The Greek Myth Pygmalion

2013-03-18_13-52-00_4722013-03-14_16-52-48_612013-03-19_16-58-52_3672013-03-14_16-52-26_912013-03-19_16-58-42_5512013-03-15_14-51-18_3112013-03-15_14-51-04_6712013-03-12_16-41-31_5022013-03-13_15-43-03_9012013-03-14_16-51-33_7312013-03-14_16-51-49_7032013-03-14_16-52-09_4632013-03-12_12-37-10_822013-03-12_12-37-20_9462013-03-12_12-37-33_4612013-03-11_14-53-13_551

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Cardboard man

Before any puppet is made in its characteristics, you first create a moveable figure made from card. This was so that you can get to understand how they can move, how you actually want it to move and also working out the correct proportions.

Using card, I got eight pieces and folded them together, each seperately. Then using masking tape, fixed each individual piece for the different aspects of the legs and arms. To create the joints I used gaffa-tape. I had to make sure that there is a slight gap between the piece but join each little bit of gaffa tightly together. This was the same for both the arms and leg joints.

To create the body, I got two bits of card, joined them together but made sure they were slightly apart towards the bottom. We then joined the legs, similarly to the joints and made sure they were slightly apart and were firmly tight together.

To create the joint for the arms, I used quite a bit of tape and had to wrap it around the joints.

I created the head using a number of scrunched up pieces of newspaper, always making sure I have the head shape. The nose is one of the most important aspects as it points to exactly what you are facing whereas the eyes are constantly moving position. I attached it onto a neck piece, the neck is placed on the body and attached similarly to how the joints were created.

First week of Puppetry

During the past week we have been working with Olly, creating and animating puppets using found objects.

The first day began by Olly talking a bit about his work, and his background. He also showed us a number of different puppets he has created and the detail in which he moves uses them that they actually feel like they have their own real personalities. The materials he uses are found objects. He spoke to us and said that the more complex the design, the easier it is to maneuver whereas, the simplist creation takes the longest time.

We started by playing around with bin liners, working out the movements of the materials but not actually giving it a character yet. We split into 3 groups and had to do a number of tasks, these included a movement with everyone within the group and your own seperate one. It was really fun but challenging at the same time as you were constantly, in the back of your mind, thinking about character.

During the afternoon, we all spent outside and working closely with our jumpers. Similarly to the bin liners, we had to work out how the material moved, how it drapes, how it forms, what it looks like if you chuck it in the air and falls to the ground. The jumper I was using wasn’t particularly lightweight but it drapes to the ground elegantly. We had to work out a focus point within the material, the focus point always leads. on a person everything follows the head and in particular the nose. Once we’ve got the focus point, we had to start adding the character. We had to stand close to the character, with all focus on it so that it looks as realistic as possible. It’s like when you look at something before picking it up, that’s what we made the puppet do. We also had to test out our breathing, then link that to the puppet so that the puppet breathes.

Puppets themselves can’t think, but we percieve it to think through the movement to show clarity. One of the exercises we did to show this was by making the puppet follow your finger and react to it, add the emotions of how a real person would feel but also working out the spacial differences, how they would react if you become too close. To work out the movement, to make it realistic we have to make the puppet move then move ourselves, never at the same time as you want all the focus on the puppet. we had a few more exercises moving the puppets, having one puppet follow the other, one part when they are meant to follow and not drift off and vice versa. I struggled to make the movement as there were so many different components you have to constantly think about.

After working with the jumpers, we split into groups and found objects within the area, we had to keep note of all the key details and create a narrative with all the characters. each puppet could only make one sound. it was really fun to do as you can make a puppet from any object. It was fun and amuzing at the same time as you never know how things will react unless you play around with it.

The second day… We were given a task in groups where we had to create 2 main characters, could only use sound and have no voices. The brief was that one of the puppets is a puppet made from an object that is characterised but doesnt actually have any changes to it. The other character is created from the same object but has been changed in one way or another. Both characters are from 2 different worlds and have coincidently come together by chance. We have to be aware of where the audience would be so that you are not blocking.

The narrative my group came up with is that one of the characters jumped from a parellel universe and comes across a very similar object but wonders why it isn’t moving. It falls in love with the other character but another annoying character jumps into the midst and wouldn’t leave him alone…

We created the characters using an old canister, which we cut in half to make 2 objects. As it was sharp, we had to attach a rubber binding for safety. We also found an old metal which responded to eyes. The annoying character was made from card and wire, in a way it resembled a wasp/bee. After building the puppets, we set to work on adding the character. It was really funny to watch especially as the bee is eaten, the sudden crunch that kept happening when they landed on it funny.

