Radio Theater's Chronicles of Narnia

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Over Christmas and New Year's weekend, BBC Radio 7 broadcast all seven of the Focus on the Family Radio Theater adaptations of C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. I've been listening to them in publication order -- I've just finished The Silver Chair.

Paul Scofield, who won an Oscar for A Man for All Seasons, is the narrator. David Suchet, known for his portrayal of Agatha Christie's Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, provides the voice for Aslan. Ron Moody, famed as Fagin in the stage and film versions of Oliver!, is perfect as pessimistic Puddleglum. British comedy fans will recognize other voices in bit parts: In Prince Caspian, John Bluthal (parish clerk Frank Pickle in The Vicar of Dibley) can be heard as a soldier near the beginning of the story, and Betty Marsden (from the radio sketch shows Beyond Our Ken and Round the Horne) turns up as the hag.

The voice characterizations, incidental music, and sound effects are all very well done, and they all work wonderfully to keep the listener fully engaged in the story. In the best radio tradition, this is theater of the mind.

Focus on the Family Radio Theater has produced audiodramas of classic works of both fiction and non-fiction, including A Christmas Carol, Anne of Green Gables, Silas Marner, and Les Miserables, and biographical dramas about William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Corrie Ten Boom. There's also a dramatization of the Gospel according to Luke: "The Life of Jesus: Dramatic Eyewitness Accounts from The Luke Reports."

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1 Comments

YES!! I love Focus on the Family Radio Theatre (lovingly called FOFRT in the Faught household)!

We own quite a few of their productions - all of the Narnia books, Ben Hur, Christmas Carol, Billy Budd, Les Miserables, Bonhoeffer, Silas Marner. I remember the days when my brother would tape them off of the radio; CDs are so much nicer!

Ben Hur and Narnia are definitely my favorites. There was a time when my siblings and I had practically memorized most of those two sets.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 22, 2011 11:26 AM.

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