Saturday, 30 March 2013

I ran away to join the circus .. but I'm back!

I know ... my website is still in process but I've been having the most wonderful time... My solo painting exhibition 'The Bee Keepers'  at The Street gallery was extended ...

..   and yes I ran away to Circus Space to make the set props and costume for 'Strange Forces' ... the third year degree show, directed by the incredible dark clown Peta Lily. Ingenious  lighting by Sarah McColgan, spot on sound by Craig Byrne ...


also I must mention Liz Kay, simply brilliant  stage manager .. and Kim, Matt, Mari and the crew with tech (and amazing patience and stamina) and of course the amazing Circus Space students.
Special thanks to Mark Morreau the photographer who has allowed me to use his photos in this blog page.... and to Maeve and Hannah from RADA ...

The set was a black sharktooth gauze with a backdrop that expressed back stage circus school... ropes hoops .. It was to signify the change from third year acts like Arce on pole....
... to the strange forces interludes where the audience was entertained by sad, 'put upon'  first year clowns... Michelle springs to mind..

The Iconic costumes comprised of disposable overalls with vests and leggings ... or white  cotton scrub suits that I made late into the night... but to make a whole circus troup I  also included tutus and  full catsuits that I painted with tattooos for contortionist Claudia .. and dancer Natalie.....

My favourite sculptural elements were Morris the pantomime unicorn played by Marianna and Michael .. with Katie under duress with the whip... The pattern from scratch was hard work and he took me three attempts to get the body right...
A circus is never complete without animals I made an elephant vacuum cleaner creature to hoover up the flitter from Heidi's rope act...

Maisy  brilliant as Ellie and and Charline the kind loving keeper...
The interesting thing about working with Peta Lily is that the props inspire and direct the way the show develops... so every day there were texts for .. a white rabbit...a whistle .. a tricyle for a toddler  and yet Floria and Craig D managed to ride it!....
The spirit of the circus was exemplified by paper plate ruffs and exfoliating scrub cloths on overshoes as wigs .. or swimming hats ...
... or just paper carrier bags ....
.. The Little man piece was a favorite to make and Michael played his part magnificently ...


But each first year was amazing so I must mention each of the other first years .. Laura, Lucky, Natalie, Claudia, Ellie, Kerrie, Lil, Alice. Jess, Arthur, Graig G, and Luke..

Oh and  I really enjoyed working with the third years ...

and learned a lot about costume durability, safety and how to bring the stark costumes of the links into the glorious costumes the third years had to devise for themselves... (above Ben ...below - Matt)

I am so inspired I have begun  to investigate possible fabrics and seams for circus, specifically arial acts like Gonzalo's
 ( and Lydia ... wonderful bird girl)

So many wonderful third year acts .. Beren and Louis...



Lynne..


Beth
Tom...

James

Nelly....

And an amazing talent from the first years too in a wonderful clowning way...



.. and Mark captured these so well ....
I will add some more soon ...

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