Catherine Jean Donald

Narnia | Book Musical

  • About the Show

    “Narnia” is a musical production based on the book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C. S. Lewis. It is most suitable for children in the senior primary school phase (ages 9 to 13) It tells the Narreached by climbing into a wardrobe. Once there, they become involved in the events which are taking place in the land. These are struggles between forces of good (represented by Aslan, the lion) and evil (represented by the White Witch) They must all decide which side they are on and play their parts in the events which unfold.

    Synopsis

    “Narnia” is a musical dramatisation of C.S. Lewis’s classic book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” The script of the play follows the original text very closely and all characters are the same as in the book. The play is in two acts. Act 1 begins with the four children arriving at the Professor’s house as evacuees in wartime Britain. After their initial welcome to the house, the children begin to explore and the youngest, Lucy, finds her way into a magical land called Narnia, which she has accessed through an old wardrobe. She becomes involved in all the intrigue of this land and of course wants her brothers and sister to experience it too. As the first Act progresses, first her brother and finally all the other children reach Narnia through the wardrobe and the adventure really begins. The scenes in the first Act alternate between the Professor’s house and the forest in Narnia, with the magic wardrobe providing the link. The audience watches as Lucy befriends a faun, who initially tries to kidnap her, under orders from the evil White Witch. His natural goodness shines through and he releases her. But when she returns with the others, he has been captured by the Witch for this act of treason. On Edmund’s first visit to Narnia he meets the White Witch herself and she bribes and flatters him into promising to bring all the children to visit her. She has evil plans for them. After the children discover that MrTumnus the faun has been captured, they befriend a beaver, who explains to them about the wicked White Witch and how she has cast a spell bringing eternal winter to Narnia. He explains to them about Aslan, the good lion, whose power can work against the evil of the Witch. At the end of the Act, the children discover that, while Mr Beaver has been explaining these truths to them, Edmund has escaped. They realise with dread that he has betrayed them to the White Witch and they are no longer safe.

    The second Act opens on the Witch’s castle as Edmund approaches to claim his reward. He soon realises that he has been tricked, but this is only after he has told the Witch that his brother and sisters are with the beavers, and has also said that Aslan is in Narnia. The Witch needs to make to make sure that the four children do not reach Aslan, as the prophesy foretells that four children, two boys and two girls, will play a big role in freeing Narnia. With Edmund as her prisoner, she takes off to try to find the others, but they manage to escape her and reach Aslan before she reaches them. The scenes from here on are mostly in the forest of Narnia, ultimately at the place of the “Stone Table”, where Aslan meets the children. However the Witch has another plan. She meets with Aslan and reminds him that according to the Deep Magic, Edmund, the traitor, belongs to her and it is her right to kill him. Aslan then makes a bargain with her, unbeknown to the children, that he will lay down his life in Edmund’s place, so that Edmund does not have to die. The Witch is thrilled as she has no plans to spare anyone once Aslan is dead. But Aslan has a surprise in store for her. After she has killed him, he returns to life. He tells the children that there is a magic that is deeper still, that when an innocent victim is killed in the place of a traitor, “Death itself would start working backwards”. In the end, the Witch and her followers are defeated and the four children are crowned kings and queens in Narnia. The second Act ends when, while they are walking in the woods, they come to a familiar part of the woods and, as they go on, they find themselves in the wardrobe and ultimately back in the Professor’s house. No time at all has passed since they left! A chat with the Professor on their return makes them realise that the Professor has known about Narnia all along!

    The play has thirteen songs. Two of the songs are also sung with different words at various parts of the play. Some of the songs are solos or duets, some are for a group of singers.The music is primarily written for a piano or keyboard but can be adaptedto represent the tone of the song, for example a keyboard could be used with an electric guitarsound during the song “Maugrim” to create a more eerie atmosphere.During the song “Narnia” MrTumnus plays a recorder or pan pipes and he can mime this and the keyboard can be adjusted to play this sound, or a recorder can be used.

    The staging of the play requires three basic sets – the Professor’s house, the forest in Narnia and the Witch’s castle. These have minor adaptations to them depending on the scene. The forest inNarnia will be slightly different in the scene with MrTumnus’s house from what it will be when the Stone Table is present. Ideally theatre backdrops would be used for the three main scenes, but if the play is being produced in a less formal setting than a theatre, use can also be made of screens with backdrops on them and these can be reversed or rotated depending on the scene. During the play use is also made of the area in front of the curtain and during these scenes there is the opportunity to change the scenes. Sometimes during the play, actors enter through the audience and at a few times during the play they come out into the audience for example, the march of the creatures to defeat the Witch and also the journey taken by the children with Mr Beaver to his house. This adds to audience participation.

