e Constructioooon! Construction!e
That’s right, this year’s Musical is “Fiddler On The Roof”, and the students have really been Russian around getting everything done! There’s been houses to build, shops to make and even a moon to paint. The main part of the set, however, is a ramp big enough for a cart to be wheeled around on (but sadly not big enough for two, so no racing down the hill for us!)
The ramp was made in sections in the construction workshop, then carried through and fully assembled on stage. This took a lot of delicate manoeuvring slightly less delicate clambering around inside to screw the whole thing together, before cutting the edges to make a nice, smooth curve. The students then cut notches into long pieces of timber to create a kick-rail that could follow the edges perfectly and prevent the cart and/ or actors from accidentally falling off.
Once this was all in position, it was time to start laying the floorboards. Although most of it was pretty straightforward, the design features a ‘fan’ of boards at the front of the stage, which required precise measuring and cutting to get the angles on each board correct. It was then a bit like assembling a very complicated jigsaw to get each piece in the right place, with many of the pieces needing further trimming to get the perfect fit.
Meanwhile, in over in Scenic art, The students have been using endless tubs of Idenden to texture all the floor boards, walls and even the odd bit of ceiling. Each piece required several layers of paint and washes in order to achieve that authentic ‘Rustic Russian’ look.
They also got to practice their canvas painting skills by creating a large moon cloth that could be lit from behind for particularly dramatic moments. This required even more subtle washes to prevent excessive layers of paint blocking out the light, meaning the students had to be careful that the waxing moon didn’t start dripping.
Over in props, the students have been creating extremely long floral garlands for the numerous weddings and celebrations within the musical. Bunches of fake flowers had to be dyed, painted to look more realistic, and flame-proofed before being wired onto long pieces of mesh that could be flown onto the stage.
Alongside this, they got the chance to do a bit of construction of their own, creating a small village set complete with tiny smoking chimneys. They also raided the idenden supply for the texture, and used broken up bits of fruit crates to create battered tiles for the roofs. Its amazing how much a few raw umber washes can transform something!
And finally, it can’t be an end of year musical without a large vehicle for the 3rd years to get stuck into. Luckily, we were able to source the large cart wheels, but everything else, from the frame to the brakes was down to resident vehicle expert Anna, who no doubt found it a completely different challenge to her Dodgem.
There’s still a bit more fiddling about to do before the show is ready, but its certainly shaping up to be a fantastic end to the year!