I have been given a task to produce a set design which is based on the film called, "Little Shop of Horrors." As the set design is very important within theatres I am expected to create a stage which meets all of the requirements of the film as well as 1950's New York. During the process of organising an outstanding stage for an audience, I will be noting down key aspects of my planning. This includes the production of the design and as much research as possible. Also, it is essential to communicate with all members of my group and sharing new ideas. I will ensure that my ideas are original and I am asking opinions from my teacher and client. I am looking forward to creating an exciting design for the stage and an outcome I can proudly reflect on.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Health & Safety

To ensure everything is running smoothly I have created a risk assessment chart to prevent accidents during pre-production and production

Studio- use of power tools
It’s important to wear safety clothing and goggles to prevent dust going into eyes and wearing safety clothing helps people who are walking by recognize power tools are switched on.
Cutting equipment
Carefully cut away from the body using a cutting mat which avoids the table underneath to become scratched.  Do not hold open knives as you are walking around the classroom.
Use of paint & glue
Water based equipment is safer and chemical free which does not cause great effect when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. However, it is vital for rooms to be ventilated to ensure sufficient fresh air. 
Heavy equipment lifting

It is ideal for stronger members of the team to help transfer heavy equipment. By working in groups we can organise how this will be done and the people involved.
Ensure the props are safe for the performance- Plant
Because someone will be inside the plant a final check of the interior will make sure it fits safely and there is enough room to breathe. Incase sharp objects appear they must be removed and placing a soft layered wadding inside makes more comfort for the actor to wear.


Stage blackout, tripping/falling/colliding
Torches will help the crew members to see where they are going in the dark during the performance.   
Scenery positioning
Markings should be clearly marked on the floor preferably in a highlighted colour
Use of paint & glue
Water based equipment is safer and chemical free which is does not cause great effect when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. However, it is vital for rooms to be ventilated to ensure sufficient fresh air. 
Heavy equipment lifting
/ sharp objects/ padded wadding where it reaches his body
It is ideal for stronger members of the team to help transfer heavy equipment. By working in groups we can organise how this will be done and the people involved.
Ensure the props are safe for the performance- Plant
Because someone will be inside the plant a final check of the interior will make sure it fits safely and there is enough room to breathe. Incase sharp objects appear they must be removed and placing a soft layered wadding inside makes sure more comfort for the actor to wear.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


Mood board of performance. 

Within working towards producing a set design for the school horror many demands and high inspirational input from students were required. As the drama department was eager to put on a good show for the audience, like every stage production it was important to put as much as effort possible to create a superior outcome.

Firstly, as I was excited to be involved in the making of a theatre design a lot of responsibility was needed from me and the team. There was a great range of practical work that I was involved in. For example, it was one of my jobs with my group to construct a florist shop relevant to the storyline and to make a dentist chair. Therefore, to make the correct scenery I researched the types of chairs that relate in the story. I believe that research was significant for this project because it gained knowledge on clarifying the type of pieces that should be created. I also got involved in:
Scene painting
Prop construction
Construct the action prop (the prop being used)
Making the plant
Designing posters, graphical designs
Creating a dentist chair
Florist construction
Technical requirements- working out scale of plant was essential
Visual research/ mood boards/search engines/books, TV
Got involved in stage management- guiding for when to change scenes. Ensuring person controlling plant was OK- health and safety
Making sure everything is safe whilst props are being transferred.

While I was in the process of designing the set I learnt much more about the timescale of ‘pre-production’. Firstly, I noticed that the timescale was very strict as the date is set therefore it is permanent.  As well as this but, every member of the designing team has lots of individual responsibilities due to the busy timescale. To help, the production to be successful, comprising a strict and encouraged management in addition excellent organisational skills ensures the production is stable.

There was a variety of parts that I enjoyed and felt the ability to complete. Firstly, I took the pleasure to be original and creative. Not only this but, I was capable selecting the correct and suitable images from search engines which are most relevant to the story. However, I was sometimes positioned in making decisions without help meaning I was uncertain without assistance. But, I overcome this by compromising with my team members to make a final choice. If I was to improve in this project I would thoroughly plan my steps before designing as this would reduce the stress over the deadline.

An element that I have learnt the most during this project is to understood how important it is to meet deadlines for a set design because it is immovable. For that reason, an individual must stay focused from beginning to the end of the stage design. Moreover, I gained knowledge on how to organise this event successfully. This includes going through the script numerously. I believe that rehearsing scene changes are highly important as I needed to remember where the props are located. Most of all, I know that team work gains motivation and success as it guarantees being confidence throughout the project. Also, during the live performance I learnt to keep the actors feeling confident as well as moving props safely within a very quick time. I was happy to make sure the person behind the plant prop was ok at all times. Live performances can be stressful but this can be overcome if everything is organised correctly.

