In the weeks that followed we were introduced to the evil Lady Morgana, a witch after Arthur’s throne who would do whatever it took to get rid of him, and Merlin the Magician, who sought to help the young King find the Holy Grail to save the kingdom. The Chameleons made their own scenes where Merlin transforms himself and Arthur into fish so that they can cross the river, only to be attacked by Big Bruce, the shark who guards the waters. Later on Arthur meets Lady Guinevere and faces Morgana’s toughest henchmen, the dreaded Black Knight.
For this project we wanted to push our Chameleon group further than we ever had before and the legend of the great King Arthur had all the elements we needed. Similar to "Theseus and the Minotaur", the tale of Arthur Pendragon provided a vast world of mythology- filled with magicians, noble knights and powerful dragons- for the group to explore each week.
As the term went on we built upon the story of a young boy from a simple squire to a proud hero. The group created their own versions of Arthur’s story based on each section of the narrative. The first week featured a huge tournament between famous knights. Working together the Chameleons re-enacted the battle between rivals Sir Kay and Sir Jay and how Arthur came to have the legendary sword Excalibur.
As the project went on we came to perhaps one of our most exciting tasks to date; creating a dragon for the final show. All of our Chameleons worked together to create their own dragon. It wasn’t easy; their dragons needed to move around the stage and needed to make a terrifying roar. In teams we made two dragons which then faced off with one another in a fierce showdown. Once the smoke had cleared we had discovered how we would make our dragon for the final performance.
Finally we saw Arthur coming face to face with Morgana and the ultimate showdown between her and Merlin. Through the use of masks the Chameleons created an epic magical duel, wherein the mages would attempt to win over the other by transforming into different animals.
"The Legend of King Arthur!"
Head facilitator- Jake Celecia.
Assistant facilitators- Ben Goulding, Madeline Allardice.
Volunteer facilitators- Grace O'Brien, Dylan Frankland.
Set/ Costume Designer- Kat Child
Stage Manager- James Bush
Special Thanks to the staff at Exeter Community Centre for having us every week and to the staff at the Phoenix Theatre for all the support with the performance. We would also like to thank Jon Primrose, the technical team and the Drama Department at Exeter University for their continued help and support of our work.
Once we had explored the legend from start to finish, we gave the Chameleons their characters and scripts for the final performance. For weeks the group worked on bringing the scenes to life and using what they had learned in previous weeks to expand the story even further. The end result was nothing like we expected; each and every member of the group brought a new angle to their characters and made them funny, likeable and made the story a whole lot more entertaining.
What had started as a story passed down through the ages became something new and exciting; all thanks to our marvellous cast. There is no doubt that without them it would have been a very different show.