The Third day… We showed our narrative to the rest of the group and also olly, We studied each aspect carefully, breaking it up piece by piece. It was really interesting on how he took on our characters and worked through the narrative to make it so the object that the object we thought that just stayed still also had a character. But it also made you think how you would react in that particular situation so that you can show it through the object.

Last few days at Glypt

5th December

Today I worked on things needed to be created for the Snow Queen. With the sheets of see-through plastic, I covered in glittery paint and then cut them into squares, rectangles and triangles. I made sure that I made them into different sizes so that there would be a contrast and they don’t flow in an exact pattern.

squared pieces

Close -up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I finished cutting it all out, on each piece there needed to be a number of different sized snowflakes. I know that Jane wanted to do it more as a scribble rather than just straight lines but she wanted them done in a certain way. I practised a few times on a sheet of paper and then recreated them onto the plastic. At first I started to draw on the painted side but found that it didn’t work as well as I’d have hoped therefore, I started to draw them on the smoother side as it took to the material better. I used a special pen that had paint but it kept running out so I had to replace it with another pen till that faded then go back to the original. It was so much fun doing each one but also very time consuming…I found it took a lot longer to do than I thought it would. After completing each sheet, I then put a hole punch through each corner of each as the majority of them would be strung together and hung up across the space.

Practise Run

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

After completing the snowflakes, I went on to start cutting out broken glass shapes which would be used to go across the floor of the theatre. The broken glass is made from a mirrored plastic sheet, which was then stuck using spray mount onto dance floor material. I cut out a number of triangles, all different sizes and different shapes as when a piece of glass smashes, they won’t come out all perfect and equal.

Broken mirror

Broken Mirror Broken Mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6th December

Today we focused mainly on decorating the Gingerbread house for ‘Hansel and Gretel’ , we found a few images of sweets to use on the box including bourbons, lollipops, jammie dodgers etc . We drew out an outline straight onto the box filling every aspect full of candy and biscuits and then painted the whole thing. It was very time consuming but good fun. We had to make sure that the whole thing was finished that day as the show that we are making it for is the next day.

outline

Outline

Outline

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

At about 2, we met the actor who is playing the snow queen, to show her the first stages of the costume she’ll be wearing. We asked her to try the costume on so that we knew it fitted and thankfully did.

when we finished the gingerbread house, I went straight onto working for ‘the snow queen’ I carried on cutting out the broken mirror shapes for the floor and then when I finished that, started joining together all of the snowflakes.

snowflakes and broken mirror

7th December

Today was my last day at Glypt. I carried on with the snowflakes but had to repeat it a number of times as I didn’t do it the way that Jane would have liked, they didn’t hang in the right way. The pieces I didn’t join together, I added string to one side so that they can be singly hung up across the space.

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

After completing the snowflakes, me and Amy set to work covering the reindeer antlers we bought the previous day. We covered the head piece using fur. We also went shopping to get white leggings and a white long sleeve top for the actor to wear underneath the snow queen costume. When we did that, we met with the actor and asked her to try on the shoulder piece that Amy made so that she can cut down the fabric that drapes to the ground. After, we set to work creating and finishing the costume. We used the tag gun to attach all of the fabric together rather than pinning and sewing it together as that would have taken too long to make and we had to finish it by the end of the day.

Snow Queen Costume

Snow Queen Costume

Snow Queen Costume

Snow Queen Costume

Snow Queen Costume

I also made a crown, cutting triangles out of see-through plastic, then covering it in cling film to give an icy effect. I then attached it to some fabric then metallic silver card to add strength and so it wouldn’t flap forwards.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Glypt, I have learnt so much about how much work goes into individual shows and also what it is like to do work for more than one show at the same time.

Crown

Triangles for the crown

Gingerbread house and the Snow Queen

3rd December

I am back at GLYPT working on two shows for young children. One of the shows is ‘Hansel and Gretel’, designing and making for a fun travel bus for autistic children and I will also be working on the Christmas show, ‘The Snow Queen’.

