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A walk in the park

Jonathan Kaufman 14 June 2019

A lovely damp day walking through Mayow Park with Alice in Wonderland’s production designer Sally Hardcastle and costume designer Jackie Poulett yesterday – at least we missed the downpour on Monday!

It was great to show them the six or seven different locations where the show will be staged, and discuss their ideas for scenery, props and costumes. Alice will be a ‘promenade’ theatre show, meaning the audience will be invited to move to a number of locations during the performance. With such a format, there’s much fun to be had transforming various parts of the park, all in and around the bowling green, into weird and wonderful parts of Wonderland – and without giving too much away – there will be lots of magical surprises! This part of the creative process is really exciting, as having assembled a great creative team and the ideas begin to flow…just wait till you see how we will transport the audience into Wonderland itself!

Of course, staging a promenade show can cause all kinds of headaches for a producer, not least how to ensure only ticket-holders get to see the show, and the logistics of moving 200 people between scenes – but that’s also the beauty of outdoor theatre, that nature becomes a background to the action itself, for who needs scenery when you have a park? However, judicious use of large-scale props and other surprising items appearing here and there in amongst the trees and bushes, will certainly provide the magical experience that our family audiences will expect. So roll on July – it’s going to an adventure!