to the lion's den
Lion roars into Brisbane this month, after successful seasons in
Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra.
Amanda Muggleton and featuring Dennis Olsen, the stars of QTC’s
We Were Dancing earlier this year, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
(LWW) combines traditional theatrical elements with music and 40
life-size puppets (including several dwarfs and an eight-foot-high
show’s producers place a strong emphasis on creating high-quality
productions suitable for families and ‘future theatre-goers’
(children). The creative team behind LWW have previously brought
the classic, The Hobbit to life, and after hearing of the Royal
Shakespeare Company’s version of The Lion, The Witch and the
Wardrobe, they decided to mount their own version, featuring The
Hobbit puppet designer, Phillip Millar to bring the story’s
creatures to life.
those unfamiliar with the story (or who have forgotten it since
childhood), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was written by
CS Lewis (Alice in Wonderland), and became a 20th century children’s
classic. Lucy, escaping WWII London with her brothers, is sent to
a kindly old professor and his remote country home. Playing hide
and seek in the half empty house she finds a forgotten old wardrobe…
and stepping in to hide, steps out into the magical world of Narnia
– complete with dwarfs, fauns, giants and Aslan the Lion,
the rightful ruler who has returned to overthrow the evil White
stars of the show, despite the top billing for Muggleton and Olsen,
are Phillip Millar’s puppets. A cross between a marionette
and a football mascot, the puppets are operated by ‘an idiot’
(as the characters refer to their puppeteers) in a similar fashion
to marionettes, except that they are literally built in to the front
of the puppeteers costume, allowing them to walk, talk and gesticulate
just as a human would, with similar size proportions.
main mischief-makers, Mr Tumnus and the Dwarf will appeal to younger
members of the audiences, after the initial shock of a forthright
dwarf sticking his wart-riddled nose in their faces and barraging
them with questions.
Nadia Tass has been true to CS Lewis’s wonderful tale, while
the production includes a musical score complete with a new song
for the Brisbane season, and special effects that rival any international
theatrical production I’ve seen. While aimed at families,
LWW certainly has plenty to offer for adults as well, including
a constantly changing witty script, fantastical characters, plots
laden with intrigue, and the pure magic of live performance.
their promise to providing high-quality theatre for families, LWW
has prices to match, with special concessional family tickets available
for most performances.
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is only in town for two weeks before
it heads to Sydney for a school-holiday season – so make sure
you don’t miss out.