This term’s production of Alice has been keeping students and staff very busy behind the scenes. It is an immersive production, which means that instead of staging the show on stage, with aSeb sawing conventional audience, there are 16 ‘zones’ in which the play takes place. The audience encounter the characters of Wonderland while passing through zones in different orders in small groups, culminating in the final scene of the play where the groups are reunited.

A team of student designers, builders, painters and technicians have been working long hours and late nights, in their free time and at weekends. Students were givenPoly carving the chance to develop a design for a zone, with the brief that they should be able to describe their area in three key words: for example, “Sweeney Todd Kitchen”, or “Dysfunctional Ryanair Check-in”. They produced drawings and plans and used Pinterest to shared ideas on a group mood board. We have received carpentry assistance from the Works Department in building three large box-sets, and tackled some tricky wallpapering. In the Design department, staff there have assisted with a giant teapot and a whimsical signpost .

Such a large set requires a lot of independent work and the more experienced crew are having not only to learn new skills working withMixing textures materials they have not used before, but also learn to instruct and supervise younger students on set. We have used a huge amount of scenic materials such as chipped rubber, polystyrene, Artex and PVA glue as well as gallons of paint and acres of fabrics to create Wonderland. In addition to scenic art, each zone has its own sound design (by GCR), lighting CCTV and communications systems, keeping the technical students on their toes.

Alice” runs from 10th to the 13th of November and the 16th Nov with performances at 1845 and 2030. Contact tickets@cranleigh.org for more information.

Mark Jenkins
Theatre Manager