‘A story worth telling’: Sparwood Secondary School adapts classic fantasy novel on stage

Sparwood Secondary School put on an adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia called ‘Lucy and the Lion’ from May 10 to 13, 2022. From left: Ethan Bruce as King Peter, Kellie Oler as Queen Susan, Elijah Froehler as King Edmund, and Ava Anderson as Queen Lucy. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Sparwood Secondary School put on an adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia called ‘Lucy and the Lion’ from May 10 to 13, 2022. From left: Ethan Bruce as King Peter, Kellie Oler as Queen Susan, Elijah Froehler as King Edmund, and Ava Anderson as Queen Lucy. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Sparwood Secondary School theatre teacher and ‘Lucy and the Lion’ producer, Noel Bullock, with student-actress Anjola Osasan, who played the witch-queen in the show. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Sparwood Secondary School theatre teacher and ‘Lucy and the Lion’ producer, Noel Bullock, with student-actress Anjola Osasan, who played the witch-queen in the show. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

Elementary school kids from across the Elk Valley streamed to Sparwood last week to watch a stage adaptation of the classic book, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Put on at Sparwood Secondary School from May 10 to 13, the play, called ‘Lucy and the Lion’, has been in the works since the first wave of COVID, according to producer and theatre teacher Noel Bullock.

Much of the cast had turned over in the meantime due to graduation and moving, he said.

“It was an ongoing process, but it was a labour of love.”

It was the first time the play had ever come to the Sparwood school’s stage.

Bullock said the story is historically set in World War Two London, which the book’s author, C.S. Lewis, lived through. The children in the story were evacuated to a rural area, and found a magical wardrobe, which led them to the land of Narnia. There, they met a lion called Aslan, as well as other ‘remarkable’ figures, he said.

Bullock said the message of welcoming outsiders in the story is one that is poignant today.

“It was a chance for us to explore relationships, forgiveness, reconciliation, courage — important things … for every day life.

“It was a story worth telling.”

Student-actress Anjola Osasan played the witch-queen in the show.

When asked by The Free Press if she learned anything from the antagonist character, she said: “Don’t be resentful.”

“I’m really glad I did it you know, it was a good experience for me, and it’s really helped me learn a lot and grow as a person.”

Bullock said it was a pleasure to work with the students (most of whom were in grades 8 to 12 from Sparwood Secondary School), because of their commitment, hard work, and ability to take criticism.

“They are a pretty fantastic group of kids, I was remarkably pleased with the performance.”

They put on a total of eight shows, matinees for elementary school kids from Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford, and evening shows for community members.

Bullock emphasized how grateful he was for the group effort that was put into the show, saying he was happy to work with everyone.

READ MORE: GALLERY: Sparwood Secondary School modernizes Shakespeare


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