The legions of fans of iconic American author C.S. Lewis in the Philippines will have something to look forward to this November as Trumpets Inc. brings to the big stage “The Horse and His Boy,” the fifth of seven published novels in The Chronicles of Narnia.
The play will be directed by Jaime del Mundo while Luna Griño-Inocian is in charge for the story development assisted by Mio Infante for stage design. Trumpets Inc., Asia’s first professional gospel theater group, had previously adapted C. S. Lewis’ “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” from 1997 to 2003. Other marquee stage plays that Trumpets Inc. had produced through the years include “Joseph the Dreamer,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Bluebird of Happiness.”
During a recent conference with selected bloggers and members of the media, del Mundo and Inocian emphasized that although the play is not a musical, there will be several musical numbers courtesy of Lito Villareal and Jon Meer Vera Perez. “All I can say is, this will be epic!” the director said.
Though del Mundo understandable declined to give spoilers, Inocian and Infante were more than willing to share tidbits about the preparation for the production. For example, the playwright shared that all adaptations of C.S Lewis works’ must be approved by the C.S. Lewis Foundation before productions can go full speed ahead.
“Before we got to stage ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,’ we have to seek the approval first of his stepson Douglas Gresham, who is managing his estate. The entire process of passing drafts and making revisions took 16 months,” Inocian explained. “Remember, the Internet was just starting then!” she added with a chuckle.
All the hard work paid off well since the production was vigorously praised by Gresham, who enjoyed the show so much that he eventually brought his family to Manila to watch the play on his own expense. “It is one of, if not the most beautiful and moving versions of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ ever to grace the stage,” Inocian remembers Gresham telling her.
Inocian underscored that their professional relationship had blossomed into a warm friendship over the years. “‘For The Horse and His Boy,’ the approval process only took three months,” she added. Nevertheless, she said that her team is still very careful about staying true to the spirit of C.S. Lewis’ work.
Infante, for his part, related that the main challenge for him as the production designer is the need to make the scenes as realistic as possible. “We only have an ensemble of 25 at most. How are we going to do a battle scene with that? That’s where the magic of lighting, puppetry, and musical scoring will come into play,” he said.
Towards the end of the blog con, Del Mundo shared to the attendees his guiding philosophy in working on ‘The Horse and His Boy’: “How can we give our audience something they can’t get on movie houses or through the Internet?”
TRUMPETS’ “The Horse and His Boy” will be staged at the Meralco Theater located on Ortigas Avenue, Meralco Center in Pasig City on November 6 (Friday), 7 (Saturday), 8 (Sunday), 14 (Saturday – one at 3PM and another at 8PM), 21 (Saturday), and 22 (Sunday).
Ticket prices are as follows:
Orchestra Center: Php 2,090
Orchestra Side Center. Asle and Loge: Php 1,776.50
Orchestra Side: Php 1,567.50
Balcony: Php 836
Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketworld.com.ph. For more inquiries, call TRUMPETS at 901-4364.