Saturday, 17 December 2016

The Princess and the Goblins- The Final Chapter

So the time has come at last. The final chapter of 'The Princess and the Goblins!'
What an incredible term it has been. Back in August when we found an old book in an old shop, on an old London street about a princess who set ended up saving her kingdom from a race of cave-dwelling goblins, we never imagined what would follow. The story was placed on the ideas board for this term, but still we didn't credit it too much. However, as we looked at our options and what we felt we could do with the stories we were choosing from, and which we felt the Chameleons would enjoy most, it became increasingly clear that the tale of Princess Irene, Curly, Lottie and co. was always meant to be put on the stage.

Even still, we weren't if the group would take to the story as we wanted them too. It was unlike anything we have tried with them before. 'Theseus and the Minotaur!' was about a hero who travelled across the sea to defeat an evil monster, while 'The Legend of King Arthur!' was about a young boy who went on a journey to become a better king and defeat an evil witch, meeting many friends and enemies along the way. This story was instead about a young girl seeking to escape the confines of expectation and prove to everyone that she could live her own life.

Irene's character was a complex one. She struggles with the confined life and expectations of being a Princess to a legendary king. She longs for her freedom, but not just from the castle; she also longs to be able to make her own decisions and have exciting adventures. In the original text, though Irene has this character, most of these complexities are not touched upon. The same goes for some of the other characters; Curly, Lottie, the Goblin Queen (or Curdie, Lootie and the Goblin King as they were originally) are very packed characters and it was only when we updated the story to accommodate our group this term did we notice that a lot of these complexities were brought out. We questioned keeping them, as we feared perhaps we had given the group too much to work on.

Our talented Chameleons, however, didn't crumble. They didn't struggle. They took these characters and made them their own, with all of the complexities and inner turmoil that came with them. That has been what has made this term so outstanding. The cast have embraced the complexities within all of these characters and worked hard to portray them with depth and love. Watching them perform today made us realise how proud we were of what they had accomplished. Every week they would come in, fresh faced after a week of school, and be eager to dive into our story again. They loved Irene's tale, and it was this care for the story that made the final performance something really magical.

And so today was just that. Magical. Of course there were nerves, there was pacing and talk about suddenly forgetting everything we had done for the past ten weeks, but then there always is and as soon as the lights came up; the group took to the stage and made it their own. It was a pleasure to watch, as it was a pleasure to explore with them throughout the project.

Well, that's that. The term came to an incredible conclusion. Rarely have we worked with the group and had them so passionate about what we were doing. It has been an unbelievable experience rehearsing each week and all that is left to say is well done to our Chameleons. You are all brilliant. This has hands down been one of the strongest terms we have had with the Anthos Arts Youth Division and we cannot wait to pick up again in the new year.

Merry Christmas everyone! See you next time!

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