Review of GMS’ Juniors’ NARNIA, THE MUSICAL by Karen Ractliffe


The Central Coast’s theatrical year has made an impressive start this week with GMS Juniors’ sell out production of Narnia, the Musical adapted from C. S. Lewis’s classic children’s story, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the first and best known of his seven Narnia Chronicles.

This beloved tale tells the story of four British children – Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie – who are evacuated to the safety of the country during the arracks on London in 1941. In their uncle’s home they discover a mysterious wardrobe has a portal to a magical world that has been permanently frozen in winter by an evil witch. The witch queen beguiles Edmund with promises of power and princedom and endless supplies of Turkish Delight, while the other children are recruited by Narnia’s rightful ruler, the mighty lion, Aslan who persuades them to help him overthrow the evil queen’s tyranny. So begins an adventure that has enthralled and delighted children for 65 years; an adventure that has now come to Gosford.

The show is directed by Kerrie Rochford with choreography by Heidi Rochford, with a cast of talented young performers. The children are played by Benjamin Poole, Zachary Downer, and Scotia and Maddison Emmett, while the witch queen and the great lion, Aslan, are respectively played by Lily Kidd and Dylan Pollard. Full details about the cast are available from the show’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/narniathemusical, and there’s more information on the production at the GMS website: www.gosfordmusicalsociety.com.au

All the leads perform well in their roles and there are some very fine voices among them, and there are others in slightly smaller roles I look forward to seeing more of. I particularly enjoyed Nick Geddes melodic tones and sympathetic performance as Mr Tumnus, and I was taken by surprise by the impressively deep, rich bass Addison Morley produced for his portrayal of Fenris Ulf, the witch’s wolfish side-kick. Rather like the architecture of the Pevensie mansion, the show contains an eclectic hotch-potch of different styles of music from modern popular numbers to jazz to traditional show tunes, which allows the singers to show off their vocal range. It also permits variety in the choreography, with opportunities for dancers to showcase their skills in everything from ballet to acrobatics. The costuming is richly textured, colourful and imaginative, and Darryl Kirkness’ sets are outstanding: inventive, richly textured and versatile, they successfully create the effect of a mystical fairytale land tinged with just a flavour of gothic horror. Movement between the human and magical world and, later, the seasonal transition from snowbound winter to bountiful spring is effected with a combination of reflective paint and clever lighting. Congratulations are due to everyone for their creative production of this innovative retelling of the Narnia story.

The next ‘juniors’ show after Narnia, will be “Footloose” and there will be an Information Night on Friday January 23rd at 6pm, in the Gosford Musical Society Shed. The next seniors’ production will be Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. The show is in March, but tickets are already on sale at the Laycock Website. Then, on the Tuesday January 20th, GMS are holding a directors’ interview evening for their production of Mary Poppins, which will be staged in October and November this year. If you are interested in directing this classic Disney musical you should contact GMS secretary, Chris Cox at gosfordmusicalsociety@gmail.com

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About About the Central Coast

"About the Central Coast" is a FREE monthly ezine, supported by an online blog, that provides readers with a one-stop shop for information and reviews on all their favourite theatre groups, bands and artists on and around the Central Coast. Subscription to the magazine is free; just send an email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to about@y7mail.com The magazine is distributed by email on the first Thursday of each month. If you have an event you would like me to promote in the magazine, please send details at least three days prior. Items for the blog may be sent any time.
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