Yesterday I took 46 students to see two shows at the shaw festival where we were treated to magical stage transformations. In Alice and A Woman of No Importance, by Wilde, the creativity and tech skills of the stage design were mesmerizing. Here, the mad hatter tea table is waiting up in the rafters (fly gallery) to make its entrance, while the stage crew sets the stage for the matinee. Sharing the space, as a repertory company, means that the plays themselves are beautiful, but so is the finely tuned orchestration of sets and props, completely changing over like a colourful game of scenic Tetris; one play moves into the spaces left by another as it is disassembled and tucked away. my students loved seeing it all come together, going backstage, into wardrobe and below the stage to see the trap doors and effects.
Lunch was also a highlight in the picturesque old village, with perfect weather! Our first production was a beautifully rendered Wilde play with stunning costumes, set in 1951… But relevant enough to rile up my classes. Our post-show chat with the assistant director let the kids pour out their questions.
Between shows, Carlotta’s gelato, dinner with my mum and dad, wood oven pizza and time in the sunshine… Deserve top billing.
Curiouser and curiouser,… The festival’s new production of Alice wa divisive, but highly original. It has some of the most genius tech I’ve ever seen. Venture down the rabbit hole! You may be quite surprised by how childlike and full of wonder a day of theatre can make you feel.