The majority of the day consisted of making a full scale gingerbread house so that children can go inside and collect sweets. The house was made fully out of card from old packaging. Working on the shows involves me and one other person who is on placement there. We drew the house to scale and working out the height with roof and the scale without the roof, width, Thickness and shape of the house.  HWR: 1m50, H: 1m, W:1m20, Th: 80

Within the card there were extra pieces which we found handy to be corners (right angle triangles) and the top of the roof. When we finished drawing it out, we started to measure the card and cut it so that the measurements were accurate. We attached the pieces together using gaffer-tape and glue gun, gaffering one side, applying the glue to the join and then gaffering the other side. We started to create the back first and then the front as the front had a door. The measurement for the door (height) we decided would be 80.

Front and back of the houseBack of the house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To make the door and front of the house, we used 3 thin pieces of card, cut the middle piece of card into the door making sure it was the right size we wanted it at. Using the pieces that were cut off, we attached them to the other 2 pieces of card so that it looks like a door frame. After completing the front and back we made the sides, which went up to the full length (1m50). we attached 3 pieces of card together, measured 1m, made a pencil line, found the centre at the top (50) and made a triangle before cutting it out for the roof.

layed out on theatre floor

After making all the aspects of the house (not including the roof) we laid it out in order on the theatre floor before attaching it together. To attach it, we did it all in stages. We put the back and left side of the house together and then the front and right side. We used the right hand triangles to keep the corners straight, attaching them using the glue gun. I found attaching just one aspect of the house together a lot easier than when we attached the whole thing together. We put glue up the sides and then gaffer for extra security.

front and side

both sides together

back view

Front View

Inside

Joined together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the house was made up of a number of pieces, it was very flimsy, so we stuck down small rectangles and shapes onto it to make it stronger and so it wouldn’t wobble.

When we completed joining it together, we found that it would be very difficult to paint a white coat onto the black gaffer therefore, I used this paper over the top which has a glue side so when you wet it, the glue flows and sticks. This is helpful as it is a better material to paint over even if it isn’t particularly nice to work with.

covering

side

4th December

Today we worked again on the gingerbread house, I finished adding the paper to the outside of the house and then we built the roof to go over the top. We created the roof using the same process as the day before. We attached 2 and a half pieces of card together for each side, added strengtheners and attached the pieces that looked perfect for the top of the roof. As the top aspects were more at right angles, we did have to change the shape at the top of the house slightly so that it fitted.

Front view

side

back

When completing that aspect, we set to work on painting the piece, the inside was painted black as we didn’t want it to be seen and on the outside white as a base coat before decorating/painting it properly. It was so funny trying to paint the inside as I had to crawl into the house as it is too high to step over and had to be extra careful not to kneel in the paint or stumble or even brush my back into the corners and sides.

black paint

inside

corner

white coat

close-up of roof

After finishing the base coat and inner painting for the Gingerbread house, We started work on the Snow Queen…and the Snow Queens costume. Jane found a garment (ruff) to add as the base and then using a range of different materials, we then played around to create different shapes and allowed the materials float around. The costume itself is also a part of the scenery so we needed to figure out the most effective way to make that possible. Jane quite liked the idea of still having part of the ruff shown, therefore, using the top material, I made a circular shape to expose what was underneath; this I found gives a stronger effect and flows well as a piece.

There will also be shapes hanging down from the dress (miniature icicles) to add a bit more depth to it.

Snow Queen costume

Snow Queen Costume

detail of icy material

development

development

exposure

back

After coming to a stop on the costume for the time being, I started to work on some snow flake shapes. Using a see-through plastic material, I painted over it using some Glitter paint then using my fingers created shapes within. We created a number of great big sheets of this so that they can be then cut out into geometrical shapes and be hung around the room to look a bit like pretty shards of ice within the set and also created the atmosphere we wanted for the piece. At first I wasn’t too sure on the shapes she wanted but after a bit of a discussion and practise, I began to understand and got the hang of it. I also found that I had to do it in sections as the paint dries very quickly.

Icicles

Icicles

Icicles

Icicles

Icicles

icicles

Last tech, dress rehearsal, 1st preview, final day and 2nd preview

29th November

Today was the final tech rehearsal that happened in the morning and then dress rehearsal during the afternoon.

During the morning when I first arrived at the theatre, I set to work carrying on shredding paper that would be used within the show for the blossom in the first story and for the confetti for the last story so that they had enough for the dress rehearsal but also the first performance.

On a number of occasions I also had to run to wardrobe to collect items Anna wanted so that the costumes helped more with the actions needing to be carried out. This included a plastic bag to put blood in and a few safety pins.

