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Dive Right In

Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April are your chances to submerge yourself in a mystical adventure. Under the Sea is an incredible production, inspired by the Disney film (The Little Mermaid) and the Broadway musical, which means that it is bound to astound – performed by our very own Redbridge Drama Centre (RDC) Performing Arts School! Be sure to grab your ticket here.

The Little Mermaid was originally a Danish fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. In 1985 one of Disney´s directors, Ron Clements, became interested in adapting Andersen´s story.

It soon became one Disney’s most memorable films with breath-taking animation, catchy songs and hand drawn sketches breathing life into the fairy tale. From concept work to

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Little Mermaid concept art 1985-1998. Fun Fact: “The Little Mermaid” premiered in 1989 but the original idea began in 1930 – the idea was abandoned and the original drawings were kept away.

animation with extreme consideration going into the smallest details such as the flow of Ariel’s hair under water, which was inspired by actual footage of female astronaut Sally Ride’s hair in space.

The film told a sweet story that touched many of its viewers. It is one of many great productions from a company that has brought so much joy to its audience.

The Walt Disney Company established itself as a leader in the animation industry before diversifying into the live action film industry, creating films that have inspired generations of children never failing to bring that magic and life to classic stories.

Disney began production of their first feature-length animated film in 1934, and after three years of production Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in December 1937 and became the highest grossing film of that time. From there the successes kept on coming.

In 1955 was the start of Disneyland – with the idea being unveiled and then in July being opened to the public as an attraction that would be open to both children and adults. This was just the start, and in the following years expanded vastly; the attractions increasing as Disney churned out more and more movies, each a booming success with new and innovative animation methods, their live action films continuing to capture the essence of storytelling that Walt Disney aimed for.

lm1984 saw the beginning of the Eisner era of Disney. Michael Eisner was brought into the Disney family from Paramount as CEO and from there the movies that we know and love came into production. Fantastic films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) saw the start of a new era. A series of animations were then released starting with The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992) and The Lion King (1994). All of these films made their mark on the film industry and became huge successes, imprinting on the minds of that generation and leaving a long lasting impression on the film industry as a whole. That was just the start.

Now, in 2017 the latest film sensation is Beauty and the Beast; a spectacular film that brings to life the 1991 animation with a mix of live action and computer generated imagery and animation with an all-star cast, fusing songs from the Broadway edition which showcased the Beast and his spectacular singing voice in his own solo song. Whilst the film is clearly aimed at children and the younger generation, the majority of the audience were those that had first seen the animation edition and were eager to colmmpare the cartoon to the real deal. Many said that it was incredible to see their favourite stories brought from 2D to 3D.

After the Beauty and the Beast, experience another take on 2D to 3D; Come along on this under sea adventure, and experience the mystical depths of the ocean in a brand new light. Be sure to book your tickets to see Under the Sea at Redbridge Drama Centre in advance to avoid disappointment. Don’t miss out!

What are your top Disney films and what would you like to see as a performance at Redbridge Drama Centre? Let us know in the comments.

Post Author: Priya Devandran


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The Mad Hatter: an iconic character in popular culture

mad hatter blog

The character Mad Hatter originated in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The character, famous for wearing a large top hat and having an eccentric personality has appeared in media spanning more than a hundred years! Since the birth of the Mad Hatter as seen in Carroll’s novel, the character has appeared in movies, television shows, on stage and even video games!

The versatile personality of the character means that he has been cast as the leading man, funny sidekick or in some darker adaptations, a villain. Whether you love him or hate him, the Mad Hatter sure knows how to throw a memorable party! On Sunday 9 April, the Mad Hatter is coming to Redbridge to host one of his famous tea parties at Valentines Mansion. The day promises lots of activities for children, fun for the family and an afternoon to remember.

To find out more or to book, visit the Redbridge website.

Check out some memorable Mad Hatter performances below!

1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Novel, 1865)
Chapter Seven: A Mad Tea Party

Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he SAID was, ‘Why is a raven like a writing-desk?’

‘Come, we shall have some fun now!’ thought Alice. ‘I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles.–I believe I can guess that,’ she added aloud.

‘Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?’ said the March Hare.

‘Exactly so,’ said Alice.

‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the March Hare went on.

‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.’

‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter. ‘You might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see”!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the March Hare, ‘that “I like what I get” is the same thing as “I get what I like”!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that “I breathe when I sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I breathe”!’

‘It IS the same thing with you,’ said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn’t much.

2. Alice in Wonderland (Film, 1951)
Mad Hatter voiced by Ed Wynn

Most people associate the Mad Hatter with this eccentric animation and extremely distinct voice. This version was based off early illustration work and was hand drawn, frame by frame.

3. Alice (Mini Series, 2009)
Hatter portrayed by Andrew Lee Potts

This unique portrayal of the character depicts the Hatter as a sophisticated and smart (black market) businessman who ultimately becomes the hero and falls in love with Alice.

4. Alice in Wonderland (Film, 2010)
Mad Hatter portrayed by Johnny Depp

One of the most widely known portrayals, Johnny Depp takes this interpretation to a new level – with incredible makeup and special effects that astound!

5. Once Upon a Time (TV Series, 2012)
Jefferson/The Mad Hatter portrayed by Sebastian Stan

This version of the character possesses a magical hat that allows him to travel through portals, but gets trapped in a world with no magic and no way back home.

6. Gotham (TV Series, 2016)
Jervis Tetch portrayed by Benedict Samuel

This quirky version of the Mad Hatter is an infamous Batman villain, one not many know! In this series he arrives in Gotham in search of his sister Alice.

So which version of the Mad Hatter is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to book your tickets to our very own Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Visit the Redbridge website for more information.

Post Author: Nida Hussain