As proud mother of the Sultan, I must admit to some sense of obligation when I ticked that box on the school notice that said “Yes, I have a sewing machine”. I had no idea that this would turn out to be one of the most creative and fun projects ever.
What began as a ‘happy to help out’ project became a fully fledged creative whirlwind during which our house was turned into some kind of exotic Arabian bazaar. The theme lent itself to the most gorgeous of fabrics, and so with free creative reign to design and create, I was able to happily fuel my obsession by purchasing second hand beaded saris, embroidered silks, georgettes and organzas to outfit a Sultan’s palace of sumptuously dressed courtiers.
Foraging expeditions to local op shops saw a velvet dressing gown turn into a magician’s cape and a lurex dress into a king’s robe. A friend’s mother’s costume jewellery collection became the accessories of princesses – and the treasure of Ali Baba and the forty thieves. A bit of masking tape and a hot glue gun transformed an old pair of his sister’s ballet flats into the Sultan’s golden curly toed shoes. (Sultan was duly instructed not to allow his feet to grow during the two months until Opening Night…)
From fishermen to palace guards, dancing girls to Aladdin’s magic carpet, and even a two humped camel – more than 40 of Scheherazade’s magical entourage were created right here. I loved every second of it.
Well done, Blockhouse Bay Primary school’s middle school, and inspirational teacher/director, Mrs Melody Casse. How she wrangled 200 eight and nine year olds to give such a polished and entertaining show was nothing short of miraculous. The Sultan was superb. And how cute is that camel?!