Contemporary Issues for Theatre Design – Dragon’s Den for Designers Group E – Laura Mulholland, Katie French, Monica V.Burgos
‘ Glacier’ – The Lakeside Theatre
‘ Glacier’ is a contemporary piece
of Theatre performed at the
Lakeside Theatre, Nottingham.
It is a touring piece.
There are seven actors
performing an emotionally
charged and highly imaginative
insight into the topical issues of
global warming and the
There is no dialogue throughout.
The audience at the Lakeside was varied, but there were no young children.
We personally thought that the play had a bit of a slow start, and got better towards the middle, ending brilliantly.
We also thought that one of the actors costume was a lot more striking than the rest, she was wearing a black dress, whilst the others were wearing shades of grey. We feel that more attention was being drawn to her than should have been.
The Lakeside Theatre is a studio space with a raked auditorium, all seats would have had a good view, as there are no restricted views.
The performance was successful, the audience would have all interpreted it differently but there was a clear message.
They used a shock method, showing the reality of what happens when oil leaks in the sea, denoted cleverly through dance.
It could be performed in many different spaces/theatres which makes it a good touring piece.
‘ Fame’ – Royal Concert Hall
‘ Fame’ is a musical, that was
adapted and performed by
Nottingham Trent Dance.
It was a one off, amateur
performance, with the cast and
audience members consisting
mainly of students.
It was a lively performance with an enthusiastic audience.
The choice of play was excellent – ‘Fame’ is a popular and enjoyable musical that gaurantees audience participation and a feel good atmosphere.
The choice of space and venue were good, there is no fly tower in the Royal concert Hall but we feel the set was fine and wouldn’t have benefited at all from having that option.
All seats offer a good enough view of the stage and the performers.
We feel that the technical team let the team down, the mics were constantly on and off resulting in the singing sounding off, and at some points you couldn’t hear the actors speaking. Had the tech team been better this would have enhanced the performance.
It was a success in terms of the seats all being sold but it wasn’t the most successful performance we have been to in terms of entertainment and accuracy.
The set was successful, but not different, it was the same as previous productions we have seen in London, but we agreed that there wasn’t a lot that could have been done differently because Fame is such a well known musical .The way the steps were was a good space saving idea – saving space. The set and space available was well used.
The Royal Concert Hall is a large venue, all the seats had a decent view.
We felt maybe the casting could have been different, we would have cast different actors in different roles.
‘ Fiddler on the roof’ – Theatre Royal
‘ Fiddler on the Roof’ is a musical
that became one of the longest
running productions on Broadway.
It is now on a nationwide tour.
We watched the production at
The Theatre Royal, it is a large
theatre, with a fly tower.
It was a very successful and
The set designer gave a good interpretation of the period the play was set and the Jewish culture.
There was a very good audience response, from a mixed audience.
Our favourite scene was the dream scene, it was excellent and portrayed using surreal lighting, choreography and stage direction.
The set was well designed, we especially liked the flooring which was floor boards, they were painted cleverly to look like they were going into the distance.
The only thing we weren’t expecting is the ending – it wasn’t a happy ever after ending – it left you wondering whether or not they made it to New York, it was very effective though.
How does Theatre work differently to a filmic experience of a night-out and in what ways do designers and producers of work need to reflect on these issues?
Stop and start - you can film over a number of days/weeks. Allowing for mistakes and re – runs.
You can film close ups / long distance.
It is possible to have large costume changes, maybe taking a long time.
It is also possible to have dramatic set changes, change of location, cover wider area.
The director is able to cut and edit if things don’t run in the order he/she wants.
The film can be viewed from different angles and different perspectives.
Costumes have to have different qualities – close up filming means that the costumes must be very detailed and accurate.
Limited set changes can be made at a theatre performance because of time – the audience waiting in darkness.
The same angle of viewing is there throughout, can’t do close ups, or very long distance.
The audience reaction is live so therefore it is a better atmosphere – the actors feed of the audience and vice versa.
The costumes need to be different – they will be viewed from a distance so they need different qualities to those in a film. They also need to be very durable to last the entire length that the show is touring for / on stage for.
The scenery needs to be painted in a way that makes sense from the back of the auditorium but also from the stalls, so it needs to looks realistic and represent what it is.
The play we have chosen to pitch today is a contemporary piece which we wrote ourselves in a previous critical practice session.
It is designed to be shown to a younger audience as an imaginative insight of space. But any adults accompanying them would also enjoy it.
The play is about a group of people encountering the first holiday to the moon.
We have chosen this play because we feel that it is a highly imaginative piece that will entertain and also be informative and educational in learning more about the moon and it’s surroundings.
We follow them as they take a journey into the unknown and encounter strange things for the first time.
We have chosen to perform our production in The Theatre Royal, the main reasons for this are:
It has a fly tower – this will give us more opportunity to fly cloths in and out and not just have one throughout.
The stage is bigger – so we will have more space to work with and more opportunities to try new things.
There is a main curtain so we can hide our set at the beginning and throughout when we want to change scenery.
There is more masking at the sides by the wings allowing for more space for storage of extra scenery and props.
There are 5 main characters – A public school boy, a celebrity, a crazy scientist, a chav girl, and the holiday rep. They will be dressed in stereotypical clothing.
The Theatre Royal
Characters and costume ideas.
Main backdrop ideas.
These are some ideas that we are thinking of for the main backdrops, we will use a few for different scenes – travelling there, and for a difference from day to night.