It’s that time of year again when we can finally share a few secrets from our productions that we couldn’t reveal during the season.
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
Almost everyone who attended the show could be heard in the foyers afterwards murmuring something along the lines of “I swear I could actually smell the bacon!” Many of you even took to Twitter and Facebook to ask us what the trick was. The simple fact is, there was no trick – members of the cast and stage management team were actually cooking food back stage. What can we say? – the creative team wanted audiences to enjoy a complete sensory experience.
Were you as blown away by our Scenic Department’s Rothko recreations as we were? The team spent hours working on the reproductions of the famous Seagram Murals, which were accurate in size to the millimetre. We could only enjoy them for the briefest time however, because strict copyright meant that our team had to destroy all the canvases at the end of the season (and alas, we can’t show you photos of the recreations, or their destruction, due to the same copyright). But with our production touring to Queensland early next year, our team will have a second chance to recreate Rothko’s masterpieces as closely as possible. Heartbreakingly, they will then have to be destroyed a second time – so Queensland audiences, enjoy them while they last.
There are some elements of our pre-production that are so funny and eventful, that it’s hard not to share them with you. Like the day we tested out the water drop for the final scene of Australia Day. Our Technical Manager for Light and Sound, Kerry, kindly offered to be our test pilot. Not many jobs out there give you the chance to waterbomb – or be waterbombed by – members of staff, but then, not many things about working here are similar to other jobs.
His Girl Friday
Part way through Act 2, escaped criminal Earl Holub gets bundled into a roll top desk, and is forced to hide in there for around 20 minutes, with only a few quick oxygen breaks. It’s a tiny space, and actor David Woods is quite tall – so how on earth did he manage to stay in there so long? We overheard many of you speculating about it in the foyer, and some of you were correct – the desk had a false back, which allowed David to climb out of the desk for a break, and then back in again just before his next cue. Although sometimes the timing got a little tight – on a few occasions our Stage Manager had to give him a quick prod to get back in the desk!
We could also tell you about toast cannon malfunctions and shipping crates that only open one way, how to stop a heavy wardrobe toppling over on a sloped stage, or the time we got questioned by police for filming roadkill – but we’d be here till New Year! It’s safe to say there’s never a dull moment here.