Frozen Forest

This was a walk in the forest led by Rufus and Holly, played by Mark Bishop and Lorna Rees.

An introduction to theatre for the 2 to 5 year old age group, it involved a small walk round a frozen forest, a discovery of the the sights, sounds and smells of a forest in the winter. With it’s sleeping hedgehog, animal tracks to follow, freezing pond and fox poo, it was a lovely intimate show to light.

The set consisted of trees (real), dead leaves (real), and compost (real). Windows were kept open and radiators turned off. The warmth of the foyer at Salisbury Playhouse was soon forgotten as you walked in. The lighting consisted of a daytime scene that eventually turned into a night time magical scene, using ETC Source 4 jrs with breakups mixed with Patt 743’s to create the daytime scene, with Par 64’s, Patt 743’s and birdies shining up the main seven trees to create a hint of magical night time.

Alas, my camera phone didn’t really register the night time shots very well, so I didn’t upload any, either onto the blog or the website.

The performance was directed by Stephanie Jalland of Hoodwink Theatre, and squeezed into the Rehearsal Room at Salisbury Playhouse.

The fit up, followed by dusk, followed by the long strike…





Purbeck Folk Festival

This was a fun festival to work at. It takes place on a farm nestled in a valley in Purbeck, and felt like the friendliest festival of the lot!

I was originally asked to quote for the lighting for both stages, only to be told two hours later not to bother as some feathers had been rustled…ooops…

But I was still on for helping the PA crew with their load in and stage changes! So, turned up on the Thursday to start the load in with the PA company, only to be told by the lampies on site that one of the PA crew were operating the lighting… result!

Only then I noticed that they had rigged a very basic six LED pars on a back bar, two on a FOH bar and 4 profiles that were to be used for KT Tunstall… great…

Oh well, there were some pretty moments, but it all felt a bit empty really… I didn’t take any pictures as I didn’t have my camera with me. How was I to know I was going to be opping?…

Hopefully I’ll have a better opportunity of doing it again next year!


What the name says really. I’m Production Manager for this project and about to end the research and development week. One of those jobs that I started off not knowing what it was about and what I was supposed to be doing.

An exploration of noises and sounds created by the human vocal tract.

An exploration of a  child’s assimilation of knowledge related to the use of their vocal tract in the creation of noises and sounds.

An exploration of a child’s response to a multi media environment responsive to the child’s creation of noises and sounds.

I think.

This week has been about the “how do we get this off the ground” aspect, with two workshops with test audiences of differing ages, giving the artistic director, performers and designers a chance to put the director’s concepts and ideas into being. From a production manager’s point of view, it’s been at times very slowly paced, more dedicated to considering the project as a touring piece, and it’s implications, and then suddenly being presented with a tangible set that will potentially fit into quite a few nice spaces. And as an added bonus, it can fit nicely into the back of a standard size Ford Transit.

Unfortunately I still haven’t found an audio visual hire company in the UK that stocks Hitachi projector lenses. Or the projectors for that matter…

The artistic director is Yvon Bonenfant, the designer is Ali Maclaurin, Max MSP artist is Nicolas Verhaeghe and the two performers are Jill Dowse and Peddy Knowles. A wonderful bunch of people. The website will be updated over the next few months, so have a look at it!

As the project progresses, I’ll be adding bits and pieces…
Further update…after the end of the run in November…
Well. That was quite a few weeks of intensive work. Now that it’s over, I seem to have a bit more time to write about it.

When we all met up on the final week of October, it all felt a bit random. All the bits of the set were there, all IT equipment ready to link up, extra bits and pieces around to solder together and create little one off effects. And a small bunch of PAR56’s thrown out of my parents garage and into my car in a bit of haste…in case I would get round to putting something up in the first couple of days to get some idea of what would be needed.

There are two spaces or rooms – the Speech Room, where children make a spell under the guide of Voluminia, the librarian, and the Squeak Room, where they explore their brains with Queen Victor the Fabulous of Uluzuzulalia.

Firstly, the Squeak Room…

I eventually managed to rig something on the friday of the first week. A simple two colour wash in Lee 341 and Lee 366, with Lee 026 and Lee 204  washing the sides of the pods that wouldn’t be projected on – for obvious reasons. And a breakup gobo wash for some texture from what would be considered front of house (if such a term could be applied in this scenario)…And we (Ali Maclaurin and I) then decided that some nice refurbished Patt 123’s would look much better for the general covers. And as the gobo wash is slightly soft focus, my refurbished Patt 23’s will do that. It’ll fit in better with the whole look.

So, now to get a whole load more of these units taken apart, sand blasted, resprayed and reassembled… At least I have until middle of next year by the sound of things.

There were some other ideas that had to be abandoned, such as LED birdies from outside of the pods that were underhung from mic stands – these were to give the children an idea of where they should speak into, but the proximity of microphones and speakers caused a problem that we all know only too well. At least I now have another 20 odd 12v birdies to play with – I might use them as set dressing before the show goes out on tour…

Incidentally, as I was previously booked to do the “Enchanted gardens” in Hidcote again, I actually managed to not turn up for the rehearsals and first showings in the final week. Turning up on the last day to operate the final couple of shows was great, though. And a massive thank you to Sebastiane Brewer for stepping in for me as Production Manager! Specially considering the tricky situation in the previous weeks…

And then, the Speech Room.

I had little to do here. A warm general wash in Lee 156 and Lee 151. There were some mirrors on the fabric where children could see the insides of their mouthes, with some birdies behind this to light them. As I ended up operating the Squeak Room, I couldn’t tell if it worked, so I’ll rely on the feedback from  others in that it did indeed work. I would however like some time before the next set of rehearsals prior to touring to revisit this room.

Photographs of these rooms will appear on the website in the near future, if only as the shots I took using my phone camera…But some decent ones would be nice if only to illustrate Ali Maclaurin’s wonderful set.

And no, it won’t fit into the back of a standard size Transit. It has to be a long wheel base…And I’m not entirely sure some of the sections will go into Yvon’s office for storage without taking them apart…

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