The Knickers - (September 1991)

The set was an ambitious design considering the overall production budget at the time of 20,000, which included rehearsal room hire et al. I still think Jonathan Bartlett, the production manager, did a remarkable job in getting the whole thing on stage for the money.

I was greatly helped in the design process by Teresa Wheeler who assisted me throughout. Teresa is an exceptionally fine modelmaker (and designer in her own right) but was only able to help if I set up a studio base at her house as she had a new baby to look after as well as a young daughter. I was more than happy to work with this arrangement as it meant the discipline of going to work each day, avoiding the temptations and distractions of working in isolation at home!

The first group of five pictures below show a medium to small scale professional workshop. Conditions are cramped but quite large scale shows can be undertaken here. Adrian Snell is self-employed and has a small team of regular workers who he engages as needs arise. Based in Leicester there is naturally a strong relationship with theatres in the area but commissions are taken on from throughout the UK.

Adrian Snell's workshop second view

View from the workshop entrance. The kitchen set is half painted against the rear wall and the steel staircase units stacked on their side (also photo right)

The main construction area seen back towards the workshop entrance from the radial arm saw bench (below, last of the five photos)

third view fourth view

The small area allocated to the bed saw and the small pillar drill/grinders bench on the end wall.

The staircase leading up to the office and morticer.

fifth view

The radial arm saw bench and timber/steel storage racks on the far right hand wall from the workshop entrance.


The Strike

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About twenty minutes into the set's destruction the small counterweighted lift for the window piece is revealed. In the left foreground a remaining section of the rake can be seen and its extent beyond the front of the Lyric's permanent stage.

The stage rake was the first thing to go - and very quickly. It was built in timber throughout.

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The set, with the kitchen unit flown in, just as the last member of the audience left, minutes before the strike began. The gash running parallel to the front of the stage is the line of the trap from which the window piece popped up. The false stage front and perched 'special' lanterns which provided an eerie low level light during the fast forwarded dinner scene are to the bottom left.

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E-mail: db@davidburrows.com

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