Pandora (2021)

“You will all die. That much is certain … enjoy the show!”

In the wake of the 2020 coronavirus lockdowns, and gratefully receiving the Cultural Recovery Fund, we were keen to return to theatre with a bang. An anthology of stories, each told by a different 12-16 group, held together by our Wednesday 16+ group, was our solution – we were able to tell an epic and large story whilst ensuring we worked within current COVID-19 regulations.

Our first production meeting for Pandora occurred over Zoom, where all the tutors of the seven groups involved came together to work out the best way to put together a show. We had only six weeks before the date we’d booked in at BOAT, meaning an anthology show with each story developed by a different group quickly proved itself the best idea. With only six weeks to go until showtime, every group cracked on fast with researching the Greek myth they wanted to tell and devising their pieces!

One group telling an adaptation of the Trojan War

While the 12-16 groups developed myths, the Wednesday 16+ group took on the task of telling the overarching tale that unified them all. Pandora’s box and the evils released from within was decided to be the unifier, and the evils were portrayed through burlesque characterisation and a bombastic dance piece! With only six weeks to prepare, a week-long intensive of full day rehearsals was needed. The group worked tirelessly during this period, pulling together as an ensemble to support one another and complete the process.

Performers in the 16+ group developing a myth surrounding the evil of “Greed” – King Midas and his gold touch!

On show day, managing COVID-19 regulations was a difficult task. Only thirty actors could be on stage at once, meaning the transitions between stories had to be very carefully managed. A large marquee was set up in a nearby park for actors to use as a greenroom, as interior spaces wouldn’t be able to be safely used! Despite the difficulties, we managed to safely get through the rehearsal process and the performance, and performed a spectacular and fun return!

The full ensemble cast gathered and warming up for the show!

A full recording of Pandora is available to be watched on our YouTube!