There are many aspects to a theatre production and many of them need to be done well in advance of the opening night. I thoroughly enjoy being on stage and being part of a production but at the same time I have now discovered a new passion and a new way to express my creativity... Set Construction!
For the previous play, it was a slighly easier affair with the main part of the bar that was required for the show already being available and in the right dimensions. Funnily enough, this bar will officially on opening night have appeared in more productions with the Finn-Brit Players than myself! Go figure...
This time the director and stage manager presented a couple of new challenges. I keenly wrote down the details of these requirements and present to you my "patented" 4 and 1/2 step process to creating custom made sets:
Step 1. Design. Start thinking about design from the start. I did, happily driving to work and back every day with Single Bride set requirements running in my head. This is probably the least labour intensive part of the process, relying on more creative aspects like what material is the best to use and where will it be sourced.
Step 2. Sourcing the Material. Although quite fun and given time constraints a little stressful as measurements were calculated at the same time as the wood was being cut into its finals dimensions, I would recommend anyone doing this part to reserve as many hours as possible. While choices are endless, its getting through all the available choices that takes time...and patience!
Step 3. Collecting the tools. One thing I can only emphasise is one must have the right tools. That makes this part a lot quicker than relying on natural strength.
Step 3 and 1/2. Beverages. I would not be a set builder without my "beverages" at this stage. It also made my work "better." Hence, the "patented" process.
Step 4. Construction. This is the fun part as everything comes together. Again, plenty of time is needed and re-working is always required as even though the designs are always brilliant, there are always a few challenges along the way. And leave plenty of time at the end to double-check and test that everything works as the director and stage manager want it to work!
All I can say at this stage is that the attached picture is from the early phases of something that makes an apperance in the Single Bride play.
So all you need to do now, is book your ticket and come see if the set works as it is supposed to work and what became of the wood set out nicely on the table....if anything at all :)