Head of Drama, Charlie Youlten's, production finale was an action-packed was an action-packed jamboree around Wonderland. ‘Promenade performances’ have long been a favoured structure at Glenalmond and ‘Alice’ guests were treated to previously unseen views of the College as they followed actors around campus.
Showcased locations included the newly refurbished Goodacre’s kitchen, masquerading as the ‘Palace Kitchen’ where the famous jam tarts were baked, together with the Warden’s Garden, playing host to the Flower Show’s catwalk.
However, old favourites, the barrel-ceilinged Upper Library and Hammerbeam Dining Hall, were not ignored as the Queen of Hearts held court and the Mad Hatter presided over his reckless tea party. With three different outdoor locations on offer, we were lucky with absolutely glorious weather all week.
Next to the theatre gazebo, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (AKA double act of Henry R and Niall D) entertained in spectacular style, keeping the audience rapt with their guitar playing and singing before we promenaded to our first encounter with Alice (Imo F-L) and the Queen of Hearts (Jake C playing croquet).
The Queen was keen to assure the audience that he was indeed a ‘wo-man’ and the card-wearing guards ensured that there was no dissent on this matter! Soon Emma B took up the reigns as Alice as she, and the audience, wandered into a Flower Show, taken over by some pesky daisies upstaging all of the beautiful blooms on display.
Head Gardener, Abigail S simply could not cope with this disorder and so we were shooed into the Palace Kitchen under the watchful eye of Head Chef, Freyha K. The audience might have wanted to give the famous jam tarts a miss after they witnessed the kitchen chaos and our new Alice (Grace C) captured the audience’s horror with aplomb.
When the Kitchen Inspector awarded only 1/10 for hygiene, the audience made what they thought was a lucky escape, only to find themselves thrust back into the wrath of the Queen of Hearts (now played by Kath W), on a ‘missing jam tarts’ warpath.
There was much amusement as Ellen M’s Alice, Iona B’s Dormouse and Sacha T’s Mad Hatter were all put on trial. However, the audience was chuckling slightly less loudly when one of their own number was identified as the culprit.
No matter how beautiful the backdrop of the Upper Library, it was a relief to leave behind the austere court and make our way to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. With the missing jam tarts (luckily baked by Glenalmond’s very own kitchen staff and not by the Palace Kitchen!) and iced tea on offer, the audience tucked in and watched with glee as Matthew B’s Mad Hatter hosted the event with special guests, March Hare (Ariel M-S), and our final Alice of the evening, Tilly S.
It really was a fun-filled journey around College. Over 40 junior pupils worked with Mr Youlten and Miss Kirk, together with several Sixth Form assistant directors, make-up artists and stage managers.
A fitting way to end Charlie’s time in Glenalmond’s Wonderland!
All photographs on our Flickr page