In a group meeting Tracey came up with an idea about mess monsters, teaching morality to children. The idea for this pitch came to her one day on the train home. As quoted ‘I have a tendency to be messy and one day when it was particularly bad I could not find the remote to turn off my heating.’ thus sprung the idea of having consequences to the mess in the form of monsters, especially if tidying up was procrastinated.
Tracey imagined that her room must be like a giant Petri dish and what if we decided to open the door on the bacteria that had been created - a huge monster !
What would we do ? Where would we go ? And what fun to find a monster eating up dirty socks etc.
As a progressing idea Mess monsters become a group of monsters that appear when a child tells a lie to another person, or if they put off doing something they know they should do.
Depending upon the lie told a subject related monster would appear to teach the child a valuable lesson, which they could learn from.
These lessons would cover many topics such as how wrong it is to tell lies and things such as the environment,keeping your room clean,doing your home work and other things that children need to learn about to become valuable members of society.
Who would this idea appeal to ?
Such an idea would be appealing to a wide ranging audience. Parents and adults would be happy to take their children to a performance knowing it would be entertaining as well as educational and children would love it too. Thus making it a more salable performance idea as it would be highly profitable. Children from all walks of life and ages would be targeted.
Market research shows that performances such as these are highly successful, for example, ‘Oily cart’ as a company promoted interactive performances and workshops to parents and children and we would do the same. As an example oily cart also gained a lot of funding due to their performances being educational as well as general entertainment.
The fact that the plays would be fun would promote education without children being aware it, thus learning from fun, which again has proven in the past to be very successful, even on television sesame street and the wombles, the fimbles, the tweenies etc, still use puppetry and entertain as well as educate. This forms part of our pitch.
Why did we chose this idea?
We chose this idea namely because most theatre today is aimed at adults, all the shows that we saw advertised were targeted at working class people. We felt therefore there was a niche in the market for us to sell our pitch for family and children as the targeted audience.
Also, we felt something educational and fun would be beneficial to children. when we were younger we had Punch and Judy and other forms of fun but educational icons, today, puppet culture is steadily picking up again, e.g. the muppets, which have now made their own movies. Perhaps this too will encourage children and parents to stop them watching endless hours of childrens’ television.
Theatre vs film ( The analysis)
Theatre is live entertainment, and provides a lot in the sense of performance, lighting, costume, lots of people make the performance happen, every time its viewed. Although a lot of work and effort is put in to making films too, once its completed it can be viewed again and again. Thus making it predictable. In theatre anything can go wrong and at any time, costumes could rip, lights could blow, technical faults could cause delays in the performance, and actors themselves can forget lines etc., adding to the mood and performance. Sometimes the actors will adlib depending on the reactions of the audience.
Going to the theatre is sometimes seen as a luxury as it is seen as a treat, whereas going to the cinema is easily accesible.
Because of theses issues designers and producers must be aware that not every show is going to be the same and cause the same audience response, which can be beneficial as well as a disadvantage.
Theatres too are often more long running if they are successful. E.g in London musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber can run into years and make millions of pounds. Even his TV show of finding a new Maria for the theatre in London has caused much more popularity in wanting to see the show performed live. Even though it started as a film. Perhaps the sound of music on stage is more popular than the film version with Julie Andrews.
From Tracey’s idea about mess monsters we decided to create some models for possible characters. E.g. we created a slime character who would represent mess getting out of control, if it wasn’t tidied up i.e. in a situation where a parent tells a kid to tidy his room and the child puts it off the mess monster would appear to teach the child that putting the work off only made the situation worse.
Another character idea came in the form of a dust bunny, again related to cleaning.
The pots not being washed up resulted in the dirty dish monster etc.
Character design ideas These are examples of some of our monster characters
Character design ideas A few more images
venue After seeing three productions at different theatre venues we decided unanimously that we wanted to pitch our idea to be performed in the lace market theatre. We decided as our pitch was mainly aimed at children and families it would best suit the theatre as an intimate space, and welcoming family environment. The lace Market as well as having an adult cast have a youth theatre so children can get involved in performance. Perhaps our pitch could inspire children and indeed adults into wanting to perform and get involved with the lace market theatre as an establishment in its own right.
As a working space, this small stage would allow for the actual performance and with the floor level being where actors could manipulate the puppets without being seen.
As seen in the performance there, the blank walls can be used for projection and computer aided images and enhancements for the performance i.e. logo of the company presented throughout.
The space too would be the perfect size for a school class on an outing to visit the theatre, which we could promote to schools to get them involved – an educational yet entertaining trip, aiming for the theatre to make a profit.
The bar too would allow for puppets and other memorabilia of the performance to be sold, as well as snacks and drinks. This would enhance the events selling point as it would be a social aspect for parents and adults too.
Continued . .
The lace market is basically a loft shaped theatre where the performance could be said to take place in a house. This would be a unique selling point, as most commercial theatres are spaces created for performance, which could be daunting for small children. Having a space manipulated for performance in a house, links well with our pitch as the idea originally came from household mess. The physical environment would help the children to relax as it would be a familiar setting.