Anna also wanted me to help Kim during the morning by working on bits still needing to be looked into and made ready for the performance. One of the things she asked me to do was build up a number of Ikea lamps that would be placed in the quick change areas we created around the theatre to add a bit of a spotlight on the surroundings.

In the afternoon there was a dress rehearsal and full run of the show. It was amazing to see it all put together without a number of stops and starts. This was the chance for people who are working on it to watch it in full flow. Anna wanted me to take a number of photographs of the show to be able to document it. They did have a professional photographer but they mainly photograph the actors and do close ups whereas we wanted to get them of the set as well and how everything looks put together.

Dress Rehearsal

Dress Rehearsal

Between the shows I helped the stage managers pre set for the first performance (preview) by putting everything back to their original places, placing props in certain areas around the theatre into cabinets so they can be quickly taken on through the right doors.

In the evening I watched the first preview of the show. It was interesting to see it on show with an audience, you sensed more of the emotions and saw how they responded to the piece itself. It was also the first chance I got to see it without running in and out or changing positions of seating so I got to see everything that happens without missing aspects.

30th November

Today was my final day at working for The Royal Exchange. For the majority of the day I was working in the production wardrobe department by helping with anything that is needed to be done.

I began by sorting out a rail, placing a number of costumes that were hidden in bags so that they can be seen for Anna to look through. I also helped by photocopying details of the children including age, size, shoe measurements. This is so that the children could have a look at it. When completing that I went into the changing rooms to put them up. Boys on one side, girls on another. I arranged it in age order, but it also went in certain groups such as babies, medium children and large children. I really struggled to pin them to the board as the material on the board is firmly stretched out, I was using costume pins and couldn’t get the technique right. Sometimes it worked…sometimes it didn’t, which was stressful.

When completing that, I was set to work on breaking down the costumes,  All of them for the children who play the ‘Silver Rats’. I found I really wasn’t use to standing still for such a long time therefore, for time to time I was just gently toe tapping from side to side which, Julia (who has been working on the breaking down for the whole show) found amusing.

I loved breaking down, it felt very therapeutic but hard at the same time as you never know exactly how far to take it. I worked on a number of pieces, then showed them to the supervisor who was very happy with my work and told me whether I needed to add anything to it or not.

Breaking Down

Breaking Down

Breaking Down

Breaking Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During a break, I went around all the the Quick change areas to take photographs of what we did to make them a part of the feel of the show. The actors started to get ready upstairs and then finish getting ready in these areas so the audience are seeing them before the show really begins.

Quick Change

Quick Change

Quick Change

Quick Change

Quick Change

Quick Change

Quick Change

Quick Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening I watched another preview of the show, it was really interesting to watch as I got to see what they have developed from the previous evening. The audiences response was amazing, they really went with the show and the majority of the comments I overheard were very positive.

After every performance during the preview, all of the heads of department, the Director and Designer, Stage Managers come together to discuss what went well for that performance from the previous night, what needed to be worked on further and looked into for the next performance, the audience capacity, and also some of the audiences responses. It was really interesting as I didn’t get chance to sit into one of these meetings before that evening. The amount of detail everyone goes into to make the show even better for the audience is incredible.

Working on ‘Rats Tales’ has been unbelievable and a truly fantastic opportunity as I got to see how working on a large scale production differentiates from a small scale production, the detail everyone goes into and also how the theatre works in general.

Tech Rehearsals and making props

Over the past 3 days I have been working closely with Anna on the Tech rehearsal, the tech began at 6pm on Monday.

26th November

Before the Tech rehearsal began, I have been working with Kim who is part of the production team. We spent the day making props for the pre set, we filled bottles with items such as spiders, tongues, trolls eggs, moss, leeches, witches food and so on. We sprayed inside the bottles to add a cob web texture so that it would look old and untouched. We also glued on the labels before adding them into the Quick-Change areas. It was so much fun and felt like we were running a little pharmacy business due to what we had to create. The dressers who work on the quick changes within the show all had a box to put items like safety pins, needles and thread in just in case they have to quickly mend costumes or brush off dirt. These boxes however, the designer found were too modern and didn’t fit in with the look of the quick change areas, therefore we created something that looked old and broken down. We did this by changing the labels. I thought it would be interesting as each area is a different colour therefore, as well as just putting the colours on the labels for the areas…I decided to name them as well. These include: ‘Yellow Mucus Quick Change’, ‘Green Ogre Quick Change’, ‘Bluebottle Quick Change’ and ‘Blood Red Quick Change’. We also had to change the labels that mention about not touching the wigs so that they also went with the feel of the quick change areas.

