Designed and painted by Brian Willis. Sets constructed by Sean Magee
Will be performed by Coleraine Provincial Players, (2010)
I propose to cover the designing, constructing and painting the sets for this show in greater detail than most of the musicals depicted on this web site.
So I start with some NOTES (Page one)
  • As with most amateur/community Companies we are limited in off-stage space so for this show will try to keep flats and built pieces to a minimum and rely mainly on backcloths.
  • Sean and I have read the script, Sean has met the Producer and discussed the requirements of each scene.....
  • Space needed for Dancers?
    Any notices, signs?
  • Any hide-behind pieces? (Always a "must" in Panto)
  • Scenes in order of priorities
  • Elements referred to in script (Spyglass hill etc)
    Then together, over coffee, Sean and I have sorted out the approximate layouts
  • As I read the script and research, so I jot down notes of possible elements which could into each scene. Not all of these will be used.
    So each scene in the following pages starts with a list of possible elements. These ideas are jotted down as I think of them and end up on the back of envelopes etc. Listing them as I do here makes them look a bit "official".
  • The elements are listed here not in any particular order of importance.
    I might add to these Elements as the work and sketches progress so keep an eye on the "This Page Updated" panel at the top of each page.
  • Beside some of these elements I will add notes for your benefit describing the thinking behind some of the items listed.
  • Each item really needs a question mark after it.
  • I include a scale cartoon figure beside each backcloth to help me envisage effect.

We discussed using double sided flats for the wings to save storage space off-stage. This would make each flat heavier of course. However double sided flats would not be a problem if both sides had straight edges. For one thing this would mean we could use canvas which would make them much lighter instead of the usual plywood or hardboard.

Unfortunately I like to have what I call "profile" edges i.e. irregular edges which follow the painting (see for instance the edges of the palm trees on the Desert Island set) Imagine a back to these which also has profile edges which means when you turn the flat round the back profiles will be protruding into the off-stage space, eating into that space and also, bring irregular, vulnerable to being broken off by cast members squeezing past off stage.

Another problem is how to support a double sided flat?

It is do-able if the tops are straight, as often a slide arrangement is built.

That's a spring at the top which enables the slider and flat to be swiveled round for exact positioning.

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