Well, the ball is rolling again…

So, it’s the end of Week 1 only 11 weeks until the end of term and so much to achieve before then.

The Design Realisation Department here at the Guildhall School has been a hive of activity once again as everyone has settled into their new roles and started working on the Autumn term productions.

We had the opportunity to meet all of the first year Technical Theatre students- they had their introduction to the department yesterday where they got to meet all of the DR staff and try out a few of the skills we hope they will develop over the next few months. It was nice to see so many people embracing the mess down here in the workshops and a few people definitely went home a little bit dustier and with paint under their nails. Welcome to the Design Realisation Department, uneven manicures are free down here!

As for the second and third year students, it’s clear that they have jumped straight into all the work that needs doing. Just walking through the department I’ve seen a whole variety of things going on this week. There are some pretty grizzly chairs that have been prepped ready for a facelift in props, CAD and technical drawings have been drafted, skeletons of scenic flats have been constructed and a array of paint and textures have been mixed and sampled ready for discussions with the designer. Next week it gets even busier as we plough into more work. The students and staff here are juggling several shows at once so staying organised and on top of the work load is a tough but essential job. Of course I can have faith in everyone and the complexities of the job just makes it a more exciting, albeit challenging, experience. Most of the people in the workshops thrive when working under pressure and it’s clear that most of us were never destined for an office job…we just can’t sit still long enough.

Things to look out for next week:
Interesting and varied props being made. The props department here work on such a wide range of projects that you really never know what you’re going to find. One days it’s a woodworking shop, the next you feel as though you’ve walked into an upholstery studio! Stay tuned for some in-progress photos of what’s going on.

Paintcalls. Remember the photo I put up yesterday? Well you wait until you see the whole thing. At the end of next week we start our paintcalls on stage creating a stunning Rothko inspired floor. Two words: It’s massive.

Colossal scenery appearing everywhere you look. It gets to a point, quite early in the term sometimes, when suddenly you turn around and see a huge piece of scenery suddenly pop up as if from nowhere. Of course the process is a lot more complicated than that, but quite quickly the workshops become full of interesting pieces of set and the vast empty space that has been the paint shop and construction workshops suddenly turn into an industrial jungle of twisted wood and steel. I’ve seen some of the construction students speedily cleaning steel today and that means only one thing: it’s welding time!

Let’s hope everyone gets some rest this weekend because next week is going to be a busy one!

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