A unique voice is a gift from God; Sir David Courtney Suchet has been blessed with this gift, and he has used it in ways that have become a blessing to millions of children and adults.
A look at his faith and accomplishments as an actor would not be complete without a look at his impressive career in voice acting, one which demonstrates the deep integration of his worldview and vocation of the performing arts.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, has become one of the most beloved young adult fantasy series of all time, and David Suchet provided the voice of the lion, Aslan, the hero of Lewis’s fantasy series and one of the most recognizable Christ figures in modern fiction, in a radio theater dramatization undertaken by Focus on the Family.
As Narnia Web staff wrote on May 13, 2020: “Focus on the Family adapted all seven Narnia books to radio theater between 1999 and 2002 with a cast of over a hundred actors, an original orchestral score, and cinema-quality sound design. The dramas were broadcast on the BBC in the mid-2000s. Paul Scofield appears as “The Storyteller” and David Suchet is the voice of Aslan. Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C. S. Lewis, is the host of the series.”
A marvelous audio drama achievement, the discs of which many children and adults have worn out on sick days, rainy days, during family time, or just for pleasure, the renown of Suchet’s voicing the lion here made him the obvious choice for a reprisal stage performance in Rupert Goold’s adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 2012.
He has said of his portrayal of Aslan: “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is an iconic story and C S Lewis was an extraordinary writer. He was just magical. To be asked to do the voice of one of the most famous literary animals is a great honour.”
Lewis, like Suchet after him, was an outspoken Christian, and the latter would go on to lend his voice to biblical stories and texts.
In 2014, he did a recorded reading of The Jesus Storybook Bible, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, saying the work and its author have “a way of making that which today might seem a bit dull and overfamiliar very alive and fresh”.
No stranger to biblical material, Vicky Walker of Church Times writes of Suchet: “He has engaged with scripture in detail over the years, recording the entire Bible for Hodder & Stoughton’s NIV Audio Bible — which necessitated many hours of reading to bring to life more than three-quarters of a million words.”
How fitting it is that, Suchet, the voice of Lewis’s Christ figure lion, should be instrumental in bringing faith, hope, and love to so many, through a live reading of the Apostle John who would later write to us all of the triumph of the conquering “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5).
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