This year’s Play in the Parque took place on Friday, July 5 and, once again, was a roaring success. Written and produced by Aljezur International School, the outdoor theatre performance has become a much-loved event in the Algarve calendar and is performed in the idyllic forest setting of Parque de Merendas, near Barão de São João.
‘The Rocky Horror History Show’ took the audience on a journey through time, meeting many colourful characters from the past while learning interesting facts about their lives.
The Majors family, played by Blue Hedges, Pepijn Jones, Amen McKee and Indigo Randisek, find themselves lost in the forest and, before they know what’s happening, they are transformed into contestants on The Rocky Horror History Show. The Majors kids believe “history is boring” but, as they meet more and more figures from the past, they begin to realise that history is not so dull after all.
Riff Raff and Magenta, brilliantly played by Year 10 students Noah O’Neill and Liza Mampel, are our hosts and interact hilariously with the historical “clues” as they are introduced to the contestants. Riff Raff is not so amused, however, when William Shakespeare (drama teacher Lindsay Gear) appears to be flirting outrageously with Magenta, and Magenta takes an instant dislike to the overbearing, coarse, cockney Cleopatra (history teacher Claire O’Neill) who insists on being called “Pat”.
Year 9 student Christian O’Brien is Leonardo da Vinci who brings the Mona Lisa (Patty Pigott) to life and Donald Trump (Stuart Blyth) makes an unexpected appearance to confess “something rather personal” to the audience.
The “wee horrors”, played by Year 7 and 8 students, entertained the crowd with their dancing, miming and mischief throughout the evening.
The music round provided some unforgettable performances from Mozart, Edith Piaf, Elvis, Dolly Parton and ABBA, while Henry the eighth was serenaded by the beheaded Anne Boleyn. General Custer made his customary appearance and Mary Queen of Scots was finally able to tell her cousin Queen Elizabeth what she thought of her.
The costumes, created by Susie Mayes, were magnificent and, with a cast of over 70 adults and children, the Play in the Parque is feelgood, family fun at its best.
The final message of this year’s show is that, provided they are not hurting anyone, everybody has the right to be who they want to be; we should all be proud to say, “I am what I am”.
By ALISON BOARDMAN