Design Presentation

Yesterday evening, Pip and Alice took us through their respective design/costume ideas. It seemed to bring everyone another inch closer to the period and triggered thoughts and discussion about how people would transform themselves – earrings would come out, glasses would be removed or swapped for 1940’s frames and our 1940’s mothers-and-housewives-to -be would just have to start getting used to wearing their pinny 24/7. Oh – and their curlers. How alien does this all seem? What role does costume, hair and make up play in helping you get in touch with this period and with this period?

In rehearsal, we looked at the “homeless” section and saw families being moved from pillar to post as one bombed out house led to another. Jools went over the work that she had done on the “blown up” section with those that weren’t here on Wednesday evening.

Just a quick reminder that next Wednesday evening (9th March) we need the full company – Peth will be in the studio with Brenda, Lucy, Jasmine, Edward and Annie and everyone else will be upstairs with Jules. On Thursday evening (10th March), we will be working with the whole company as we step into our dancing shoes – at least metaphorically -for a session with Maggie Rawlionson.

As always, comments, feedback and reflections are warmly welcomed….

Back to Grandchildren of the Blitz

13 Responses

  1. Shipra

    Hello Ian,

    I don’t think the new design alludes to the wartime any more or less than any of the options we were exploring earlier. The birds/ bombs/ planes representation is quite strong in the current design being developed and we are now exploring a suggestion given by a participant about introducing searchlights. Lets see how that looks. Also, the designer was tasked with creating a new identity – an image/ a visual language which set the show slightly apart from the GOTB image, which is always tricky as GOTB has had a strong image presence used over a longer time.

    Do you think the Blackbirds image does not work as well?


  2. Ian

    The new designs for flyer/ poster seem to underplay the wartime theme or at least only allude to it is this intentional and why?

  3. Ian

    If you missed tonight you missed a good session. The mood and character of the show is getting clearer and it’s good that it is evolving playfully. Today was challenging in that gentle Bubble way. Experience and nowledge we had to dra on was not always immediately accessible. Personally have not preened or promenaded in a while and the mood of this show is positive because so much is clearly personal to the sources. I had not expected it to seem so different. Drunken scene was very funny and potential if we can get the whole across in the final thing it will be great.
    I am echoing here. It would be good if somebody else blogged. Muhammed’s away so come on lets have some variety. Lots of comments on the face furniture. I will have to remove this Sunday. But will re upholster possibly try for handlebars in the long the short and the tall of it.

  4. Ian

    Found two particularly useful bits of footage on Pathe films site: ‘London Carries on’ lots of ordinary people unscripted doing ordinary thing and also’ How does your garden grow?’ Particularly good for our purposes, patrticularly children and the landscape. Men frequently have hands in pockets, hats,clothes, coats frequently belted, scarves, arms default position seems to arms to the side, generally upright bearing, bending from waste,apparently oblivious and positive in face of chaos. It is hard sometimes to extract the propaganda element. Another couple of useful pieces of film is ‘Cycle Speedway’ and ‘Boy of 15 wins george medal, though this is very constructed, but the boy serving and smoking is interesting. Strange mixture of formal and unhealthy activities such as smoking being entirely acceptable,. makes you wonder how we’ll look in 70 years. All worth a look.

  5. Ian

    Yesterday was fascinating. Echoing Muhammed there was something gently positive about the whole thing. Like many I struggled with the partner work, felt distinctly aware of how my body is conditioned; even to the extent of having a clockwise bias. Turning the wrong way repeatedly. Very lucky to have tolerant partners, Iris and Fay, but it was almost serene when someone clicked and it made you realise how important to challenge one self by learning new physical skills. Another session would help lots. Really helped with sense of how people stood, moved enjoyed physical contact, and communication.
    Wednesday was weird, clearly a bit shambling but some lovely imagery, adults started to seem like naughty kids… some anyway!

  6. Muhammad

    Last night the fox-trot got the better of me – and I danced with the spirit of a butterfly or peacock. There’s a kind of peace that grips you when doing that sort of a dance – the accompanying music was a big incentive to try out the steps. During performance we could have only two or three couples dancing at a time – in order to avoid bumping into one another. And when, in the story, does the dance come in? Section J1 right? To Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller. . . . My dancing partners worked ever so hard! . . . Blocking House No. 8 was the start of something – getting the occupants to think more about their characters. Am happy to be a clerk with eyesight problems!

  7. Muhammad

    Last night I got into the swing of things – being a clothes line and one of the lucky WEIRD men! That Do I Care song has a catchy tune – and I can’t wait to learn it, and all the other songs we need to know. Already have had a taster of Underneath the Arches . . . I was hoping to do Moonlight Serenade before going off to Mecca/Medina, but it looks like a miss . . . I just have to catch up later. Wish me luck! (I’ve never missed 4 rehearsals in a row, EVER – so feeling a bit queasy!) Guess I’ll just keep reading the script, the end part of it and other bits. . . . Thought the picture we all created last night might have pathos drenching it. Our heart goes out to the lamenting Risi. She might even shed some tears . . .

  8. Muhammad

    The design presentation put an element of reality into our mental picture of the London of the Blitz. Want to see the ceiling/hanging objects – planes and lights maybe – that can transport us to Blitz domain. Atmosphere is key in a period piece – once in 40’s costumes and surrounded by the furniture/objects of that time, we might feel at home – and the story should flow with an unbroken rhythm. . . . I enjoyed being a Corner/Washing line – that’s when you’re mute and inanimate – though I do get to move my arms. Ian’s right – we need to practice and find the rhythm in that Suitcases scene. As Peth hinted, the families might have to further simplify things. Question: How? Answer: By being prompter?

  9. Ian

    Don’t think we room corners got a clear enough sense of the rhythm of the families moving be nice to practise again.

  10. Ian

    The designs were interesting. Dilston Grove looks like quite a challenging tight space. However also atmospheric and somewhere that could be saturated and crowded with a particular Blitz experience. It would be good if we could get some more of the pictures of people on the site and maybe some film. Getting the right feel/ atmosphere is going to be a challenge.

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