During this production I have gained much knowledge about how professionals work in the theatre industry. From researching different themes for a particular mood and finding out why so much input is needed from each and every member. I am aware that many people are needed from different creative roles for the most professional outcome. Before I started this course I was unaware why Copyright regulations were so important and how much a great impact this could have to a company if it is over-looked. I also learnt that measurements are essential of the props and sightlines of the stage because every person from the audience must be able to view each side of the stage. I know that the audience is key members to impress as everything you decide to make from initial ideas must have a positive effect to the viewers. It is also important to be ready to be criticised by the client as it is their job to ensure we are on the right task and making everything appropriately according to what they prefer. I was amazed to see how accurate the initial drawings of ideas looked to the final pieces. 

If I could do this again, I would love to get involved into costume design and creating different costumes to show a certain status and personality. As well as this, if I had the permission to I would like to develop my lighting skills and be in control by experimenting and creating something unusual. Overall, I felt confident and enthusiastic about this experience where I identified many pre production skills, the personality to carry this task successfully as well as backstage management. 

Audience Feedback

With our client we discussed and decided we wanted the target audience to be students, families and members of the staff because performing Little Shop of Horrors mostly suited this target. To promote this production advertisement of leaflets were used around within the school location.

These are what the audience thought of the show from different ages:

Anisha 14 yrs
“The show was amazing! Really lively and colourful.”

Gunita 16 yrs
“The show wasn’t as funny as I expected. The actors could have rehearsed the script more.”

Mrs Bansal (Mum 39)
“It was very professional looking for a student production. The Lighting and sets made it look very convincing.”

Amit 12 yrs
“I liked the designs of the set it was so cool how each scene could change so much.”

Mr Edwards Teacher
“The props and background were impressive, especially the giant plant and how it got bigger and bigger in each scene, that was the best bit. It really looked like it was eating people.”

Faizan 16 yrs
“There were some scary parts and the songs were very good.”

Amrit 13 yrs
“I wish I had known it was going to be that good, I would have auditioned for a part. It felt like a professional musical.”

Mr Ward Headteacher
“Wow, defiantly the best school performance I’ve ever seen. It was visually amazing!”

From these results, I can see that the majority of people liked the performance visually meaning the acting has not been talked about too much which may not had been perfect as there were many young performers but I am delighted the set designs made up for it. 


I believe the importance of audience is a significant priority because it is their needs and interest that need to be considered whilst producing any production. For any company it is essential for them to want to keep viewers to keep coming back for more than one experience. Whether the production is cheaply built but very successfully performed to the target audience or expensively built but not communicating to the audience they will feel let down because they could not participate and feel confused as the performance was not what they expected. As the target audience for the performance located in the school are students it would be appropriate for their families to watch the evening show with them. Therefore, I make sure everything the team and I make will be liked by both target audience. Instead of focusing on if they will find humorous to the quirky ideas it can be better if we make sure the designs make the families and students feel a nice evening together whilst watching the performance. 

Working Backstage

It was important to make sure everything was organised before the audience started to arrive. As actors were sitting backstage anxious for the performance to begin one of my role was to guide families and students to the hall. When the performance begun I took the responsibility to ensure team members and I was aware when to change the scenery props and to do this quietly and efficient because there is a wide audience behind the closed curtains. Even though, this was rehearsed many times, because of the fact that this was the real performance when I was positioning different props where they should belong I felt tense becuase I knew I had a very quick time-scale to complete this in. It was also important that everything is moved around safely whilst the props are being transferred. The prop plant Audrey which involved a person to wear it as a costume as he was controlling the plant I took the duty to make sure he was in good health by getting enough of a break when he needed to. This meant handing a bottle of water and frequently asking if he felt safe.
From this experience I learnt how to communicate with members of the crew and also stay organised by ensuring all props are there. I enjoyed greeting families and students because it shows that I was excited for the performance as well as putting them feel more enthused

These images show the contrast of different scene changes

Designing the Plant

Before designing the plant Audrey the team members researched the way the plant may look and how it will be made within the budget and time-scale. It was best if this life size was worn by a person who will be in charge to function movements from the huge terrifying mouth to make the prop seem life like. We had to consider the following:
Measurement of the plant.
How will this plant manually be able to act life like?
Will the person be hidden inside the plant to make it look as realistic and effective for the audience?
Because the prop will be big and quite heavy how strong will the person need to be to hold the plant for a lengthy time?
This includes, which safety considerations must we be aware of to ensure the person behind the plant is unharmed.
Also which type of material will be included while the plant is being held? E.g breathable cotton.

As some team members were taking measurements of the plant using a person for a template so they will be able to fit into the final creation, additional features were being designed by others such as the big plants leafs and flower pot. This was done by using a variety of materials such as paint and coloured tissue paper.

Images showing different members of the team focusing on either the technical or creative part of the plant design:

Technical Drawing

Creating a layout of the stage with measurements is important as it helps us recognise where the props are positioned for each set change. This enables us to see sightlines for the audeince and stage blocking as we have to ensure actors and objects are not overcrowding each other. The measurements are important as it shows how big each props can be to fit on the stage. For each different set change it was significant to rehearse the performance as much as possible to be able to ensure which props are including for different script sections of the story and helps the crew members memorise the script. This is essential in any production as measurement designs gains knowledge of structures and the layout of the show and helps run the performance smoothly.