The teams that bring our stages to life
From concepts in miniature to stunning stage sets, our construction and scene painting teams create a world of possibilities at the Playhouse.
Find out more about what they do below, and explore our upcoming shows for a sneak peek of what they’ve been working on.
Construction & Workshop
The Designer engaged for a show or project will produce a model box, a three dimensional miniature version of the set with all scenery and props scaled down to a 1:25 scale. The model is the representation of the Artistic Vision for the show and provides the focus and visual reference for the construction department, scenic artist and props department building the show. The Head of Construction works closely with the Production Manager, Head of Technical Design and Technical Stage Manage to consider the set build with the focus on resolving any practical issues, touring/transfer implications, allocated show budget, build timetable and staff resources before construction drawings are produced for the start of the build.
The construction department are multi-skilled, working with a diverse range of materials from traditional timber to plastics. Each design brings different challenges such as two dimensional mobile Christmas trees built for last year’s production of White Christmas.
The Head of Construction works closely with the Scenic Artist to prioritise the build timetable for any scenic elements requiring several paint processes or techniques.
Scene painting techniques are very different from those of house-painting. The paint used, its application and above all the scale of the work demand a particular style and method.
The Scenic Artist’s job is varied – from large-scale landscapes or interiors designed to persuade an audience they are looking at something three dimensional.
Designers engaged on shows or projects produce a model box detailing the set elements, finish, colour and textures. The Designer and Scenic Artist will discuss paint styles, processes and the finish for each scenic element. This might involve many different processes, techniques and finishes, including one or more of the following: stencilling, graining, sponging, marbling or texturing. A good example would be how you make an 8 x 4 sheet of unpainted plywood look like a period mahogany floorboard – with the use of colour, graining effects, glazes and the requisite skill and experience.
Good communications between the Scenic Artist and Head of Construction are essential when planning and prioritising the set build to take into account processes, techniques and drying time before the set fit-up on stage.