    “Narnia” has the capacity for many different groups to take part. There are various designated groups of actors at various stages in the play, for example Aslan’s folk and the Witch’s folk. If a school production is being done, there are therefore opportunities for different classes to practice their scenes separately prior to putting the play together, thereby saving class time. I think that the play suits a senior primary school cast best +/- ages 10 – 14.

    “Narnia” is a joyous adventure as the audience explores not only the magical land of Narnia, but the age-old battle between good and evil. It has elements of both comedy and tragedy, as well as some frightening scenes involving the Witch and her followers. With its themes of love and sacrifice and of how they are able to overcome evil, “Narnia” also has a wonderful message for actors and audience alike to take home with them.

    Casting Information

    Individual characters
    Peter the eldest of the four siblings, about 13-14 years old
    Susan the second eldest, about 12-13 years old
    Edmund the second youngest, about 10-11 years old Lucy the youngest, about 8-9 years old

    Mrs. Mc Cready house keeper to the Professor, very efficient and slightly officious
    Professor owner of the house where the children come to stay, slightly eccentric but still able to communicate with the children
    Ivy and Betty two servants at the Professor’s house
    Mr Tumnus a faun, top half human and bottom half animal. He has horns, a long tail and cloven hoofs. He also has a beard.
    The White Witch a fearsome Witch not only dressed in white but with skin and hair white too. Although she is not necessarily large, her character is large. Her voice is authoritative. She is the embodiment of all things evil.
    The Dwarf the Witch’s servant
    The horse this can be two people in a costume dressed as a horse
    The robin a little bird that leads the children to the place where they find the beaver
    Mr Beaver a friendly beaver, who is on the side of the good.
    Mrs. Beaver his wife, a bustling, house-proud, friendly creature
    Maugrim a wolf, the head of the White Witch’s secret service, a slinky, wily, arrogant beast Dwarf 2 another dwarf in the Witch’s service
    Father Christmas the cheerful, jolly man himself, complete with his sled of presents.
    Fox one of a group of creatures in the forest
    Squirrel one of a group of creatures in the forest
    Aslan the lion, described as good but not tame. He is a figure of authority but also has great compassion . He is the embodiment of all that is good.
    Wolf another of the Witch’s pack of wolves
    Leopard This is one of the Witch’s messengers. He is sent to ask Aslan if he will see her

    Groups:

    The chorus of children:
    These are the children that form the backbone of the songs sung by a group. In the beginning of the play they can be heard but not seen, singing from behind the backdrop. In the Narnia scenes during the first Act, they can be the trees in groups at various levels upstage. After Act 2 Scene 4 and also in the beginning scene of the second Act ( the Witch’s castle) the chorus of children divides up and , instead of being trees, they are divided into the Witch’s folk or Aslan’s folk. They will continue to sin in the various songs sung by these two groups.

    The picnicking forest creatures:
    This is a group of forest creatures. The creatures could just be animals as amongst them are a fox and a squirrel, but there could also be dwarfs. Other animals could be a mole, a badger, etc. The fox is the spokesman for the group and replies to the White Witch albeit in a terrified voice. The squirrel also has a line to say.

    The creatures that rescue Edmund:
    This is a group of six creatures. Once again they can be animals, dwarfs, fauns or anything in between. However, they are part of Aslan’s folk and therefore are not frightening beasts. They each have a line or two to say.

    The statues in the castle courtyard:
    These are the creatures, dwarfs and fauns that the Witch has turned to stone. Amongst them is a lion who has been turned to stone while he was springing on a dwarf. The others can be any creatures of Narnia. These children need to be able to stand still for long periods of time!

    The Witch’s folk:
    These are all the folk who support the White Witch in the crowd scenes. They can be, without being horribly frightening, quite a scary group of creatures and one can use imagination with costumes and make-up. The only creature specified is the Bull who has one line to say. In Act 2 Scene 8 there are a group of the Witch’s folk identified in the script only as A, B, C and D and each of these have a line. They can be any type of creature.

    Aslan’s folk:
    These are a group of folk who support Aslan in the crowd scenes. Some may be human ( the ladies who take the girls off stage at one point in Act 2 Scene 6 ) They may also be animal or other creature. They are however not scary beasts! The script speaks in different places of centaurs and eagles. For the rest, anything goes!

    Performance Group

    “Narnia” has the capacity for many different groups to take part. There are various designated groups of actors at various stages in the play, for example Aslan’s folk and the Witch’s folk. If a school production is being done, there are therefore opportunities for different classes to practice their scenes separately prior to putting the play together, thereby saving class time. I think that the play suits a senior primary school cast best +/- ages 10 – 14.

    Production Material

    20 Libretto/Vocal Books
    Piano
    Recorder I

Partners & Associates

  • cipc
  • bsa
  • samro