On the third day of Christmas: magic at Christmas

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a touch of magic. It would also be lacking without a festive trip to see something by Creation Theatre. After last year’s Aladinn, and before that A Christmas Carol, I was very excited. This year’s offering was n adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the year’s since I originally read the books I confess I have fallen a lttle out of love with them for their overtly Christian allegory, but since visiting the Magical Books exhibition earlier in the year, and watching a recent documentary about the life of C.S. Lewis, I have had a renewed interest in the books. However I do approach adaptations with caution. I remember the almost fanatical excitement I had at the prospect of the BBC’s adaptation in 1988, and he crushing disapointment that followed after… So I’m not sure what I expected from Creation Theatre’s take on the story. Directed by the always inventive and brilliant Charlotte Conquest, I was expecting it to be magical, playful, and briliant. What I definitely wasn’t expecting was a musical version of by (the up and coming?) Steven Luke Walker. 1426441_690934297605716_1226064540_nThe show was brilliantly produced, and the singing execellent, although in such a small space as the former-Victorian swimming pool I’m not sure that the cast needed to be mic-ed and certainlynot as closely, and there were some moments of true musical magic. There were also some sons that sat oddly with me – in particularly the opening ‘wartime’ number and the Witch’s song when she murders Aslan on the stone table… these in particular had joviality to them that sat at odds with the tone of the story.

Where the production was at its strongest was when Charlotte Conquest was able to her bring the familiar Creation magic out, for example with thold-fashioned puppetry that played out to Mr Tumnus’ song, or when Lucy and Susan ride on the back of a reincarnated Aslan. I found myself wanting more of these. It may have been hard to work in the acrobats of the Ring Jinee from last year but I can’t help/thinking that something like that would have made it even better.

Still, a very enjoyable production of a curious book. I still feel that, despite its faults I want to re-read them…