Well, that’s it. We’ve been killed by the mightly Aslan, some of us more times than we care to remember, never to darken the wardrobe doors of Narnia again. What’s a Queen to do when she’s no longer a queen? We could always renounce our evil ways and take up singing….
Yes, queenly singing in Left Bank Leeds, the very place where it was always winter and never Christmas for a couple of weeks last year. There were more than 160 cast members for The Narnia Experience, with queens, fauns, wolves, dwarves and humans acting in shifts all day every day for two weeks. I was queen for a few days as well as playing the part of the wolf in this fantastic production and hit it off quite well with my fellow royalty.
So when it was time to be killed once and for all, we were gutted, though we confessed none of us would miss hitting that cold, stone floor at Aslan’s roar, nor the shouts of ‘die, witch die’ from eight-year-olds who thought the whole death scene was rather fun.
One of our fellow cast members Joelle Braithwaite, a Mrs McCready turned out to be not only a music-lover, but a music teacher, so with a bit of persuasion and promises that she wouldn’t be turned to stone by the queens, eaten by the wolf, or made to eat flavourless poached fish and boiled potatoes by Mr and Mrs Beaver, she agreed to set up a community choir for ex Narnians and anyone else interested in singing.
Last night was our first get-together. Many voices and many tunes in the place that was Narnia but has reverted to the grand old gutted church in Cardigan Road, Leeds. Fabulous acoustics, but it was bloomin’ freezing. Even the former ice queens had to wrap themselves in blankets, though I’d swapped my crown for my bobble hat, which was toasty!
Joelle was fantastic, introducing us to songs from around the world, including a Maori lullaby from her native Australia. I haven’t sung so much since my choir days and when I got home, I made sure Noel gave me a good listening to. I think he was impressed….
We’re looking to perform something somewhere in the spring. In the meantime, the queenly choir continues to make music every fortnight.