Model box Project

It is that time of year again where we get to present the work of our first year DR students  from our model box project.
Our students were given different texts that they had to read, research and create a set for. The aim of the project is to give the students a chance to explore the process of developing a play into a theatre set and whilst the projects primary focus isn’t on design, the students are encouraged to research and be imaginative in their approach to their designs. The main focus of the course is to develop their model making skills and through this project they are introduced to different model making techniques, materials and resources and encouraged to be experimental in their approach to the text.

This year our students developed the following…

Maddie was given the play, ‘ Journey’s End,’  which is set in a British dugout, near Saint Quentin in France, towards the end of the First World War. The play covers the three or so days leading up to the real-life events of ‘Operation Michael’.

Maddie chose to stay true to what a dugout might look like as a way of commemorating the hundred years anniversary of the First World War.

She wanted her design and model to look like it had been plucked straight from under the French soil. As a way of ensuring that sight lines weren’t being blocked  by the roof of her set. Maddie chose to raise the ground level of her set, placing it on what would be a steel deck platform, to ensure that the audience members views wouldn’t be obstructed.

Here are some of Maddie’s development images.


Final Model…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Alana’s play was Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Alana chose to have both the bedroom and living room on display simultaneously and managed this by designing a platform on top of which the bedroom would be leaving the rest of the stage below and around the platform for the living area. Alana made some very nice and intricate prices of naturalistic furniture to dress the set which contrasted nicely with the honeycomb backdrop which was designed to reflect the compound vision of a fly.

Final Model…



Anna was given the text, ‘Bright and Bold Designs,’ by Peter Whelan and was set in a pottery paintshop in the 1930s. Anna took inspiration from well known pottery designers of the time, including Clarice Cliff and Suzie Cooper.


This is what gave her the abstract colours as well as the angular lines of her set, which she intended to look like broken pottery.


Final model…



Alexandra had Alan Bennet’s, ‘The Madness of Kind George III.’

The play explores King George III struggle with the fact that he, despite being king is still only human and in some ways just as vulnerable as everyone else. He is “treated” by multiple doctors, but the medical knowledge at the time leads to the kings health being worsen further, as they try to tread him with blood letting and blistering.

The play takes place in many different locations so Alex decided to keep the basic structure quite simple and adaptable for each scene. A central staircase is mentioned frequently in the play, so Alex decided to include it in my design very early. Alex was keen to work with distressed wall textures and try to create something that reflected the intense pain and chaos that would have been going on in the King’s mind. She explored this idea by looking at how she could contort patterns and shapes for the wallpaper to reflect the Kings hallucinations.

Sketch Modelling…

Final Model…

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at


at Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Guildhall Theatre Technology Blog

Theatre Technology pathway blog at Guildhall School


The Guildhall School of Music & Drama's Prop Making Weblog

Armadillo Artifacts

Relics and curios.

Design Realisation (Scenic Art, Scenic Construction and Prop Making)

Step backstage into the workshops at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama

%d bloggers like this: