THEATRE FOR TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY AUDIENCES
Given the fact is there are far fewer imagination boundaries with youngsters than the rest of us been-there-done-that-bought-the-t-shirt fickle grown-ups, is it any wonder that director Tim Carroll is luring in more than five different generations at the Festival Theatre with a superbly crafted production of C.S. Lewis’ 6th book of the 7 novel Narnia series?
And if you ever though for a moment that family entertainment was disappointingly static in a swiftly evolving world of technology, just wait until you set your eyes on what the creative team and cast members have conjured up this summer.
That said, The Magician’s Nephew is a glittering prize, it’s highly sweetened eye-candy, its elevated theatre for Twenty-First Century audiences.
Stage adaptor Michael O’Brien transcends 1900 London like it’s a walk down NOTL’s Queen Street on a Sunday afternoon.
The invisible to most Dream Detectives set the tone with a mission to reconstruct a rare occurrence—two people have share the same dream—and off they go in search for medicine to bring an ailing mother back to good health.
Kid stuff this is not but the song ‘Swing, swing together with your back between your knees” is about all that’s needed for adults to tear up their birth certificates in the aisle and get ready for a lavishly good time.
And then the quick shift to curious protagonists, Digory (Travis Seetoo) and Polly (Vanessa Sears) having a hard time escaping the Steven Sutcliffe’s Uncle Andrew who starts off with a devious ‘Hello, children’ greeting making it impossible to determine what exactly his modus operandi is in this adventure. Does he want company? Does he want launch an experiment? It’s really too hard to tell!
Then, of course, the all-powerful Queen (Deborah Hay) appears and makes it clear she does not like it when things/people get in her way. Ruthless ruler? Shameless hussy or distinguished luminary? Regardless, she wants back into the real world and little can stop her from achieving this heinous objective.
With 16 projection screens delivering mind-blowing graphics taking you to far and distance places—not to mention the physical fun to be had with a myriad of boxes lobbed around the stage—The Magician’s Nephew manoeuvres with plenty of smiley and touching moments within the suspense and mystery of the piece.
That’s the biggest trick we all need to learn how to master!
THE MAGICIAIN’S NEPHEW by C.S. Lewis, adapted by Michael O’Brien April 4-October 13, 2018 SHAW FESTIVAL, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario TICKETS www.shawfest.com 1-800—511-SHAW $25.00 – $117.00 CAST Travis Seetoo, Vanessa Sears, Deborah Hay, Kyle Blair, Stephen Sutcliffe, Andrew Broderick, Starr Domingue, Patty Jamieson, Madelyn Kriese, Emily Lukasik, Matt Nethersole, Davd Andrew Reid, Jeremiah Sparks, Michael Therriault and Jay Turvey DIRECTOR Tim Carroll SET Douglas Parashuck COSTUMES Jennifer Goodman LIGHTING Kevin Lamotte PROJECTIONS Cameron Davis ORIGINAL MUSIC Claudio Vena MOVEMENT & PUPPETRY Alexis Milligan