I’ve been involved with quite a few plays and musicals in the QEH Theatre over the years. My contribution has varied from play to play and all productions are collaborative so I can’t take credit for everything below.
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream re-set in the modern era, at Glastonbury festival.
David Almond’s novel, adapted for the stage.
For this short play by David Campton we created a cage on stage—including a functional swing and newspaper floor.
Return to the Forbidden Planet
Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, this musical is chock-full of feel-good retro classics.
The Flint Street Nativity
Lord of the Flies
An adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel.
- scrap aeroplane parts including seats and fuselage sections sourced to use as set
- multi-channel surround sound system devised to create ‘in-flight’ and ‘jungle’ soundscapes
- fire bucket created from Arduino-controlled LEDs plus a smoke bomb
- custom ‘boarding passes’ printed for the ‘flight’.
This one-act comedy by Peter Shaffer has the lighting inverted—so when the electrician finally fixes the light, the actors are plunged into darkness.
Nikolai Gogol’s short story was performed for one night only, with all sound and lighting cued from memory or improvised.
Mary Shelley’s classic was brought to life with amazing makeup and projection.
Sweeney Todd (School Edition)
No production of Sweeney Todd could be complete without the barber’s chair above a secret trapdoor—which of course we had! This production also saw us use LED lighting for the first time and acquire a smoke machine.
We staged Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel using a series of wooden cuboid frames moved by the actors to provide an infinitely reconfigurable set.
Based on Steve Ryan’s history of QEH.
A shape-shifting metal box I designed was transformed from scenic background into a carriage and bathhouse during the performance.
We made it rain. Enough said.
There were some great set ideas for this production, but sadly budget restraints restricted what we could do in the end. It was also the first play to be staged in the round at the QEH Theatre.
Our most committed foray into serious set-building, with a custom-built wooden caravan onto which we mapped a live video stream from a camera held by an actor.
Lots of deck created a multi-level set used for the ship (the Hispaniola) as well as the island’s mountain and caves. We created an LED-lit ship’s wheel and rigging from safety netting.