Monday, September 22, 2008

Narnia reviewed

While trying to see if the review of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was in the Otago Daily Times online, I found the short article and photo that we've all been waiting to turn up in the newspaper. The lack of this piece in the newspaper has been a bit of a sore point with us, as it would have helped with the advertising. As it was, the review took two days to get in, and then was not quite buried in an obscure part of the Saturday paper.
Anyway, I can't quite figure out how to copy the original version of the review and still make it readable, so here's what it said:
Painstaking Presentation
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Mayfair Theatre
Sept 18, 2008
Barbara Frame

That huge dedication has gone into Dunedin City Baptist's Productions' presentation of C S Lewis' classic is evident. The detailed sets, props and costumes have been meticulously designed and constructed. Music and lighting have been selected with care, and the performances are clearly the result of painstaking rehearsal.
The story is a fantastic one: Lucy and Edmund, well known to Narnia fans, find themselves obliged to spend a long summer with their disagreeable cousin, Eustace. An argument about the merits of a painting suddenly propels them into another world, where they are reunited with their friends Aslan and Caspian, and during the course of the voyage to the end of the world they find out a great deal about themselves and the nature of existence.
Everyone in the large cast does a good job. Matthew Scadden, as Eustace, convincingly goes from nasty to nice-ish after a harrowing spell as a dragon, Dara Caradus is a confident and radiant Lucy, and Mike Crowl occasionally steals the show as Reepicheep, the pugnaciously noble giant mouse.
A good pace, co-ordination, and indeed just plain hard work are much in evidence. Erina Caradus' adaptation of the children's novel tidily condenses many adventures into two hours, and a great deal of thought has gone into every aspect of the production.
About 100 people attended last night. This is a great entertainment for families.

There was some quibble amongst our lot about the use of the word 'painstaking.' I thought it was complimentary, but some felt it emphasied 'pain' too much (!).
I met Barbara, who's someone I've known for about twenty years (she's a librarian), in the supermarket the day the review came out. I told her that I'd intended to steal all the scenes, but she said she felt she had to mention at least some of the younger ones (!).
We think there were rather more than a 100 people present on the Thursday night: the theatre was at least half full, and it holds around 400.
Nevertheless, it was a very positive review, and gratefully received!
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