Well we did it! On Friday 24th June and Saturday 25th June 2022 Unscene Suffolk performed in front of a live audience for the first time in three years! The three shows took place at The Gallery Studio, Ipswich and were a great success.
Finding Ever After was a new offering from Unscene Suffolk, but it explored what the alternative lives could be of traditional fairy-tale and folklore character’s that we think we know. The setting is Bigman’s – a holiday camp in the Suffolk countryside run by Mr Bigman (the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk) and his wife Mrs Bigman. And he’s no longer angry and craving the blood of an Englishman, but rather he’s kind, generous and just wanting to live a quiet life. The wicked stepmother isn’t really wicked, she was just written that way to keep things interesting, so when she gets the chance to be herself she is a dancing queen, who just wants to support her daughters. Wolfie (The Big Bad Wolf) is now a staunch vegan and pen pals with the three little pigs who reside in Dubai where the building industry is booming. Jackie (Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk) is no longer lazy, but now works day and night as a chalet maid at the holiday camp.
These characters along with others help run Bigman’s, but something is amiss when Mr Bigman calls a staff meeting at the end of the summer season. The camp has to close as there’s no money left – probably because Mr Bigman just can’t help but be so generous to all his happy campers! So the workers decide to put on an end of season gala in order to raise the funds they need to open the next summer. However, it’s never going to run smooth when you have so many ego’s to accommodate and tensions rise as the characters begin to argue about the shows main act. The arrival of Rose, the Godmother, throws everything into chaos when she offers the easy way out to Jackie – magic! This has disastrous consequences as Rose wants something in return for helping the camp, she wants everyone back in their old stories so that she has something to do and people to help. The magic starts to take hold and everyone at the camp start to revert back to their old ways. But the characters don’t want to go back to the way things were, they like it here at Bigman’s! It’s up to them to save the day, they have to work as a team and not use magic to put things right. With the good old force of will power and teamwork they resist the magic and save Bigman’s, the place where they can just be themselves.
Peppered with songs throughout the action, this was the Unscene drama groups first collaboration with the Unscene Singers and it was wonderful to have everyone involved. With songs such as Sing Sing Sing, Yesterday, Mad World and Happy Together the show was a funny, feel-good musical play which explores the concept of being able to use that special power within us all and be the masters of own stories. A powerful message and one we think we can all relate to – whether magic is involved or not!
Unscene Suffolk is now taking a well deserved break over the summer, but we would like to take this opportunity to thank The Gallery Studio for such a warm welcome to their theatre and to everyone who helped us bring Finding Ever After to the stage. Thank you to our wonderful supporters and audience members that shared this experience with us. It really was magical.