For the theatre-goer, there is nothing quite like the anticipation that builds during the final week before the long-awaited theatrical performance. You have bought your ticket, read the synopsis, looked through the cast list, and begun to construct a mental picture of just what you expect when the lights go down and the curtain opens.
However, when said theatrical performance happens to be a radio play adaptation of a swashbuckling adventure that features one of the quirkiest and most memorable heroes of all time, the anticipation is inevitably paired with curiosity. How will the Players transport us to revolutionary France through the highs and lows of an unlikely hero’s adventure with only their voices and a team of Foley artists? Will theatrical blood be spilt when the guillotine falls, or are we safe from grim visuals of Madame Guillotine and her prey? Undeniably, the human imagination paired with an oral performance promises to conjure up far more graphic scenes than could ever be adequately portrayed in a traditionally staged telling, but what about a ballroom full of swirling dancers and ruthless intrigue or a heart-stopping ambush on a lonely seaside cliff? Will actors burst out from behind the Foley table and pursue each other through the hallways of Eliot College, or are we safe from such visual dramatics?
Having recently joined the Player’s for Sense and Sensibility, I am just as much in the dark regarding what to expect as any. I am on the metaphorical ‘other side of the curtain’ for this much-beloved tale, and my sole involvement will be when I join the throng of theatre goers on opening night as they stampede through the doors leading to Mungo’s, desperate that our curiosity be satisfied at long last. Regardless, I have no doubt that the Players will exceed expectations as they return to the age-old tradition of oral storytelling to masterfully transport us into the world of Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet.
The University of Kent Players will be writing weekly blog posts throughout the rehearsal and production period of The Scarlet Pimpernel. If you are interested in joining the University of Kent Players, finding out more about a specific role, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets for The Scarlet Pimpernel are on sale here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-scarlet-pimpernel-radio-play-by-the-university-of-kent-players-tickets-50396456157