The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Roughly 70 years ago, CS Lewis's much-loved story began life as a 'supposal,' a 'What If?' "Suppose there were a Narnian world and it, like ours, needed redemption. What kind of incarnation and Passion might Christ be supposed to undergo there?"
Mrs Chris Harm, Director of Performing Arts, knew how LOVED the story of Narnia is and endeavoured to do it some justice with King's 2017 High School production. "It's what we do in the dramatic arts - we 'suppose,' we ask 'what if?' We put ourselves into others' shoes to learn what it means to be human, just as Christ put Himself into our 'shoes' when He walked on this earth. We will never meet a 'real' Aslan, but through his representation on our stage, I hope that you might at least glimpse what our Saviour offers through His sacrifice, if we are but willing to 'suppose'...what our life may be like with Him walking beside us, as our friend and guide."
All those who attended one of the four productions would agree that the gamut of emotions experienced by the four siblings as they journey through Narnia was unforgettable.
The iconic Aslan was brought to life, in conjunction with the Dead Puppet Society, through the presence of an over-sized puppet. Built by the King's IDT Department with a puppet team expertly tutored in the art of puppetry by the society's Australian Associate Director, Helen Stephens, the dream of being the first school in Australia to build such a puppet became a reality.
Puppeteer, Jennifer Morris (Year 10), enjoyed the experience of learning what it took to make Aslan come to life. "Learning the breathing and technical movements to build Aslan's character was challenging. I learnt that although a task can be physically and mentally exhausting, if you put in all your effort and work towards the end goal, it will be an amazing and beautiful result."
Four puppeteers worked in pairs to bring Aslan to the stage, with Mr Carl Hotko as the voice of Aslan. Isabella Orton (Year 9) loved watching both the audience and the actors reactions to meeting Aslan for the first time. "Working with the other members of the puppet team was the most rewarding aspect of being a puppeteer."
Carly Killingback (Year 11) played the role of Susan and rates the experience of being part of the production as life-changing. "It was such an amazing experience and I made so many new friends." Lucy Pevensie, the youngest of the Narnia children, was played by Harmony Yarrow (Year 8). As Harmony reflects on the production her favourite scene was the one of Aslan's death. "Learning to look into the puppet's eyes and having to believe he was real relayed a stronger message to the audience. That scene created so much emotion and we rehearsed it thoroughly for maximum impact."
The most common thread between all the actors experience with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was one of building new friendships and shared experiences during the countless hours of preparation in the lead up to the production. "The most rewarding part of being in the cast was expanding my friendship circle and getting to know students older than me," said Harmony. And so as the curtain closed on the remarkable 2017 High School production, Aslan's presence will remain at the front of our school as a daily reminder of God's eternal love for the community of King's Christian College.