Jars- Quick ChangeJars- Quick Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the day, I was working on the tech from 6 till 9. I really love watching it all come together including costumes, actions, set, lighting and sound. The tech is the first time where the actors try out the full costumes therefore, we need to check whether they are moveable and what needs to be worked on. It is also the time where we work out what props are still needed, whether they need alternatives just in case some of the props didn’t work . What Anna wanted me to do was watch the tech and write notes for her, notes that she found needed to be worked on so that she could mention it to all the different departments straight after the tech that day. This is also so that they can look into it and change ready for the next day and tech session.

27th November

Today I have been working from 9:45 till 21:00. Before the tech began, I had to mention to stage management that the moon still hadn’t been put up into the rig, it needed to be done as soon as possible as Anna wanted to see how it looked within the whole space.

The day was very busy. I had to repeatedly run up and down the stairs to collect a few buttons which had snapped off one of the costumes that one of the actors asked for, I also had to write notes again for Anna. I re-made one of the props needed for the last part of the scene before the interval, but was unsure whether that was correct or not. Anna asked me also to redo a prop but was unsure particularly how she wanted me to go about it.

I made a number of notes on the flooring of the set as they were repeatedly loosening and coming up which can be a trip hazard.

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal- Testing trees

Tech Rehearsal

 Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal- Rig

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28th November

Today,  before the tech began , Anna asked me to run to stage management to mention about a few things that came up when showing notes the previous night as she wanted to see them changed for the tech. These included weighing down a trunk so that it wouldn’t topple over when opened to remove items. Also, for each story, they have an item circled on stage in chalk, after or before each story, they rub out the circle and use the item. Anna wanted a small damp sponge to put in the pockets of the costumes to make sure it is definitely rubbed out.

I was also asked to sit in different places of the theatre, the ground floor seating, middle and upper seating. She asked me to do this to check side lines for aspects of the set, whether you can see well enough or whether things are obstructing the view for the audience, then mention it if that is the case.

I was asked to create blossom out of tissue paper,  a different material to what they were using during the rehearsal as Anna wasn’t happy with how it looked and the movement it created; It didn’t float down gradually. During the lunch break, after I had a short break, I went out to buy tissue paper and was working on it through the tech. When I finished creating a small amount, we tested it and found it was exactly what she wanted and showed it to the director.

blossom

There were a few times where I was constantly running up and down backstage to wardrobe to collect items that were desperately needed for that particular scene, so that they can see how it looks within the piece but also to use it as part of the actions. I also had to take up one of the costumes so that it could be altered to make the costume easily removable in the quick change.

It is really interesting to see how all the departments within a big theatre come together. The lighting rig is very different to what I have come across before. They set the lights but don’t have to focus by hand, it is done electronically. After programming it to look onto one key part of the show, they move it to another aspect that uses the same type of light but you won’t need to put more lights into the rig.

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal- wooden dress

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

Tech Rehearsal

A day in the Scenic Workshop, working on props and watching a full run

22nd November

Today I spent a full day within the workshop helping to create an aspect of the set. At the beginning of the day they had a meeting with one of the actors to test an aspect of the set, this was for the Dolls house story. They had to make sure she felt comfortable and could open it up easily using a hand and foot. They had to attach two pieces of fabric at the right height for her to reach as she sits in the dolls house and has to open it up from the inside and appear lying down.

I was helping with all the paint work, adding colour to the smaller pieces used within the set and specifically the Dolls house. I did the paint work for the dolls size table and chairs. It was so much fun and I felt very relaxed within that environment. As I had to wait for the paint to dry, I worked round a number of aspects needing to be done so that I was making use of my time, these included the bookshelves and chest of drawers. I used a mixture of different instruments to add the paint including spray paint, a normal brush and also had a snap at using a spray gun. The Spray gun I found was rather tricky as you didn’t want it to clump together but just spread evenly within the surface, I was told to do small aspects at a time, leave it to dry and then go onto the next little bit. The spray paint again was another challenge, trying to give an even coat around rather than darker in one aspect more than the other. what I had to spray paint was the frames that would be hung up in the house.

