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Under a Cardboard Sea

kid-friendly • play • imaginative • secrets • showbiz
  • Filmed Performance
  • YouTube
  • Bristol Old Vic
  • Free

In the summer of 2016 Bristol Old Vic Young Company presented a major new production in celebration of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th anniversary - Under A Cardboard Sea. Performed on the historic Theatre stage, it featured a cast of 100 young people aged 5-25. A year in the making, Under a Cardboard Sea took inspiration from the hundreds of child performers who performed throughout the 19th century. The initial seeds of the idea were sown during a research visit to the Theatre Collection at the University of Bristol, where writer Silva Semerciyan and Young Company Director Lisa Gregan stumbled upon Victorian theatre paintings which showed young children dressed up and filling the stage. They discovered that in Victorian times very poor children were often paid to put on costumes and stand on stage as set dressings. Under a Cardboard Sea takes place in a nameless city. Beneath a cloud of smog there is a theatre - a little kingdom of its own, where secrets are hidden and lies are told. Outside, the wheels of progress grind on whilst hundreds of children are vanish from the streets. Eventually they reappear on the stage with painted smiles on their faces but behind the curtain nothing is as it seems.

  • Age guidance
    7+
  • Duration
    1 hour 52 minutes

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