Good vs. evil on Hayswood stage
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]
It’s a classic tale that has delighted generations of readers since its publication in 1950. C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is a fantasy that parallels the story of Jesus Christ.
The novel has been adapted for the stage, and it is the latest production at Corydon’s Hayswood Theatre.
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is the story of four siblings evacuated from London during World War II and sent to live in the countryside. They find a large wardrobe in one of the home’s rooms and upon entering it, Lucy, the youngest of the quartet, walks through the back, entering a magical land called Narnia.
Samantha Bell makes an adorable, endearing Lucy. Bell is a young but familiar face on the Hayswood stage.
After Tumnus, played by Eryck Knear, finds himself unable to betray his new friend, Lucy, by taking her to the White Witch, he is turned to stone when the ever conniving Fenris Ulf swiftly tells the Witch of Tumnus’ failure to fulfill his duties.
Fenris Ulf is energetically and enthusiastically portrayed by Paul Isaacs Jr., appearing in his third Hayswood production. Isaacs is convincing as the White Witch’s right-hand man and head of her secret police.
Morgan Bell is ideal as the protective older sister to Lucy and the boys (she and Samantha Bell are sisters off stage as well). Ben Ross portrays Edmund while his older brother, Jacob Ross, plays that same role in the play as Peter.
Ben Ross, who most recently played Tiny Tim in the theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” is a good chap who’s led astray by his love of sweets, wooed by the White Witch’s initial promise of an endless supply of Turkish Delight, if only he bring his siblings to her. Amanda Alexander makes her Hayswood debut as the White Witch, making the viewer believe she is an evil, spiteful witch indeed. She is accompanied on her travels by an evil dwarf, played by Elias Copperwaite.
After being taken in by the caring and cute Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (Charles Swarens and Jadawan Ross) the children are enjoying a delicious meal and learn they are the sign that Aslan, the savior of Narnia, the one who will end the perpetual winter, has returned.
The mighty Aslan is portrayed by Nathaniel Jones Sr., a West Point, Ky., resident appearing at Hayswood for the first time. Jones has a commanding presence on stage and brings forth Aslan’s majesty, love and quiet power.
As sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, the children are told they have a central role in fulfilling Narnia’s prophecy.
Edmund, having fallen under the Witch’s spell, sneaks away in an attempt to reach her castle.
The Beavers set out on a dangerous journey, escorting the children to the stone table, where they are to meet Aslan and learn they are destined to wear the four crowns housed at Cair Paravel.
Without giving away the ending, a good elf enters the picture. Chloe Finn is perfect as the little sprite, whose energy and smile are infectious. This is Finn’s third Hayswood production this season.
Other cast members are: Cora Broom (owl), Hunter Conrad (raccoon), Bethany Copperwaite (fox), Cassandra Copperwaite (raccoon), Rebecca Copperwaite (owl), Theodore Copperwaite (white stag), James Jones (bear), Maxwell Jones (bear), Nathaniel Jones Jr. (hare), Owen Kane (Father Christmas), Mikayla Kee (hare), Charlie Robbins (fox), Maggie Robbins (unicorn), Joanie Ross (skunk), Lydia Seng (squirrel) and Brayli Temple (squirrel).
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is directed by Richard Seng. Shelly Knear is stage manager.
A limited number of seats remain for one production, on Feb. 22.
Visit www.hayswoodtheatre.org to purchase tickets.
The theatre’s next production, “Charlotte’s Web,” will open April 16.