Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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BEHIND THE SCENES at The Boy in the Dress, the RSC.

Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB, UK
Imagine the opportunity to revisit one of my favourite productions of 2019 up close? I got the chance to do just that at the beautiful RSC to see what happens behind the scenes of their remarkable production of David Walliams best-selling novel, The Boy in the Dress. A stellar of a show for the entire family to enjoy! The buzz surrounding this show is still very much alive but its closing date, 8 March is on the horizon and you really don't want to miss out on this one! 

There's something wonderful about being able to witness all of the magic that goes on within the wings to create such an unforgettable show. Although I love watching the end product of the show, there's definitely something appealing about all of the work that goes on backstage. The teams there are the heart of the show and it's something I love being able to get the opportunity to do. Company Manager Robbie Cullen kickstarted our day at the RSC with a very thorough tour around the set and staging of The Boy in the Dress

The stage at The RSC is extremely vast and is packed to the brim with little snippets of true delight for the show, that everyone loves. I didn't realise the number of groves within the stage floor that enable the props to move fluidly around the space in what is a quite action-packed show. Looking above we could see the large disco balls lying in wait for their moment during the Disco Symphony number aka my favourite of the show.

There's so much more stage beyond what our eyes see too! There's not just set hidden behind a curtain at the back but there's some above and down below too - it's a very jampacked show with all of the best that RSC can offer in stage design. It's a remarkable stage to see up close with your very eyes. Robbie allowed us to get up and close with all of the props for The Boy in the Dress and of course, my favourite was the tub entitled 'snot!' what's a David Walliams story without snot?! The attention to detail in the props is remarkable, I was captivated by the forced perspective of the beach scene and the attention paid to the houses that glide across the stage quite a lot in the show. Standing on the stage of The RSC stage looking out towards the audience is also quite something alone - it really took me back to the days where I would perform on stage and I remember that buzz. If only they needed a swing for the show - I would have stepped in immediately! 

READ MORE: Interview with Natasha Lewis, The Boy in the Dress

Whilst looking around the backstage area where we could get up close with some of the costumes for the show - the sparkly ones were my favourite. There is also quick-change areas situated around the back of the stall areas and an area directly for the child playing Dennis. It's admirable to understand how demanding this show is for a young performer - and how well they execute their responsibility as the leading character in The Boy in the Dress. Because a show like The Boy in the Dress is full of life - some of the props are also situated in little areas around the back of the stalls. They hide the magic well! 

We also got the opportunity to meet the true star of the show - Oddbod, the farting dog. His puppeteer Ben Thompson really brings this unforgettable character to life. It's hard to remember that this dog is, in fact, a puppet and isn't real. Ben gave us a fantastic insight into how he brings Oddbod to life and his role as a puppeteer which is really interesting!

After our behind the scenes tour, we headed up to the theatre's Rooftop Restaurant for a pre-theatre meal. The Rooftop Restaurant is situated on the third floor of the floor, serving up the very best of British food in relaxed and stylish surroundings with stunning views overlooking Stratford-upon-Avon. We tucked into a delicious cocktail and a Sunday lunch - the roast beef was divine and the portion sizes were incredible! Probably one of the best meals I've ever had in a theatre restaurant! I've not stopped thinking about this food since!

It wasn't long before we were heading down to the theatre to take our seats in the stall for a performance of The Boy in the Dress. A rumour was circulating that Mr Walliams was in fact in the theatre that day and fortunately for us he sat behind us! I heard him tap his feet along to the beat of the catchy soundtrack and laugh out loud at some of the gags - but particularly at the Headmaster played by Forbes Masson who is spectacular in his role! 

Knowing some of what happens backstage to capture the magic of this story made for an overall experience like none other this time around. I fell in love with Dennis' story even more and found myself memorising the music as much as possible whilst I await the possibility of a soundtrack (please!). I still had Is There Anything More Beautiful Than Lisa James? for days after, even now that I'm writing this post and still want Disco Symphony to be something I listen to every day because it really lifts my spirit. 

You can read my review of the show here.

You've not got long left to catch The Boy in the Dress at The Rsc, it closes 8 March. Book your tickets through the theatre's website here


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