Sense and Sensibility at Claygate Village Hall
7th - 9th October 2010
Written by Jane Austen; Adapted by Fiona Dowd
Directed by Sarah Dowd and Elizabeth Lattimore
Performed by Claygate Dramatic Society
This was with a different theatre group to usual - I had done two scenic paintings for Sarah and Lizzie before, so of course when they knew that they would be putting a gigantic painting at the back of the village hall stage in Claygate, they asked me. Because this wasn't a theatre, there were a few difficulties - one was that there was no rigging to secure the canvases to, so they had to be attached to the wall for me to work on - that meant that I had to get the painting in exactly the right place because it couldn't be moved. Another was that I didn't have access to the theatre paints - all I had were a variety of tins of house paint in the village hall's garage. Luckily they had the main colours I needed; various greens, yellow, white, purple, and a little red, but some of the paints were past their prime - gungey paint is not easy to work with!
The design of the set was to have this gigantic painting at the back that could serve as either a painting in a posh house, or a window looking out at the countryside, or a scene within the countryside itself. Furniture was added or removed to set the scene.
I had a picture to work from - and again I used a projector to line up the image and sketch out a basic design before getting to work. It was a much brighter sunnier day in the actual photograph but I wanted the mood of the picture to reflect the stormy moods displayed by Marianne and felt by Eleanor in the play, so I made the sky a purplish thunderstorm grey with a hint of light on the edge of the horizon. I also made the house a little bigger, otherwise it wouldn't be seen by the audience, although it adds to the loneliness of the image.
A close-up of the lonely house.