I’d never enjoyed the book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as much as some of the other Narnia stories, but working on it as a play has made some its values clearer. Nevertheless, the episodic nature of the story isn’t easy to overcome, and the curious way Eustace is redeemed long before the ending makes that part of the book seem less important than it is.
Alongside this part of the story is the quest for the seven lords, and Reepicheep’s desire to get to the ‘utter East’. These three are mixed together in a way that perhaps isn’t totally satisfactory; in other words none of them is quite important enough of its own, or rather none of the three is stronger than the others. Even Eustace’s change of character after meeting Aslan isn’t given the prominence it might deserve. I’m not sure what the point of finding the seven lords is, apart from its being a hinge to hang the story on - or as my wife suggests, a story about finding ‘that which was lost.
However, the audiences seem to find the play works for them, and perhaps I’m unusual in not enjoying the story as much as some of the others.
In general the play's gone well since opening night, although the houses haven't been too good. Seemingly the houses for Ruddygore and Cats weren't good either. Perhaps it's the economic climate, or maybe the large number of shows on at present; or perhaps the upcoming Arts Festival has already chewed up the 'discretionary' income...