Of course not!
Who’d have thought it was February already? The last month has flown by, as our students have been getting to grips with the Rep shows ‘Saved’ and ‘Colder than Here’ in the Studio Theatre, along with ‘Memory of Water’ on the Milton Court Main Stage.
Despite these shows being described as ‘no builds’, there’s certainly been a lot of work going into each production. The studio theatre has been transformed into a set which can be easily changed for each of the 2 shows, since just using the same set twice would be far too simple. Both sets feature a large crack in the signature Guildhall concrete, created using a router for the crack, and layers of Idenden mixed with Filite to create a suitably grungy texture on the floor itself.
‘Colder Than Here’ also has a series of copper pipes running up the back wall. This gave our construction students a chance to practice bending and soldering metal, and the scenic artists an opportunity to paint a bit of corrosion. These pipes were then attached to a wire grid, so they could be easily removed every time the theatre switched shows.
Each show was also given one ‘big’ prop, allowing the students to create an interesting mix of a Bed, a Boat and a Coffin. While the bed meant they could brush up on their flat-pack skills, the other two proved a bit more challenging.
The S.S Bethan was made by cutting out wooden ribs that Artex could be attached to, keeping the piece strong yet lightweight, so the actors could sit in it. As the finish needed to be like fibre glass, there was quite a bit of filling and sanding to do once the screws had been removed. However, the effort was definitely worth it once the paint was added, as the final piece wouldn’t have looked out of place floating down the Thames. (Though, admittedly, it would probably sink. Maybe something to try on Lakeside at the end of term!)
The cardboard coffin was somewhat simpler, but needed to look like it was painted by the decidedly uncreative characters within the play. This initially meant the surface looked like it was covered in clouds that looked like they had been painted by a toddler… Luckily, the designer decided then that it would be nicer to just let our students show off their own painting skills, and went for a nice tribute to Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ instead.