Saturday, 11 February 2012

Opening Night

On Friday night I went to the opening night of King Lear at the Tobacco Factory Theatre which was ace.  It was great seeing all my favourite bits from rehearsals played out in front of a packed house, and also seeing some of the subtle nuances I may have missed whilst trying to get people's noses right...

I also got a copy of the program pressed into my mits, which was great because it was the first time I'd seen the artwork I did for the centrespread, well, in the centrespread.  Artwork always looks better when it's shiny!  Luckily I think most of the cast like it (leastways no-one has seemed mortally offended by any bad likenesses.

And that dear friends is it for my Lear mission, at least with regards to sketching it, which is a little sad, as it's probably been one of the happiest drawing experiences I've ever had...and I'd like to say a massive thankyou to all the cast and crew for being so nice to me and letting me sit in in the first place.

Where next?  Well, I hope to sketch some of the rehearsals for their next production, Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, which start in a couple of weeks, although I've got a fair few cartoon animals to draw over the coming months.  I also hope to figure out a decent way to exhibit some of my King Lear work..whether that'll just be the sketches or some extra work inspired by them I'm not sure...I'll keep you posted!  One thing is for sure though is that I am now well and truly hooked on this kind of sketching, so I'll be lloking to do more one way or another..

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dress rehearsals!

Saw the cast in their costumes for the first time on Monday.  They looked amazing, but it did make me chuckle to start off with - having seen everyone rehearsing in the civvies for most of the month it felt a little like seeing all your workmates in fancy dress (hold that image if you work in an office).

The last couple of days have been 'tech rehearsals', so there's been (mercifully for me) a bit of hanging round whilst lights, sound, angle of approach for a quick dispatching, etc are got right.  But there's still a lot of movement on stage, so I just get down what I can before they move on.   I would also like to say in my defence that it was dark where I was sat...

This one below I'm particularly pleased with - I've been trying and failing to draw Jack Whitam (Edmund) for ages, and this is the only time I think I've come even close.  There are a few other members of cast and crew who, through no fault of theirs, I can't draw for toffee.  You may know who you are, in which case sorry, and I will try to remedy the situation asap!

Today's scenes were all of the 'blimey it's all going off' variety.  Whilst they've stopped a long way short of having to issue a 'first two rows will get wet' warning, and it's all tastefully done,  I'd recommend perhaps just having a light salad as your meal before the play.  Needless to say it makes for cracking  theatre, but poor old Gloucester!

Behind the scenes

Alas my friends, the end is near, and so I face etc etc etc.  Opening night is but a couple of nights away, and now that we're into final dress rehearsals I need to leave everyone to it (nothing like the sound of someone dropping their pencil case to put you off your eye gouging scene).  There is no downside to this though - i've loved every second of it, and it's been important to me to milk every second of my remaining time here for all it's worth.

Subsequently I have drawn LIKE A FIEND.  All the pictures you see today and on tomorrow's post were drawn today and yesterday (and you can double what you see if you factor in the really crap ones I've left out!)

Anyway, today's pictures are of the lovely ladies of the costume dept (loosely termed 'department' as I think members of stage management were mucking in too).  

Step out of the auditorium and you're straight into the bar area, which for the last couple of days has been a hive of activity whilst everyone adjusts costumes, sorts hairstyles and occasionally gets deafened by the sound of trumpets and hunting hounds*.

These pictures are slightly misleading as there tended to be at least 3 people round the table at anyone time.

I should mention too that the costumes look chuffing amazing

When it's not full of costumes and people working hard on them (and even when it is) this is the area where the cast hang out when having breaks/waiting to be called..I'm including this picture cos I'm chuffed with it!

* if you play the sound effects super loud in the bar it sounds like distant clamour to the audience in the theatre!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

When two scribes go to war..

..sorry folks, no war here, I just couldn't resist the pun.  This here was one of my favourite pictures of the week despite being the of back of someone's head.  This on is of Danann McAleer, who I feel a certain kinship with as amongst other roles he plays the court scribe. You can see what he looks like(ish) from a better angle in my Jan 17th post!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


It's been a roller coaster this week. Yesterday was full on - a run through of the first half of the play, in the actual theatre for the first time.  I had to regularly remind myself to draw as I got pretty caught up in it, and when I did draw the results were iffy, as I didn't know where to look or what to draw first ( my sketches have gone to work with Mel in the car - I'll let you know if any of them were any cop!).  So I had a great time but was slightly worried about mojo loss!

But today my pen was on fire!  Here are some of the sketches I did once I'd put it out....

A few pics of Trevor Cooper as poor old Gloucester...

A quick apology to those of you who don't like sepia tones...I used brown ink in honour of the Tobacco factory's subdued lighting!  My plans to go 'full colour' have been on hold due to the speed of everything, but I'll keep you posted..

 Iain MacDonald manning the script table...

Production designer Harriet de Winton.  I've said it before and doubtless will again - it's not the best likeness (it was dark, she was on the other side of the room..), but I like the drawing..
There are lots more pictures from today, but I am knackered....also sadly this is going to be my last sketching trip for the week (hopefully I'll get a last session or two in before opening, but I can't assume..), so I thought I'd keep a few back  for the rest of the week...