2008

Listed in order, just scroll down to find them – It’s a Wonderful Life / Three Tall Women / The Anniversary / Strangers On A Train

New Venture’s December production was a stage version of the classic Christmas movie ‘It’s a Wonderful life’. Gerry McCrudden wrote this adaptation and directed it, Tim McQuillan-Wright built the set, and all I had to do was make the thing look like a radio studio, interspersed with scenes in George Bailey’s home town – and of course a few episodes in heaven . . .

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Ian Black directed July’s offering – a very intriguing play by Edward Albee. ‘Three Tall Women’ starts by being about just one tall woman aged 92, and the people tasked with looking after her.

In the second act, however, the woman’s carer (52) and a young lawer (26) who’s there to sort out her affairs, become the old woman at earlier points in her life. So we are given one life from three different perspectives.

The woman’s son is there as well, sitting by her bedside – in fact she’s there, as a mannequin lying in bed, throughout the play.

A powerful set, too, with piles of abandoned furniture, and dozens of hanging ceiling lights, of many different vintages and styles, producing an overall warmth to augment my lighting.

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Bill McIllwrath’s ‘The Anniversary’ was New Venture’s June play. Tom brings his pregnant fiancee Shirley home for the annual wedding-anniversary ritual orchestrated by his widowed, scalpel-tongued, deviously possessive mother.

An interesting set to light, with receding areas of activity that I had to make appear naturalistic.

The lighting remained unchanging throughout – but the action varied from joy to frenzied argument.

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I’d assisted Pat Boxall with rigging the lighting on a number of NVT productions, so it was a great honour when she asked me to do the design for ‘Strangers On A Train’ in January.

Craig Warner’s play is about two men who meet on a train and agree to carry out each other’s murders. One is an architect, and the set was designed to look like the blueprint of a building floor plan. My task was to shift the action to different locations by shifting the focus of the lighting to different areas in turn.

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