Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition Melbourne Docklands

Narnia exhibition

The seven Narnia books by CS Lewis are my all time favourite stories, both as a child and an adult. I very much enjoyed the three recent movies, and was really looking forward to The Narnia Exhibition, which we visited last week, in the Pavilion at Melbourne Docklands.
We walked from Southern Cross train station, but it took us ages to find the exhibition, as it wasn’t sign-posted until we were almost on top of it. It was also a very hot day, and we discovered that the Pavilion was in fact a huge marquee, with no air-conditioning, just a couple of large fans. So rather than entering a cold kingdom of snow and ice, it was like walking into an oven! The only redeeming feature on the temperature front was the frozen waterfall – literally a wall of nice cold ice. I don’t know about others, but I returned to that wall every few minutes to cool my hands and rub cold water across my face!
The first exhibit was CS Lewis’s study, but from behind the barrier, I couldn’t read the information cards as the text was too small, and one was even obscured by a bookcase! But never mind, I probably knew all that already. Then we emerged through the wardrobe doors, between fur coats (a nice touch), and there was the lamppost and there was ‘snow’ on the ground. The exhibition itself was ok, but there wasn’t enough of it. I was disappointed there were no exhibits from the most recent film ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ – the ships prow would have been great, the sail, or even Reepicheep’s coracle. The film information clips were interesting, the costumes and exhibits were well displayed, but I would have liked much more. I was a bit nonplussed by the connections with science. Where in the Narnia stories is anything about global warming? or animal habitat? or logging and deforestation? (certainly not until The Last Battle, which hasn’t ever been filmed, and probably never will be). Maybe a connection with the Christian imagery which is definitely in the Narnia stories would have been a bit more appropriate.
All in all I’m glad I went, but I felt it was very over priced at Aus$20, and it could all have been done so, so much better!

Narnia exhibition


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