Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Summer promenade productions in South London

TWO of South London's parks are to be the settings for two family shows this summer.
Brockwell Park in Brixton and the Streatham Rookery Gardens will play host to Goldilocks And The Three Endings and Alice In The Walled Garden respectively between now and August 17.
They are being presented by Lambeth-based theatre company Sixteenfeet which has been bringing its summer promenade productions to venues in South London for the past four years.
After last year's successful run, Alice In The Walled Garden makes a welcome return and will once again bring Lewis Carroll's famous tale to life.
Audiences will enter a fantastical world inhabited by some iconic characters including the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts and Mock Turtle.
The performance features original music, which is played live by the cast of actor-musicians.
This year it is transferring from the walled garden in Brockwell Park to Streatham.
It will make way for a brand new show, Goldilocks And The Three Endings, penned by Brixton-based Andrew Walsh.
And if you think you know the story of Goldilocks, think again because Andrew says he's given it a bit of a twist.
"It's a fairytale and based on the classic texts of some well known stories so there is a mix of recognisable characters all in the one play," he says.
"I love fairytales and as a writer they are very important because you learn story structures from them but they have changed a lot over many years.
"Goldilocks is an interesting character but how she is portrayed today is very different from how she started out - she was originally an old woman - so this is my take on her and moving the story on again for a new generation."
The action is set in Everwasland which is in danger. The villain is missing, the Midnight Clock is ticking and everyone and everything could disappear in a heartbeat.
It's up to Goldilocks and the Prince Charming - and the audience - to help save the day.
"It's been really fun to write because it's not like a normal theatre show where you just sit and follow the story," says Andrew.
"With this one the audience is very much involved and it's really interactive.
"It starts off as a typical production but about half way through the audience gets to choose which characters they want to follow, what they do and what happens in the end - hence the title!
"By getting the audience to take part by influencing what happens it will bring it to life more so it's very exciting and gives it a nice twist."
The interactive nature of the show has been inspired in part by Andrew's work writing video games.
"I started out in theatre but then moved into writing for TV shows such as Emmerdale," he explains.
"But then from there I've done all sorts of stuff including writing video games which is great fun but totally different to writing a script.
"In a game you have to give the player the element of choice and I thought this might be a good thing to bring to Goldilocks, although at times it was quite complicated.
"It's all scripted so there is no element of surprise or improvisation as far as the actors are concerned but there is for the audience.
"It's funny, really entertaining and action-packed with lots of live music which is performed by the actors, and because it's aimed at a family audience there are different levels and elements for adults and children to take from it."
As in previous years it will be a promenade production whereby the audience follows the actors as they move about the garden.
"The Walled Garden the most beautiful space and really lends itself to this kind of show," says Andrew. "It's had to be quite carefully choreographed because the audience chooses who to follow and they move to different parts of the garden.
"I'm really pleased with the result and all we need now is for this glorious weather to hold!"

Goldilocks And The Three Endings is on at Brockwell Park until August 10 and Alice In The Walled Garden is at Streatham Rookery Gardens between August 7 and 17. Call 07958 448 690, visit www.sixteenfeet.co.uk or email info@sixteenfeet.co.uk to book tickets or for full listings.

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