Wednesday, 28 September 2011

His Dark Materials

All last year the second years told us about the second year having briefs we had to work to, but I still managed to forget this!
I had planned to do something.
My plan was...
I’ve been reading this play...

The play is based on a series of books which I really like.

The play has lots of puppets and interesting costumes and such, so I thought it would be exciting to design and create some of the more important puppets and costumes. The play is also set between different worlds (Lyra’s world, our world, Cittagaze and the land of the dead) so I thought it would be interesting to try to create different atmospheres for the different worlds.

I don’t know much about plays, but I really like when they have a non-representational stage which means that lighting and projections become key.  I’ve created a basic stage plan and model. Since making the model I decided a higher level towards the back of the stage needs to be included for a number of reasons:
1.      So some puppeteers could hide behind it
2.      So there is places to sit without having to bring chairs on (meaning props and scenery can be at a minimum)
3.      So with lighting and maybe smoke, if the witches run across it, it could look like they are flying.
I imagine the set to be a back curtain and the black floor, they will all have gold paint flicked and dribbled onto it, which fits into the plays idea of ‘Dust’. The curtain will be placed in from the back of the stage, leaving a gap so some scenery could be stored behind as well as the back projector. This would also mean that it could be places anywhere, onto an existing stage or in a warehouse.  Again since making the model, I’ve decided to add a white section into the middle of the black curtain to make projections easier and the break up the black so it’s not so dauntingly dark.
Here are some basic sketches of costumes and puppet ideas.



Our World-

Mrs Coulter
First- (With Large Fur Coat)

Polar Bears-

Harpy -

Angel Puppet -

Salcilia (Roger's Dæmon) -


I should point out that the play is actually 6 hours long. (it’s two 3hour plays, and when it was originally performed they did Part One the first night and then Part Two the following) so I don’t imagine that I would ever actually perform it, but I intend to create the puppets and then I guess if they are successful I could take them to a theatre company and turn it into some of that networking thing everyone’s so fond of.

I still plan to carry on with this project whilst undertaking the group ‘success’ project.