Wacky, wonderful and utterly magical.
A gigantic thank you to Mrs Gregory for masterminding the exceptional Year 6 performance of Lewis Carroll’s iconic tale of the little girl who falls down a rabbit hole, Alice in Wonderland.
Uncertainty has been an overriding characteristic of the last year and a half, and it was with huge relief and the greatest thrill that we were able to welcome a real, live audience to the Burrell Theatre for the Year 6 production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
We are immensely grateful to everyone who has enabled this to happen. As the first live show in front of an audience in the Burrell Theatre since the first lockdown in March 2020, and the first musical produced here since the last Year 6 production we staged in July 2019, we celebrate not only the amazing talents of these brilliant children, but also the renewal of shared experiences in theatres, concert halls and other performance venues.
Although it is one of the most famous and enduring children’s books of all time, the play on logic and the extraordinary characters which drive the story make it as popular with adults as children.
Many extraordinary creatures and people are encountered on her adventures, but central to the narrative of the story is of course Alice herself: curious yet cautious, bewildered but focused, polite but forthright. She is a child both of her time and timeless; someone whom all of us, whatever age, can relate to and be inspired by.
It seems fitting, as the world goes through such unpredictable and bewildering times, that we present a show about similar experiences. Alice goes on a journey of discovery and confusion, and it is not difficult to look back on the last year and a half and feel as if we too have fallen down a rabbit hole into a bizarre alternate reality.
The concepts of time and curiosity stand out in this story, both of which have been so significant throughout the pandemic.
We may well feel that we have had more time on our hands than ever before, yet with little to fill it, and at times we have longed for the days to pass and normality to return. We have had to be patient. We have hung on the words of scientists and politicians and listened to their dates, road maps and predictions of the times at which things will change. In the Mad Hatter’s world, it is always six o’clock. In ours, some may feel we have been stuck on the 23rd March 2020.
Alice is driven by curiosity, something which happily we see in the children every day and which will motivate them to experience and succeed in life. During this time, we have become grateful for the curiosity of the scientists developing the vaccines, and for medics curious as to which treatment will succeed. We ourselves have become curious to learn new ways of communicating and staying connected, curious for data and news of any changes in the situation. We have been curious to try new things which we may not have done had it not been for lockdown.
Like Alice, we may have been frustrated by a warped sense of time in recent months, but curiosity has kept us going. Perhaps we can take hold of some of Alice’s spirit as we gradually return from our own trip down the rabbit hole, and hopefully, as she did, soon emerge blinking into the world we knew before, while looking on it with a new perspective.
The most ENORMOUS thank you goes to the following for helping give the pupils a right proper end-of-year show!
Set and prop design and backdrop supervision: Jane Ashdown
Larger props: Mary-Lynne Sparkes
Backdrop projections designed and painted by Year 6 pupils: Eva (kitchen), Ben (seaside), Christian (riverbank), Amaia (tea party), Ellie (pool of tears), Lara (rose garden), Tilly and Jessica (magical wood), Scarlett (rabbit hole and trial), Flo and Nova (doors)
Painting of other props and scenery by Year 6 pupils: Clara, Harry, Toby, Retallack, Iris, Bradley, Evie, Esme, Amelia, Noah, Rupert and Isabelle
Additional painting by Year 5 pupils Lois, Alicia, Freddie and Thomas
Clocks and playing cards: Joe Ellison
Large clock: Olliver
Costumes and production assistant: Sue Rowe, supported by Emma Curran, Melody Crowdy, Tomasine Hastings, Saumya Shankar and Tamsin Williams
Make-up: Melody Crowdy and Tamsin Williams
Additional props and costumes sourced and created by Anna Chellamuthu, Sarah Cooper, Sarah Cox, Suzanne Darling, Mila Grant, Claire Hawkins, Sarah Howie, Sophie Mason, Sil Price and Rachel Vaughan. Set construction, lighting, sound and video production by Swen Kearey, Sam Kemp and the Truro School Tech Team. Photography by Carla Lamb (Cast 1) and James Darling (Cast 2).
Many thanks to Sarah Patterson, James Frewer, Maggie Issaka, Cheryl Rosevear, Sue McIntosh and her team, Louise Jessel, Danny Goddard and all staff at the Prep, and to Andy Johnson, Charlie Fraser, Richard Lamboll, Mark Vanstone and Zoe Jobling at Truro School for supporting and enabling this production.
Thank you to all parents for your support in line-learning and song practising.
Programme cover designed by Esme Pawsey
Musical tuition: Angela Renshaw
Musical direction: Maria Eva
Directed by Annabel Gregory
The biggest thanks go to the children for their amazing hard work, talent and dedication to making their show a success.