Well it’s been a while since our last themed show, what with everyone being away on holiday over the summer, so I’ve had plenty of time to indulge myself in my most epic set build yet.
I’ve been very involved in the Sky Atlantic tv series, Penny Dreadful recently – if you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. True gothic horror with Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and a host of other well known names.
Aaaanyway – there is a scene filmed in a Victorian tropical glass house that really caught my interest. The architecture is stunning, with all those glass curves and domes and tunnels. Then there is the undeniable beauty of the foliage and colours of exotic tropical plants and flowers. But beneath all that beauty, there is also a slightly sinister element. The delicate curtain of steamy mist that hangs in the air – the thick humid heat – the rich sweet scents.
In the scene from the programme, our heroine (or should that be anti-heroine?) is leaning over a delicate and beautiful flower, closing her eyes and inhaling its perfume as a beguiling Dorian Grey stands beside her and whispers in her ear.
“What does it say to you?”
“Touch me, with your finger, softly, with my scent on your neck. Open your lips and taste.” Vanessa, who seems to have forgotten herself, opens her eyes and stares at Dorian. He identifies the plant as deadly nightshade, a lethal plant.
“It seem so enticing and luxurious, but within, there’s a dark thing waiting…”
“Is it poisonous?” she asks him.
“Like all beautiful things, I hope so,” he replies.
I have paraphrased the actual dialogue a tad, but the overall atmosphere of hidden darkness just below the surface of all the delicate beauty was what appealed to me. So to that end, I threw myself into creating my own tropical Victorian butterfly house. And since I now have my nice big plot of mainland with a yummy big chunk of prims, I was able to go crazy. The build took over two months to complete and we finally managed to open it to our guests last weekend.
We hosted our Gothic Victoriana evening and between us, Sword and I (with some great suggestions from Lord Andy) put together a list of music that ranged from authentic Victorian, through period musical show tunes, but also with an undertone of darker music to balance all the grace and light.
As usual, all our guests made great efforts to dress the part and gave that extra touch of authenticity to the surroundings.
And as a final surprise at the end of the evening, the roof opened and we treated our guests to a stupendous fireworks display, with colours glittering off the glass walls and sparks flying up into the night sky…
The set will remain in place until the end of this month (October) so if you missed the show and would like to have a stroll around a lovely, relaxing tropical greenhouse, please feel free to pop by and visit – and don’t forget to sign the guest book!