Posts Tagged With: Graduate Exhibition

Technical Theatre Arts Graduate Exhibition 2015

Every year we showcase the work of the third year graduates with an exhibition of scenery, lighting, sound, projection, props and costumes from the shows we put on here at the Guildhall School.

If you are in the London area during early June be sure to pop by and see for yourself some of the work that we blog about.

Open to the public  Wednesday 10th – Thusday 11th June.

TT exhibition poster

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The revolving door spins no more.

Hello everybody!!

It’s been over two months since our last post and now at last, all the shows are up, the academic year is drawing to its close and we’ve got a massive blog to let you know what we’ve been up to.

Since you last heard from us we have built an amazing cast concrete effect set for the Opera double bill; we’ve curated, installed and hosted our annual 3rd Year Graduate Exhibition; slipped in a couple of paint calls, prop makes and fit ups for Opera scenes and Napoli Milionara in the Milton Court Studio Theatre.  Finally, with a massive push we managed to the fit up the phenomenal build for the end of year musical ‘Grand Hotel’. Just a bit busy then!

It’s been a real who’s who of materials and techniques this term right across our Construction, Painting and Props departments.

Construction have had the volume turned up to 11 this term working on the set for Grand Hotel; we’ve seen welding on an industrial scale to construct fully operational revolving doors and two huge frames to support the mirrored and glazed frontage of the Grand Hotel as viewed from the inside.

First thing out were the two metal frames for the frontage and interior of the hotel; box steel welded and then clad in timber and MDF. Once the frames had been constructed it was through to the Paint Shop for black gloss on the cladding and gold leaf on the fret work and window frame details.

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The Gold leaf we use is in fact brass leaf, it is applied directly from the roll onto surfaces coated with an adhesive called Gilding Size. The size is applied over a layer of yellow paint which hides any small holes in the leaf. Once the leaf is on and the size has dried, we brush off the excess leaf and apply two layers of french enamel varnish to seal it, and to achieve the antiqued effect the designer was looking for.

We’ve also been applying more black gloss effect to all the cladding, flats, panels, treads and handrails; you name it – we glossed it!

Before we could get anything fitted up in the Silk Street Theatre, we had to paint an intricate geometric floor design on the stage.

Our friends in the Technical Theatre department helped us out by rigging a projector on to a flying bar so we could project the design on to the stage and trace out the geometric pattern. The whole ellipse was first marbled in white before we marked on the lines for the masking. Thirty five rolls of masking tape later and we began to paint and marble the black tiles. Off with the masking tape the next day and finish the surface with a lovely glaze to create a beautiful marbled floor on to which the set could be installed.

Here’s the beautiful finished floor with a layer of Bona Mega gloss glaze over the marble painting. Amazing!

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We’ve seen the construction of a rotating concierge reception desk made from bendi-ply, a glorious curved and fanned Grand staircase, and seemingly never ending fret work to create art deco inspired hand rails for the various balconies and decorative elements which adorn the glazing and carefully disguised steel deck.

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All the glazing has also been dirtied down by spraying with a matt glaze with a bit of white paint mix in, adding to the slightly defunct look specified by the designer.

Props made three Belfast sinks on wheels complete with dressing room mirror lights.  We had some decorative brackets for the sinks laser cut by a CADCAM company in south London; CutLaserCut have a selection of industrial size laser cutters so we emailed over our design and they were put to work cutting 9mm MDF to make Art Deco style brackets…Laser Power!

End result is an absolutely epic set, I couldn’t wait to see the actors and musicians apply their magic and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it was a great show and a brilliant demonstration of the collaborative production process here at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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So there you have it, many weeks of hard work was certainly worth it looking at the amazing result. If you want to see a fascinating time lapse video of the set being taken to pieces you’re in luck! It’s quite a cathartic process destructing a set, the thing I find hardest to comprehend is that all those weeks of hard labour can be undone such a short time, about 12 hours. But that’s the way it goes I suppose. See the video courtesy of  the Technical Theatre department either on their blog or by clicking here.

We’re checking out of The Grand Hotel now;

The Props Department have realised a host of interesting and challenging creations this term. We’ve seen the creation of a prosthetic body parts including the frighteningly realistic torso of St. John the Baptist in its unfortunate de-limbed, decapitated and disembolwled state – so goes the brutal end for St. John in the Stradella opera. Our props students have also served an apprenticeship of sorts in coopering, deconstructing Scottish whisky barrels and recreating a fake barrel mid construction which allowed the opera singers to simulate the construction of the barrel during the performance of Arne’s The Cooper. Sound complicated? It is! See Pat’s Blog for a full run down.

Any finally, to round up this academic years activity, our annual first year Puppet Project!

Our first years have just presented their end of year project. The theme for this years project was the Grim tale of Hansel & Gretel set in an urban landscape, conceived as: HSNL + GRTL

The project kicked off with a crash course in puppetry with puppetry guru Steve Tiplady who gave a half day crash course in making and operating puppets.

