Narnia: Room for Improvement

 By Natalie Vilkoff, age 13


When I entered the performance space at Centrepointe Theatre to watch Narnia (presented by 9th Hour Theatre Company), I was drawn by the very creative, carefully planned out, and organized set. Designed by Andrea Steinwand, it consists of three sets of “stone” arches which are later flipped around to reveal a forest scene on the other side. The looming (but not menacing) trees appear to have some sort of tissue paper/fabric that acts as the foliage. In the corner of the stage there is a wardrobe. The wardrobe, as the audience will find out later, has only three sides, and is used for multiple purposes, such as the White Witch’s sled.

The performance starts with the ensemble playing a tune, followed by an array of (unharmonious) voices. It seemed to me that the singing should have been rehearsed more, and perhaps the singers more carefully chosen. This was a more musical performance, yet the singing does not meet my expectations. In addition, I think the costumes could have displayed a little more thought and creativity. For example, the White Witch walks on stilts, but the pants she wears makes the stilts stick out, giving her the appearance of damaged knees.

During the set changes, or between scenes, a white fawn (Amanda Leclair) comes onto the stage and performs a dance routine. An interesting detail, however, you will only understand its meaning if you listen very attentively to what Mr. Tumnus (Dale Coburn) says to Lucy (Clara Silcoff) at the beginning of the production: The white stag will grant three wishes to anyone who catches it. The white fawn is also associated with spring, meaning that whenever it appears, it would signify that the White Witch (Gabrielle Lalonde) was losing the war.

To conclude, overall this was a good performance with some cool design and probably best suited for younger audiences.