Behind the scenes

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Preview: Jackson & Grumitt: Planet Marmalade

When God created the world, for the first time, it was a bit of a disaster, although according to Jesus the current one isn’t much of an improvement. In fact it was initially made entirely out of marmalade. Jackson & Grumitt explore the world of Planet Marmalade through 17 different sketches.  Who knew that Katherine Howard was a proto-feminist and that lawnmowers were one of her first ideas? Who knew that you measured the height of pyramids in camels, or that the Pharaoh hadn’t quite thought his three-pyramid burial plan through?

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Notes from the Dressing Room

Next up, Assassins, the O’Reilly’s penultimate Michaelmas show and it’s Sondheim, so you know it’s going to be a banger. So far the process has been as far a cry from Jerusalem as you could imagine: (a) All my limbs are, at the moment, fully-functioning (touch wood); (b) I actually know what the costumes are going to look like, which is always useful when you’re the costume designer, you know, and I might as well admit now – since it’s all in the hazy past (aka 4th week) – that I can’t exactly say the same about the last weekend of  the previous production … but thankfully, we did have a visionary director with a wardrobe more magical than Narnia to help us out, so there you go; (c) The only thing to have gone wrong, so far, is ASOS bailing at the last on a pair of rather fine brown mid-century trousers, and I guess I’ll figure out in the morning whether or not that’s a problem (nothing wrong about a pantsless Lee Harvey Oswald, right?); (d) No tattoos; (e) It’s a musical! (more…)

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Preview: The Country

As I arrived at the preview for The Country I was embroiled into a brutal game of header football to get us all warmed up (needless to say I was not very good), and so was somewhat exhausted when I flopped down onto a chair to watch the first scene of Martin Crimp’s play. The cast had clearly survived football better than me: focused immediately, they fell with ease into their characters.

The Country follows a couple, Richard and Corinne, who have moved to the countryside to escape the city and the past that came with it. However, on the night on which the play begins, Richard, a doctor, has brought home an unconscious girl that he supposedly found lying on the road. This is the beginning of layers of lies which slowly begin to tear their new life apart. (more…)

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Notes from the Dressing Room

So this is one absolutely harassed costume designer reporting from the frontline of what may be this term’s craziest production: Will Felton’s interpretation of the Butterworth/Rylance smash hit, Jerusalem. There’s nothing quite like Show Week to get a costume designer at her (or his) wit’s end: no matter how many months you’ve spent preparing yourself mentally for the task, you only really ever have one guarantee: that of all the things which could go wrong… about 80 per cent of them will. (more…)

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Interview: Rick Fisher

As I sit down to interview lighting designer Rick Fisher, questions in hand, he turns to me and asks: “So tell me, why do you want to talk to me?” I am momentarily flummoxed, my neat list of questions seeming temporarily redundant. But it is a fair question, in a celebrity-obsessed culture fixated on the people who we can actually see: lighting designers, typically, are not the most visible part of a dramatic team. (more…)

notes from the dressing roo
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Notes from the Dressing Room II

So the evenings are getting darker, the opening nights are getting closer, and my room currently resembles such a pigsty it’s led a few people to remark I might be getting a little too into Halloween.

Still, this is Oxford student theatre, not the Barbican, and while the facilities are great, I’m pretty sure my demands for a sixteen-rail warehouse to store all my costumes are falling onto deaf ears. I’m sorry, but what else could possibly need so much money? Another revolving stage somewhere? I need space for my glittery jazz shoes!

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The Oxford Student

One Step Ahead Since 1991