painting miniature table and chairs

spray painting frames

Miniature Bookshelves

Gold frames

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I was also out a number of times shopping for materials that were desperately needed. The materials were originally ordered by Anna from Germany, but unfortunately hadn’t arrived in time. As they needed that specific material before they could progress further with the build and were running out of time to finish making it, I had to go out and buy it. On Tuesday, me and Anna did go looking for the material just in case the order didn’t come; so I knew which one to buy that she preferred the most. As I didn’t get enough, I had to go out and get extra. This wasn’t a problem as I knew there was a chance we hadn’t enough. This was interesting as I got the chance to explore Manchester a bit more and learn my bearings. As explained before from Monday,  The Royal Exchange is really close to a  large shopping centre. The shopping centre is called the ‘Arndale’, everybody I have spoken to have always got lost within and never went out the same exit they went in at.

After painting a number of aspects of the scenery, I added a number of different finishes including dry brush and gloss.

When I did the gloss for an aspect of the scenery, I had to make sure the colour I just painted was completely dry otherwise, I found it would rub off. Originally I was doing a matt finish using the spray gun but after talking to the scenic I was working with that day, he thought a gloss finish would work better as it would resemble what that piece would actually look like.

Gloss finish on table and chairs

Gloss finish

Gloss finish

 

 

 

I dry brushed another aspect of the scenery, the bookshelves. I waited for the original finish of brown to finish drying then mixing yellow ochre with a small amount of brown, I gently brushed it over the surface. Whilst doing this I made sure that the majority of the paint was off the brush. It gave a lovely old and aged effect. I repeated this process for another aspect of scenery as well, the chest of drawers.

Dry Brush

Dry Brush

Dry Brush

23rd November

Today I have been working with the production team to help create props and specifically working on the moon. The moon will be hung on the rig, along with a number of lit jars that resemble the stars. We asked before making it whether it would be safe to cover the light in paper. They said that the light bulb itself is covered in an Acrylic lamp shade, therefore doesn’t get very hot and will be perfectly safe. I also went out buying the specific paper Anna chose needed to create it. Anna had told me a technique so that each aspect of the paper I had to attach together flows into each join and so that there aren’t any folds. She told me to wet the corners or the area that would have been folded to bend round it, tear it off then re-join. There will be a difference but would look more like the craters.

papermache the moon

papermache the moon

papermache the moon

moon with light

moon with light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got the chance to watch a full run of the show so that I can understand how they linked it altogether. The ushers also went to watch the run through so that they knew when to open and close the doors and give clearance to the stage managers and actors. Due to the type of show it is, they would need to know when the actors go on and off as they use the whole space, including running round the outside of the theatre.

Within the run, they still use some of the rehearsal props as the props that will be used within the piece are still being created and modified. The actors still aren’t in full costume either, but do have some aspects to show the different characters they play.

There are a number of children involved within the piece, 30 cast within one performance and altogether 90 children. They are only allowed to do a certain amount of hours a week in comparison to adults working throughout. They are also licensed to do a number of hours a day and can’t go over. The children weren’t there for the run so the Director and the Associate Director (in charge of children) were understudying for them. This was to help the adult cast know what the children will be doing and have someone to act with.

It was amazing to watch and see how the Director linked each aspect together and also how she used the piece to disguise the number of scene changes through music and actions. They wanted me to watch the run so that I had an idea of how it works together as next week is the tech run, so if they ask me to collect certain props or costumes, I will know what they are for and when in the production it is needed.

1st and 2nd day at The Royal Exchange

20th November

I met Anna at 9:50 am at the stage doors to The Royal Exchange ready for her appointment at 10 at the workshop nearby, the workshop is where the set she has designed for the show is being built. Whilst on the way to the workshop, she went through a few details of the show with me, the basic storyline and how she wanted it to look. She also explained how both she and the writer picked out the stories they wanted to use, some were original fairytales and some were Carol Ann Duffy’s own fairytales. The age group they are aiming for are mainly adults and older children as the fairytales are dark and unsuitable for younger children.

When we arrived at the workshop, I was introduced to the supervisor and was shown a number of different aspects they were constructing. The set itself was amazing and very detailed. There are a few aspects that are very beautiful and intricate. It was really interesting to see how they talked through each aspect of the set, explaining what they needed Anna to look into, whilst this was occurring, I had to keep a note as a reminder of things Anna has to look into for the set to progress. Also to go through the specific details to make the set work with the actors movements and what they need to improve on to get the exact details in which Anna is wanting.

