacob Fussell, and Connor Hogg as the White Witch’s Dwarf and wolf henchmen, as well as 10 ensemble members who play a wide variety of creatures.

Local audiences are sure to be treated to a visual feast onstage.

“From the start I saw Narnia as a visually rich production that presented itself as bigger than life.”

“The set (both in size and colours), the costumes, the music and the staging all aim to support the vision. This also reflects the enormity of the world and the issues it presents as seen through children’s eyes,” Mather enthuses.

“Although there is some fighting and a very powerful scene at the Stone Table, most children who have read the story (or had it read to them) and discussed it with their parents will have no trouble following the plot and accepting the action,” he adds.

He also emphasizes that this is a show for everyone who is young at heart.

“It is the children’s journey as they grow and discover their strengths and the importance of the bonds of family. We hope you will join us to share the journey and maybe relive, for a short time, the magic of your own childhood.”

Narnia is already showing its popularity at the box office but good seats are still available, with the balcony open for all performances. Tickets may be purchased at the Sid Williams Ticket Centre Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., by phone at 250-338-2430 or online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com.  Evening performances (Dec. 27, 29, 30, 31, Jan. 2 and 3) begin at 7:30 p.m. with one matinee on Sunday Dec. 28 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $20 each, except for the popular New Year’s Eve Special Celebration on Dec. 31 when tickets are $25 each.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at Glacier View Lodge, a long-term care facility in the Comox Valley. File photo.
Island Health declares a COVID outbreak at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a long-term care facility in… Continue reading

The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) are offering two new spring break camps, open to children ages eight to 13. Photo supplied
Village and Cumberland Community Forest Society co-hosting spring break camps

Submitted The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS)… Continue reading

HIGHLAND sECONDARY scHOOL comox
COVID-19 exposure at sixth Comox Valley school in past eight days

Island Health has posted an exposure alert at a sixth Comox Valley… Continue reading

Artist Sandra Meigs will be the next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series, appearing virtually on Friday, March 5 at 1 pm. For the full schedule and link to attend the Artist Talk Online Series, visit https://nicart.tickit.ca/. (Photo: The Glass Ticker (2017) — 15’ X 9’ X 5’, wood, enamel, lights, aluminum, glass, automata. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.)
Celebrated artist and mentor joins North Island College Artist Talk series

North Island College’s virtual 2021 Artist Talk series welcomes Sandra Meigs, past… Continue reading

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Photo: Lt. Sandy Pridmore, MARS Darlene Banerd, MARS, Warren Warttig and Captain Rob Stevens show the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that will be located at the MARS facilities located at 1331 William Beach Road, Black Creek. Photo supplied
Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society adds AED to Williams Beach Road location

Submitted Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) has collaborated with the Comox Firefighters… Continue reading

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

Most Read