Earnest RADA students drop flowers on stunning production.

In one of the last events we were able to attend before coronavirus forced us all to stay at home, we were invited to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s impressive theatre complex in Chenies Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1, to see a performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. As you’d rightly expect, the entire production was staged, performed, produced and directed by RADA Acting and Theatre Production students. And what a professional show it was!

For one of the highly imaginative scene changes, the production called for hundreds of flower heads to be dropped to the stage. That signalled the transition of the play from Algernon Moncrieff’s rooms in Piccadilly to the garden of the Manor House, Woolton, where the actress Harmony Rose-Bremner playing ‘Miss Prism’ was sat at a garden table – protected from the falling blooms by the butler (RADA graduate Jack Flammiger) holding a parasol.

Just like the entire production, the cleverly conceived effect was simply stunning. It drew appreciative gasps from the audience.

Knowing that they needed to stage this drop and that it was critical to the play, the RADA production team contacted us and persuaded us to part with an Electro Kabuki system on loan. It’s not something we can normally do but through a happy coincidence of timing, we did have a spare EK system with the correct components in stock. And we do like to be able to help those forging fresh careers in the Arts. Our reward was a special VIP invitation to the performances – something we gladly accepted.

The RADA crew rigged the Electro Kabuki system to the grid high above the stage in a configuration we call a ‘Cargo Net’ drop. It’s used to release a few, many, dozens or hundreds of items to the stage. A common application is for balloons, but we’ve seen EK Cargo Net drops rigged for other ‘assets’, including snowflakes and poppies. We think full flower heads might be a first.

The production of The Importance of Being Earnest was a resounding success. The only shame is that its run in RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre had to be cut short due to the escalating threat of coronavirus that was rapidly emerging at the time. The show (and the rest of the theatre complex) closed just two nights after our visit. But we were delighted to be able to enjoy the performance. We send our very best wishes for the future to all those involved at RADA.

You can see more photos from the production of The Importance of Being Earnest on the RADA Facebook page.


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