New challenge on stage
The message contained in an impactful work of literature has encouraged thousands of believers down through the years to leave their family and belongings to serve God wholeheartedly. That work of literature is CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was specially adapted for Logos Hope's onboard theatre and has been performed in each port the ship visits since May 2016. Now, crewmembers have premiered the first completely Spanish language version of the show, to better connect with audiences in Latin America.
The 1950 novel, one in a series of seven, tells the story of four siblings who find themselves in a mysterious world called Narnia, having entered via a wardrobe they were hiding in. The abridged text is directed on board Logos Hope by Bethany Neil (USA), who has a background in theatre. After bilingual versions of the play in French/English when the vessel toured West Africa and Spanish/English in some parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, Bethany and her cast have now made the leap to an entirely Spanish production.
Only a few of the international crewmembers in the play are native Spanish speakers, so the others have been learning the language through their script. Nathan Prokopchuk (Canada), who plays one of the brothers, Edmund, had a Spanish speaking friend work through the lines with him. “The audience really appreciates that we have learnt their language just for this,” he said.
Anna Paula Leal, a local visitor who watched the show on board, shared that for her, the story’s theme pointed to the relationship mankind can have with God. “The way the children get closer to Aslan [the lion who sacrifices his life for them] is what I like best,” said Anna.
Bethany revealed that her favourite character is Aslan, “Because he is very much like Jesus Christ: he is kind, good, powerful and forgiving.” The director added, “Even this afternoon as I was standing backstage watching the performance, God was reminding me of how He has forgiven me, just today and yesterday.”
Another audience member, Tony Barragan, gave his views on the story: “It is about Jesus, so it is a good way to share with people who don’t know Him.” Tony’s wife, Sugey Cervantes Lopez, who is a teacher, added that she thought the play was an excellent way to capture the interest of a younger generation and point them to the symbolism of Christ's redemption.
Bethany was encouraged that several people she spoke to at the close of the performance had shared that Aslan the lion was their favourite character in the drama as well. "Many people who already know the Lord and many people who have never heard are now experiencing it in a visual and tangible way,” said the thankful director.