Set flooring within the workshop

Dolls House

Dolls House

Rats

When we got back to the theatre, I was introduced to the stage management team and also the wardrobe department, the wardrobe department was also the place I used as a base. I was able to go and watch a fitting which was really interesting, seeing how they talk through the costume, whether they need to adjust aspects so that it is more fitted but still easily moveable, to add little bits of detail they hadn’t thought of or come across before. Whilst in the wardrobe I started to help with some small aspects of the costumes, specifically the troll and troll baby’s hands and feet. These aspects also link in a bit with the props. I had a lesson in how to glue properly using a specific type of glue, as nails were needed to be attached. I also started to dye a tiny bit of fabric so that it flows with the rest of the piece.

Anna gave me a tour of the building itself, it is amazing to look at. The theatre is literally a structure within a structure. The theatre is constructed of steel poles and glass. From the outside you can see into the auditorium. The space is in the round, with seating on the ground level and also a second and third tier.

I got the chance to meet the director of the show, Melly Still and sit into part of the rehearsals, which was very interesting and enjoyable to watch. I found it fascinating how the director and actors come together, talking about how they can make their performance stronger and to really get into the characters and emotions. During this process, the designer could work out little details which would be needed for the sets and costumes to help flow with the actions the actors are making. How they enter and exit the stage,  use the space, work with props but also specific things they desperately needed that the actors have asked for.

We also went to the production team who wanted to speak to Anna about the props being created, whether she was happy with them, looking into the store to decide what would be used and what still needed to be built or bought ready for the show which opens next week.

21st November

Today I carried on quite a bit within the wardrobe department to help with aspects of the costumes, carrying on from where I left of the day before with the glueing of nails (trolls feet and hands). I also cut out a number of strips, which will be used to attach long wooden sticks to a wooden corset. I had to go shopping for garden tools, to cut down the wood so that it would be easier and quicker to work on, trying to use a blunt junior-hacksaw became a bit of a hassle.

drawing out strips for the wooden dress

I was also sewing some aspects of material together but found the way they wanted it to bend was very difficult as it didn’t flow in that way, I also added buttons. However, due to the type of material I was using, I had to reinforce it with a stronger material so that a hole wouldn’t be created. What they asked me to create was a shank (which is the space between the fabric and the button). To create the shank, I had to loosely sew on the button but make sure it was still quite close to the material. I then used extra thread to wrap around the sewn thread and then tie it off when it was strong enough.

Trolls feet

I got the chance to watch a bit more of the rehearsals, I saw how they go through each scene step by step so that they get the actions correct and movement in sync with the music. There was then a full run through afterwards, just of that scene with hardly any stops to see it with everything in place.

On Friday, I will be working with the production team as well as the costume department; I will be creating things for a pre- set, which is surrounding the outside of the theatre, the pre-set are the ‘Quick- Change’ areas surrounding every corner of the theatre so that when the audience get ready to go inside, they’ll be able to go round and see inside and watch the actors putting on make-up and getting ready.  Anna gave me a task to start researching into the different labels you can find within the period the play is partly set in but also the typography that would be interesting and intricate to use. She wanted these to put onto jars, which I will be filling to put into the ‘Quick-Change’ areas.

Throughout the past two days, Anna has also shown me images of her inspiration and research for the production. How she imagines things to look, the textures she wanted to create and specific details to incorporate. Her costumes designs, are very detailed and show exactly how she imagines the characters to look like and that also links in with their personalities. They are created on Photoshop and involves a mixture of photo-manipulation and drawing.  As I struggle at times with drawing out my designs to make them look the way I would see them in my head, it was interesting to see another way which is strong and shows other people how she imagines things to look like, even if it is time consuming to do. I also got the chance to look at the model box she created (photographs) so I can see how it would all come together in the end.

1st Day in Manchester, Trial run to find the Exchange.

I arrived in Manchester yesterday to a lovely welcoming by my Grandparents. So that I knew where I was going for when I start at the theatre, I decided to do a trial run into Manchester. It was very easy to find, just a 15-20 minute walk straight up from the station. The theatre itself is right next to a large shopping centre, The Arndale, which is very stunning to look at.

As I have to go to the stage door when I start, we walked all the way round the building but couldn’t find it, even asked somebody inside . After walking out the building, we turned right and it was right there staring us in the face, which was rather amusing. We accidentally took a shortcut through the shopping aspect of the Exchange rather than walk straight to the end of the building.