Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Prepare Flamingos!

One of the more difficult sequences of Cabbages and Kings to block is the croquet game that Alice plays with, amongst others, the Queen of Hearts. Carroll was fascinated by chaos and order and twice in Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland does he create scenes where the normal rules of sport are thrown out of the window, to allow a free for all. We've not had room to include the Caucus Race, where all must have prizes, but we all felt that the images of flamingo mallets, playing card hoops and hedgehog balls was visually simply too good to lose.

Part of our problem is scale and space. Playing outdoors requires real focus. The madness and anarchic nature of the scene makes it difficult to put together, particularly as we have limited access to the gardens. Instead we've brought it into a scene where Alice, as she really did, falls in love with Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold.

Marina's written a great song telling this story and, once again, Ben has recycled an old music hall sing-a-long tune to bring it to life. The flamingo's - low tech, elbow length, pink socks - will provide the chorus for this. Each flamingo, of course, quickly developed its own personality. Some were proud, some subversive, some frankly just aggressive. It's all very silly, but works surprisingly well. Particularly with Katie's savage Queen barking out orders from a raised platform behind the action. It was a fun filled couple of hours putting it together.

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