As each cast member bounces through the stage door, the excitement on their faces is clear for all to see. The opening night. The event every child has been waiting for, working towards and focussing on for the past twelve weeks.
They are met by the stage manager who directs each child into their dressing room where the costume designer has laid out their opening
scene attire. The set designer has now finished and children are invited to take a walk around the stage, familiarizing themselves with entrances and exits, scenery and props. Microphones and make up come next, and finally our young cast are ready for their pre-show warm up and ‘team talk’. A reminder to stay focussed and enjoy it! The hard work has been done and now it is time to give it their best shot. Containing their excitement is a nice challenge to have.
As the curtain opens to a packed house, the energy pours off the stage. It is infectious. The audience are with them every step of the way and you can see each child growing in confidence as the show goes on.
As director, I sit nervously, rooting for my team, terrified that someone will dry, or miss an entrance, but they are fearless, and the show continues without a hitch. Everything the children have rehearsed now comes together, enhanced by the wonderful lighting, sounds, set and costume of our lovely creative team.
The finale is blasted out, every child beaming with pride and at last I breathe a sigh of relief. It is, without doubt, an emotional rollercoaster.
The cast buzz with joy after their show and can’t wait to return for their second performance. It is lovely to see. They are eager to share stories of their experience. What surprised them, what went well, what almost went wrong! They want to know what we all thought? And what will make their show even better next time?
After each show, I reflect on the journey we’ve been on together as a company. It is hard to remember some of the nervous singing from the audition three months earlier. Are these really the same children?
Our rehearsal process is a fine balance of challenge and support, ensuring children have everything they need to be in the right place for their performance. What do they need to grow as performers, but most importantly what do they need to grow as people?
Alice in Wonderland will be our eighth show and caps a truly inspiring three years at Dramacube. We’ve performed at numerous theatres including; Hampton Hill Theatre, Epsom Playhouse and the Watermans in Brentford, we grown to three locations with casts now in Twickenham, Hampton Hill and Kingston, seen a number of students perform in West End shows and in August 2017 we received six nominations and awards for best actor and best actress (under 14) at the Richmond arts Swan Awards.
Wishing the very best of luck to all of our performers this term.