Thursday, 5 December 2013

KIBO Halloween!

So here is my slightly delayed blog post, on designing Kibo Production's halloween party!

The main idea to the event was that a zombie apocolypse had taken over the world, and our party venue was a haven of safety, out of the way of the zombies. I decided that road signs would be good ways of signposting areas of the venue. A prop make was required! Many cardboard cut out letters later...

The given a lick of paint...

Before the finishing touches.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Recently I've been getting more acquainted with my sewing machine again.  There was a time at school when I was never far away from it, definitely for never more than a day, when I was manufacturing recycled t-shirts for independent shops around Britain. Since finishing university, I've had a little more free time, and I've been able to get crafting again, as well as working as a seamstress at The History Bunker in Leeds. All in all, more sewing is good news! Especially in the run up to Christmas... I may manage a blog post of handmade Christmas presents too in the new year, if I manage to make all of the presents I'm planning to!

But anyway, as I'm having a little reminisce this evening, I thought I'd share with you the t-shirts I made a few years ago...

Each one of my t-shirts tells a story. Well to me, and my family  at least. The fabrics that I use to reverse applique on have all been collected up over generations. My great grandmother had a collection of small scraps of material, leftover from dressmaking that she would roll up tightly, and secure with a pin. It is this same collection, now greatly added to by the women in my family that I use on my t-shirts. Each patterned fabric has with it, a corresponding dress, or blouse, made for a specific event. With just a glance at the print, memories are evoked of days, maybe three, or fifty three years ago.

Monday, 18 November 2013

King Lear

So a month ago, I started back at work at Rocket Scenery, where I have done some scenic painting before. This time, we were working on King Lear for the Chichester Festival Theatre.

Photographs by Johan Persson, with more to see at

The set, designed by Robert Innes Hopkins, involved giant wooden columns that encased the stage. Extending high into the rafters, they had a dignified surrounding them as they stood observing the environment.

Here we see some of the columns in the foreground, with the breeze blocks in the background; mid-reveal!

And then, painted black again.

Developing the texture on the columns.

I was also doing breeze blocks for the surrounds of the stage. Much measuring and texturing happened... a good test in accurate measuring and fast working.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

On Shining Wings Model

So I must admit, I've been reminiscing a little recently about uni life in Nottingham. I really did have such fun, and find myself thinking, 'this time last year I was...'. Last night I found myself looking back on the Christmas play that I designed for Oldham Theatre Workshop (@OTWOldhamlast year, for which my planning started a year ago exactly! I never did manage to get some pictures of the model I made for the show up on here, so... here we go! It's not the best angle, so for that, I apologise. However, I remember being really impressed that the space looked so much like the model that I made! 

(I know that it should, it was just my first major realisation of this fact) It dawned on me that it really is possible to conjure up something in your head, work it through in scale form, and then make it in real life.

Ah well, enough ramblings from me on the joy of tiny things!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


So, I have been a little quiet on the blog posting front, but this time, because I've been busy on designing a new play 'Peacocks' by Shazia Ashraf. 

'Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Othello but set in modern-day Bradford using historical figures from the time of Mughal India, Peacocks follows Khurram’s struggle from reluctant Prince to proud Emperor.  Peacocks explores ideas of social acceptance and how we can succumb to presumptions about gender, race and status.'

It was a really quick project to be involved with - hence the very wobbly model, as shown beneath. Rehearsals started 3 weeks before the performance, and I started work a day into these rehearsals. Efficiency was definitely key on this project! Alongside my assistant, also called Hannah, we had to devise a way to try and evoke the different worlds that the story sat within.

In the end, we conjured the essence of sumptuous royalty by giving my garden gazebo a bit of a makeover...

A Peacock throne also needed to be made, in a very art attack style. Lots of paper mache and glitter was involved.

The peacock throne in its position on stage

And before glittering, in our makeshift workshop.

Another prop make needed to be the Peacock Pound. This was quite a bit of fun to make, and really helped set us in this new, abstract world, where characters from Mughal India sit in modern day Bradford.

 And here's a few of production shots from the performance.

I also stage managed this show, with lots of help from Hannah, my assistant, and run the sound for the show too. All in all, a very busy, but good fun 3 weeks was had by all!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

According to Brian Haw

Here are some of the shots from the production of 'According to Brian Haw' that was at Riverside Studios at the end of August.

Photographs courtesy of David Severn

And here's some press too...

Songs and Dances of Death at the Forest

Last Saturday I witnessed the official opening of the newly refurbished Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham. I went along to see a sneak preview of 'The Showmen' photography exhibition by David Severn ( which will be shown in the Pavilion during the Goose Fair in October, but it got me thinking about my speculative Opera Project that I'd done for my degree. I realised I never updated more some of the developments that I'd made, and maybe it was time to do so.

Here are some of my collaged storyboards, showing the bonfire on Forest Fields, as the audience and opera company inhabit the field.

Now I'm not sure I'm quite up to putting on large scale, site specific operas just yet, but seeing the Forest's newly rejuvenated spaces did get me wondering... Maybe a big, procession like community event could be something I get my head around next?

According to Brian Haw development

So I have been a little late getting these bits of work up, but surely better late than never?! Yesterday saw the end of 'According to Brian Haw' as I unloaded the van for the very last time, returning all of the props, costumes and many many camping chairs to their homes. So, maybe about time to show what I've been beavering away on?

Here's my model box for the musical at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith. Each of the little beige and white squares are seats for the audience, with the larger ones as pallets for the cast to play upon.

There were many banners to be made, and here are a few of my scale 1:25 model banners...

And some costume designs too.

Glastonbury Festival

June of this year holds some beautiful memories, when I went bin painting at Glastonbury festival. When we arrived, 12,000 bins were stacked up next to our campsite: the mountain of the task was waiting for us! Over the 2 and a half weeks before the festival, we painted bins, bins, bins, entrance gates, and then more bins in the beautiful back garden of Glastonbury that is Worthy Farm. Armed with lots of paint and a team of amazing friends and painters, the weeks flew by in a flash. The entrance gate mural here were painted by my friend Winfred ( and I.