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The first years then spent a week creating their puppets and taking crash courses in lighting and video editing from our lighting and video lecturers, then it was into the studio, out on location and finally many hours in the editing suite to create their fantastic version of the folk story, great work guys.

That’s it from us until September so enjoy your summer and we’ll see you on the other side.

I’ll leave you with the video of the first years puppet project HSNL + GRTL, enjoy!





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Showcasing talent and paving the way…

Well it’s about time I share some of the photos from our Graduate Exhibition which took place yesterday in the Barbican Centre Art Gallery…

The Graduate Exhibition, our first of a new annual event, showcased a selection of work from some of our graduating year group in the amazing Barbican Art Gallery.  The evening was brilliant with graduating students meeting technical theatre alumni and industry professionals; discussing aspiring careers in the industry and looking at some of the amazing work our students have produced over the last few years at the Guildhall School.  It was such a lovely chance to display work and celebrate the successes of our graduating year group.  We had a brilliant turnout, especially considering it is our first taster of a graduate exhibition, and the event was very well received.  It has taken a lot of hard work to put together but I think you will agree it looked brilliant and I hope next year’s graduating students are already planning their exhibits for next year…it’s going to be bigger and who knows…even better?

One last thing to mention, an important note that I feel particularly strongly about:

The exhibition was designed to reflect the design realisation department’s (and the whole school’s) emphasis on sustainability.  All of the tables, chairs and plinths used in the exhibition were from our own furniture store, previously used in Guildhall School productions and all of the display boards and name plaques were made from materials re-used and up-cycled from materials used in the construction of the scenery from previous shows.  I hope use of mis-matched furniture in the pristine environment of the Barbican Art Gallery mirrored our group of eclectic, yet excellently presented students that make up our amazing graduating year group.  In keeping with this theme, the display boards are safely stored ready for use again next year…I told you I feel strongly about it!

Well done to all of the 3rd year students who took part in the exhibition, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Looking forward to seeing you attend next year’s Graduate Exhibition, as alumni and industry professionals.  Thanks also to all of the technical theatre staff and Guildhall School staff for supporting the event; from marketing work, to painting display boards on a sunny Sunday afternoon…


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Last week of the academic year: lots to see and do…

Well it’s the last week of the term and as usual there’s no stopping the design realisation department! Our 2013 musical is up and running in the theatre and looking amazing whilst the workshops are still filled with students working on their end of term personal projects- a chance to try out new materials and processes and make something not required for a production. It’s always a great part of the term as so many different snippets of projects are taking shape and it’s a real chance to see the different personalities that make up our student body; there’s everything from magic wands fresh out of a Harry Potter movie, to fine art paintings that will hopefully brighten up the Guildhall School foyer next term.

We’ve also been busy outside of the workshops too (yes we do leave the workshops occasionally!)…
Our third year students, along with the rest of the graduating technical theatre students, have been working hard on the first ever Graduate Exhibition, hopefully the first of an annual event that will celebrate the work of our graduating year group. We are lucky enough to be exhibiting our work in the Barbican Art Gallery next door which is a wonderful space to be in; the clean walls and museum style layout is such a lovely platform for showing off the work of our students and of course as with anything related to the design realisation department…give us a blank canvas and we will make a work of art in no time! I am proud to say that all of our graduating design realisation students are exhibiting and as usual their work looks amazing, it’s a real opportunity to see some of the work from our productions up close and talk to our students. The exhibition is open to the public Wednesday between 11:00 and 15:30 on level 3 of the Barbican Centre in the Art Gallery with 22 our our graduating students exhibiting. Photos to follow…I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

Of course that’s not all. Waiting in the wings (well, back in the workshops) are our first year design realisation students with their puppetry project. At the end of every term our first year students work on an independent project to showcase some of the skills they have learnt during the term and to learn new skills that they can take forward onto new tasks. The summer term project is a puppetry project where the students are given a story or a song to animate. They have to design and build the sets, make and manipulate the puppets, edit and produce a film…all in two weeks! The viewing of their film is tomorrow between 11:00 and 13:00 in the design realisation workshops so come on down and have a look at all their hard work! I’ll be sure to put up some photos and the video soon, again not before the official viewing tomorrow!

There’s something quite poetic about this week. Our first year of Design Realisation students are preparing to enter the industry; they are exhibiting their work in Europe’s largest multi arts venue, on the cusp of their new and exciting careers, enjoying their last few days of life at the Guildhall School and preparing for their future as professionals. Meanwhile, our eager and enthusiastic first years are coming to the end of their first year of study at the Guildhall School; ready to take up their second year roles and spending their last week of term showcasing how far they have come in such a short academic year. It won’t be long until our first year students are exhibiting their final work in their own Graduate Exhibition…there’s a lovely symmetry in that that I find quite moving. But for now let’s enjoy 4 more days of the summer term 2013; showing off the hard work and extraordinary talent of our students, be it to an informal audience of peers in the workshop, or an invited group of industry professionals in the Barbican Art Gallery.

Well done everyone, as usual it’s so easy to blog about the design realisation department. Sorry there aren’t any photos this time, hope the words are enough for today…


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