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Grand designs

Jonathan Kaufman 26 May 2019

Meeting yesterday with the brilliant Sally Hardcastle, set designer extraordinaire, who has previously worked on The Three Little Pigs Go West, Cinderella, Anansi the Spider and Mata Hari. We meet at Pret a Manger in Stratford – halfway between our two bases! – and discuss ideas for our upcoming Alice in Wonderland.

It’s going to be an open-air show, in and around Mayow Park, so we talk about creating a wonderful experience, within a tight budget, by using key props and bits of scenery. There’s nothing like stumbling upon a giant tea-table, or a Cheshire cat in a tree, or a houkah pipe-smoking Caterpillar lurking behind a bush… As always, Sally has some great ideas and by the end of the meeting we’re very excited to bring Alice to life for a Sydenham audience.

This will actually be my fourth go at the Alice stories (having done two versions of Alice’s Adventures, and one version of Through the Looking Glass.) Why I’m continually drawn to them I can’t say – though there’s something so very English about them, as well as surreal, and the characters are just so good of course! Lewis Carroll certainly had a very vivid imagination, and a world without the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, The White Rabbit et al is just impossible to imagine!

Roll on Friday 26 July, when the shows are scheduled to start….