Telling Tales is a melting pot of stories from books and poems that our students have transferred to the stage. The production shows the incredible variety from Shakespeare to Roald Dahl and it is a reflection of how much the students enjoyed being transported to these imaginary worlds through the power of the written word.
Oddly enough, our opening story, Alice in Wonderland, was in the national papers the same week as the show, saying that the author, the mathematician, Lewis Carroll, regretted writing it as it made him a literary legend. (See the Express). Whether he likes it or not, it is a memorable story and it was the Mad Hatter’s tea party expressed so colourfully by our students.
This was followed by Roald Dahls analysis of Goldilocks in which he says she should have been charged with all kinds of crimes! He also adds his own slant to the Cinderella story performed later in the show with Cinderella marrying a local jam maker! I didn’t see that coming, though I know the original Grimm story is quite grim with ravens pecking out the eyes of the ugly sisters.
Poetry from well-known children’s writer, Alan Ahlberg came to us in the form of ‘Please Mrs Butler’. ‘You Can’t be That’ is a poem by Brian Patten that looks at how we sometimes quash the dreams of our children but there was no holding back with the beautiful visuals set to this poem.
While on the subject of poem and prose, the students looked across the range of books they knew from ‘We’re going on a bear Hunt’ to the scary witches of Macbeth and the hilarious Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Although the selection was hard, Harry Potter simply could not be left out and some of the most memorable moments come from the first book: the Hogwarts express, the Sorting Hat, Moaning Myrtle living in her toilet and of course, spells and charms.
A lovely, short scene was played using masks, perfect for the approaching Valentine’s day.
One of Roald Dahl’s best stories must be Matilda which has now taken to the London stage too. Picking up the superb song, ‘Matilda’s Naughty’, our creative students treated us to Matilda’s justification for her wonderful pranks.
Rounding off our evening The Whale’s Song, another children’s book in which Lily’s grandmother mesmerises her with tales of singing whales. The illustrations of this book are superb and its story is almost ethereal and our young ladies transposed the words and pictures most ably into a marvellous dance sequence.