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A Mad Legacy

“It’s time, it’s time”

The billiard room at Honeywood Museum is currently an asylum of a waiting room, featuring the likes of a Queen (whose gender is in question), 2 plumbers (who should never touch any piping) and a large chicken popping himself in and out of the room whenever he pleases. Yes, it’s that time again friends, time for a SAVVY Show! There we are, receiving our 20 minute show call on opening night, a motley crew at the best of times, dressed in our most amazingly crazy costume attire, eagerly awaiting to go onstage (or in this case – outside)!


“Becoming Mad”

It all started in a cold rehearsal space towards the end of a long winter, nearly 4 months prior. Like with every show there are challenges – and a lot of hard work is needed from all. This process was slightly different as the cast were in skills training. We had to learn to literally throw ourselves into the roles we were playing, tumbling around, sword-fighting and learning our ‘Parry Fours’ and bonding as a company. The SAVVY Adult Company has really come into its own, although for me the madness truly started way back in 2002. Little did I know back then that following SAVVY down the rabbit hole would lead me to a “Wonderland” – and it’s a wonderland I never want to wake up from!


“Welcome to the tea party”

Imagine it, walking through an old gate and before the show even starts, having the chance to enter into a dream and to be bombarded with colour, fun and to discover all manor of things – including catching a glimpse of the Jabberwock. What is there not to like? Some of the cast are already there as the audience are encouraged to play, explore and to interact with our world, our stage – and even Mother Nature was on our side … just … and even if it did threaten to rain … the colours would still be just as bright. Every night was magical, the only way to describe it. Although perhaps one of my favourite moments happened when the Queen herself lost her head (literally) when her (his) wig came off during the opening night of the show – ha ha! Our wonderful Malcom just carried on with professionalism and pride!


Another personal highlight for me was being able to interact with the audience after every show. I felt a ‘mission accomplished’ moment when both children and adults wanted to take photos of us all in full costume and knowing from the smiles and comments, that they’d had the best time. There were of course familiar faces and best of all “Alice’s Mad Tea Party” was a SAVVY first for some too and their reactions were just the same – simply marvellous! I know the SAVVY family tree and fan-base would have grown some more branches from this.


“Hedgehog Press News!”

There was a real buzz around this show. Evident from the fact that we (once again) SOLD OUT, but in addition, I came to learn that during the performance week SAVVY Theatre Company’s facebook page alone received over 2,500 hits (a record for us). It was also one of our most successful show’s when it comes to inclusion, with a BSL interpreted performance and a cast that included people with learning disabilities and a wide range of ages. Like always, I am so proud and I feel blessed and lucky to be part of this crazy family, we call SAVVY. I’ve been a member for 13 years, so The Mad Hatter had to be the role for me! Although THIS chapter has now ended – and it’s been a blast – the SAVVY madness continues. Stay tuned for the next one…

by Joe Lawrence


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