By D. Lanier Shook July 5, 2017
Before you post nasty comments below, give me a minute to explain what I just said about the beloved movie with the cult following. I liked The Princess Bride. It was over the top, but that was the intention. I’m not hating on The Princess Bride, so here’s why I think Prince Caspian at the Logos Theater in Taylors, South Carolina is better.
REASON ONE Prince Caspian is a Faith Based Fantasy Novel
I am a Christian and that affects every aspect of my life, especially my entertainment choices. The Princess Bride was a good, solid movie, but it wasn’t faith based. C.S. Lewis was a devoted Christian whose theological works are really, really deep. (“For those who believe in Providence the dice are always loaded.”)
As I watched Logos Theater’s Production of Prince Caspian I was constantly reaffirmed in my faith. From the admonition that we never know the time or day of Aslan’s return to Aslan telling Lucy that she should follow Him even if the others didn’t, the Message was always there. I walked out of the theater not only entertained, but determined to grow closer to my Lord.
The Princess Bride is a good movie, especially compared to today’s fare. But while it may entertain me, it doesn’t build my faith. Which is why I thought Prince Caspian was better.
This is also a good place to point out that Prince Caspian is a family friendly play. Everybody keeps their clothes on and nobody swears like a sailor. So if you have small children who would enjoy a magical theater experience, this is a great opportunity.
REASON TWO Logos Theater’s Production Quality is Equal to the Princess Bride’s Production Quality
The Princess Bride was a solid sword and sandal fantasy that featured the best that Hollywood could offer in 1987.The action, scenery, and sound — even the special effects — were top notch. Logos Theater has brought that same level of production quality to the stage. When I go back to see Prince Caspian I can expect to see costumes, weapons, and a set design as good as what 1987 Hollywood had to offer.
In fact it is the combat scenes of Logos Theater’s Prince Caspian that made me think of The Princess Bride. There is some serious combat going on in this play and its impressive and exciting. Like I said, as good as 1987 Hollywood. Also, this is a good place to point out that if you have any little boys who would enjoy swashbuckling sword action they’d love this.
To give you an idea of the quality that has gone into the sets let me describe the furniture in Caspian’s bedroom. Starting from the left we have a desk with a chair, books and a candle. Then there’s a chest and a fake door. Next we have a bed — full size with a huge carved wooden canopy at its head. There’s a chest at the foot of the bed with a fur on top of it. Next to the bed is a fake window — I mean a full size section of stone wall with a barred window set in it and a chair. Finally there’s a full size fireplace with a mantle. Now that’s a set.
REASON THREE Logos Theater’s Actors May Not be World Famous, but They’re as Good
For years I didn’t realize who was in The Princess Bride. While the cast of Prince Caspian may not be as famous, they’re as good. Their delivery was faultless and they faithfully brought the characters to life. This cast does not disappoint.
REASON FOUR This Isn’t A Three Person Waiting for Godot
I’ve seen many wonderful plays and most of them featured a very small cast. While this didn’t distract from those plays, it highlights the fact that many theaters simply do not have the resources to bring a Broadway level production to the stage. Logos Theater has those resources and they bring them to the stage in Prince Caspian.
Prince Caspian has well over a hundred separate roles fill by a cast of around a hundred. Especially impressive to me were the combat scenes. Its not easy doing a melee battle on a stage, but they pulled it off. So, to repeat, this is not a small production where a few actors stretch themselves to fill scores of roles.
REASON FIVE Logos Theater has Their Stage Transitions Down
While I was impressed by the play itself, I was floored by the production quality that Logos Theater brought to the stage. They managed to pull off set transitions as the play was underway without affecting the flow of the play. To me the set hands moving the set pieces felt like part of the background.
Another impressive part was the horse and Aslan. While these were clearly constructs with stage hands inside of them, the presentation and design transformed them into a horse and a massive Lion. While I haven’t seen The Lion King, I was told by someone else they use a similar technique.
Did Logos Theater do better than The Princess Bride? I think so, but I’ll invite you to be the judge. There are six more productions and while I can’t fit more than two into my schedule, you should fit at least one into yours.
Click here to visit The Academy of Arts Ministry website where you can buy tickets, browse a list of other productions they will be bringing to the stage, and even see clips of Prince Caspian playing at the top of the page. This is something you should definitely consider attending if you enjoy fantasy, faith, or The Princess Bride. Seriously, this is another high fantasy drama and also I liked The Princess Bride. (It was a little over the top, but that’s okay.)