• English Theatre: Mirror of Society and the Human Condition

Innovation In Theater

Hello friends back home,

Thus far we have seen some phenomenal theatre productions in England but two shows in particular have stood out with their new and innovative ideas and techniques that they have brought to theatre. The first production is called The Light Princess and it is adapted from an old fairytale from Scotland about death, rebellion, and ultimately love. In the show one of the main characters, Althea, becomes light and floats around, and the production team decided to make her actually float with the use of an acrobatic team and sometimes a wire cable. The production team dressed the acrobats in all black so they could blend in more easily and after a while you forget they are moving her. They were very talented and strong and the way they made Althea move to look like she was floating was incredible. This production was also a musical so the woman who played Althea did a really great job with singing while being passed around and upside down. The show brought a brand new way of movement to the theatre world and it will be pretty cool to see what someone comes up with next.

Light Princess from National Theatre

The second show is called Wendy & Peter Pan and most people know the idea of this story based on the classic tale by J. M. Barrie. This show wasn’t the original text though, it was an adaptation by Ella Hickson. What was really unique about this show was that it was done on a thrust stage, meaning the stage is surrounded on three sides. We were all curious to know how they would do the flying of all the characters. They actually made this giant, industrial mobile-like thing, from which five wires could be lowered. It was interesting because nothing was hidden. The big, mechanical lift was right in front of us, and the wires were actually wrapped in some kind of rope to make them match the set. Even though you could see all the machinery, it didn’t distract from the show at all because it all fit in with the style of the production.

Thrust Stage

All in all, we’ve seen some amazing feats of production technology and those are only two of the shows! It’s been a great trip so far. Tonight we are in Edinburgh seeing the Lion King and it’s bound to be one of the most memorable shows of the trip.


(Photo (Rosalie Craig) by Jason Bell)