The main reason for choosing to go and view Fame the musical as it was produced and performed by Trent Dance. The production was showing for one night and wasn’t sold out which was a surprise, as it had dancers and actors from all three years in it, therefore I presumed it would attract a large audience of friends and family of the cast.
The opening scene had difficulties with there sound which continued through out the whole performance. As the majority of the singing parts were of an average standard but unfortunately you could only hear parts of the song as the microphones kept going off, luckily we sat 4 rows from the front of the stage so we were fortunate enough to be able to hear most of the vocals through out the show. When I spoke to other people that viewed the show and sat further back in the theater they said at times they were unable to hear at all. Although the sound problem was due to the fault of a sound company which the dance team had hired in, it didn’t not improve through out the show which made the whole show very amateur performance.
I thought that there were too many scenes that did not flow together and felt that the scenes jumped from one thing to another very quickly. The scene’s were very short and I found that at least one of the dancers/actors were out of time of turning the wrong way in the majority of the scenes.
The final two scenes were by far the best and out shone the rest of the show, which picked up the general atmosphere in the theatre, and the audience members were joining in and dancing which is what I presumed the whole show would have been like.
When we arrived in The Concert Hall it was busy and full of audience members but it was still clear where we had to go and the staff were very helpful and welcoming.
I personally thought that the performance didn’t suit the space as it would have worked far better in the Theater Royal next door, as that space is more intimate and has a smaller stage and would have brought the performance closer together. It was the first time that I have seen a performance in The Concert Hall, I liked the space and thought that it had lots of potential for a much large scale performance.
I think that if the sound had been of a much higher quality then the whole performance would have been greatly improved. The sound problem made the whole performance armature. I also think that the space did not do the production any justice as the space was too big for the set and even the large scenes looked lost in the space.
The good faithful servant review
I thought The Good Faithful Servant was by far the best performance I’ve seen for a long time, it was extremely well suited to the venue, and its audience. The majority of the audience were all mid 40’s and over and they all seamed to know each other and were all regulars to the Lace Market Theater. They production was very well acted out and was very funny. The piece was very successful and enjoyable, I would defiantly return to the lace market to see another performance.
The Lace Market Theatre is a small and very unique theatre that only held about 50-70 people. There was a small bar part way down through the seating area on the right hand side which was very busy at the start and end of the performance. Emily and I sat in the front row and was finding that we were moving our feet at times to allow the actress past which just goes to show how close we were to the stage. The stage was very small and had a small upper level that was used at times which gave the actors another area and the stairs which lead up to the higher level was used during the performance.
I think that the whole experience of visiting The Lace Market Theatre was very enjoyable and memorable and I would recommend the theatre to other people. I think the performance suited the space very well and the audience.
Treasure island review
I really enjoyed the performance and would recommend it to others to go and see, it’s a performance that could be appreciated by all ages. There was a fair number of empty seats on the Thursday night that we went to, but that maybe because it had been extended an extra week, and it wasn’t planned on running that far in to January. I would have said that at a rough estimate there was probably only half the seats taken.
There was a wide variety of ages in the audience, the main audience was probably families with children ageing between 6 upwards, there wasn’t any young children there. There was I high number of older couples there.
I thought the production was very entertaining and I found it very funny on many occasions, the story was very easy to follow and the whole production flowed really well. There was a large amount of singing and dancing which broke up the performance and made it more entertaining.
Treasure island review
The entrance to Derby Playhouse was very modern and look as if it had been updated in recent years, the theater as a space had a semi circular seating arrangement with no walkways except at either end of the rows. Which at first sight looked as though if an audience member needed to leave part way through the performance it would cause a problem but there was an extra amount of leg room than normal which allowed people to walk though easily.
The stage was quiet long and had a well designed and frequently used revolving floor, that made the space work really well. The revolving stage worked really well and made scene changes able to happen more frequently. When the curtain was down it fell in the middle of the stage which meant that most of the set was always at the back of the stage until the floor was moved. The major scenes in the middle of the production were set on a large ship or a small side boat and were put together using very little props, although it worked perfectly as the boat looked as if it was moving due to the revolving floor and there was a large video screen hung on the back and this helped to set the scene perfectly.
When we arrived at the playhouse and took out seats we explained to a member of staff that we were students studying theater and asked if we would be able to take photos of the space before or after the production, unfortunately we were not allowed and then we were watched through the whole performance and was made to feel very uncomfortable. We all commented on the fact that the staff were very un-helpful and not welcoming at all. The attitude of the staff would put me off choosing to visit derby playhouse again, we were watched as if we’d done something wrong.
I think that the performance was very well put together and all the costumes were all very good, all the props worked well together. The only thing about the performance that I think could have worked slightly better is the accents of some of the actors wasn’t quiet in keeping with the performance at times and I also thought there were inconsistent at times through out the performance.
I think the attitude of the staff made me personally feel very uncomfortable while watching the performance, but the production was very entertaining as a whole piece.