Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Girl and the Fox Final Chapter: 'The Legend of The Girl and the Fox: An Inuit Story'

That's a wrap. Another story told and another performance under the belt. Last week our Chameleons took to the Cygnet stage for 'The Girl and the Fox.' It has been a wonderful, if short, term for us Following last year's theme of adapting well known stories we had decided that we wanted to do something new. The decision was made for this term's story to be an original one that we could use to teach the Chameleons something they didn't know before.

The last time we had an original show was in 2016. 'The Princess and the Goblins' was an original story that had been based off of an old book, found in the depths of a quaint little bookshop in London's West End. The story then featured a narrative about a girl out to prove that she was every bit as capable as her father, the King of Greenhill. Together with her maid and friend Lottie she snuck out of the palace, uncovered a goblin plot to invade, and set about saving the kingdom in her father's absence. It was a fun story to create with the Chameleons, who back then were a group of seven (how times change).

Writing a new story was a fun concept, but finding the starting point was trickier than anticipated. There were plenty of ideas, but none that jumped out from amongst the others. In wandering the halls of the RAMM museum and admiring the World Cultures section the notion of creating an Inuit story sprang to mind. Inuit culture was not as well known to us, but as more and more research was done it became clear that this was the route we should take. Inuit stories were filled with so much character and a sense of adventure, which was the perfect fit for the Chameleon Group.

In addition to this, the stories had a wholesome feel of family and the importance of nature, animals and friendship. Quite a lot of the stories were vivid and some graphic, but the morals were strong and contained themes which later featured in the play. The concept of animals being guides, or playing a large role in the story was one we wanted to play with. The Fox in our story is a mysterious magical creature, there to guide, but not overcome obstacles for the Girl. Many stories are about individuals overcoming their own adversities, so we wanted this for The Girl. We invented her father, a character whom people looked up to and respected, as a means of encouraging her to go on her own journey and experience her own power and what that could accomplish in its own right.

Use of Inuit names was a key factor in the show. We wanted to get the Chameleons to embrace the culture as well as the story. Teaching them the names and meanings was part of this. In keeping with a number of folklore stories from Inuit culture, we left the Girl absent of a name. We wanted not her name, but her actions towards others to be what defined her. There is a strong message to girls within this too, that they have the power to seek out their own answers and be strong and smart. The Girl could be anyone, and we further represented this by using two Chameleons to portray her.

This term we were blown away by how passionately the Chameleons embraced the story and the culture. They were keen to learn and to transform both of these into a performance. Week after week they have made us laugh and we have seen some truly outstanding work from them in rehearsals. The performance last week was the perfect culmination of their efforts and was an absolute pleasure to watch.

Though our adventure has drawn to a close and we are retreating for some much needed rest (yeah, right) we are excited for the next term and the two- that's right, two- stories that we are aiming to tell. 'Theseus and the Minotaur' and 'The Odyssey,' are sure to be a whole heap of fun. Thanks to everyone who took part and supported us this term. It has been a blast. The legend of The Girl and the Fox will certainly live on for years to come.

For now, adios and enjoy some of the fantastic pictures from the show.

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