A Very Expensive Poison

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A Very Expensive Poison
A Very Expensive Poison.jpeg
08-11-2022 - 11-11-2022
Performance Course
Third Year BA Acting
New Athenaeum
Creative Team
Finn Den Hertog
Sound Designer
Lighting Designer
Production Team
Head of Stage
Deputy Head of Stage
Head of Flies
Stage Manager
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
LX Programmer
Production Sound Engineer


A Very Expensive Poison Production Photographs - [1]


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NTV sign front illuminated.jpg

NTV sign back.jpg

Map back.jpg

Map front illuminated.jpg

Teapot bulb assmebly with cable.jpg

Top down teapot light.jpg

Teapot light in teapot.jpg

Teapot light in teapot at distance.jpg



Poison Sound Mons Plan.png

For 'A Very Expensive Poison' we used the in house Ath sound system which consists of a Centre Cluster, L&R, Upper L&R, Subs, Delays A, Delays B, Rear FX. In addition to this we chose to use 2 E3's placed in the left and right slips. These were used for downstage foldback. 2 more E3's rigged on the lowest rung of the LX ladders midstage, these were used for well... midstage monitoring for the more. The holdback was used in the more musical parts of the show e.g. Crocodile Gena song and Mayfair song. It was also used to imply distance within the sound world.

I took the decision fairly early on in the creative process to use 4 D&B E0 front fills, these were used again in the more musical aspects of the show as this was a creative way to implement one of the designers key tenets which was making the production more obviously theatrical and performative.

Poison Ladder mons.jpeg IMG 7500.jpeg IMG 7505.jpeg

For this piece I managed to get into Recording Studio B for a session with the actor playing Sasha (Alexander) Litvinenko, we recorded this 'press conference' monologue.


To make it sound like it as coming through a 90's Soviet television I took loads of low end out, put a very subtle tape delay on it and played a VHS hum in the same QLab group.




I/O List & Patch

Stage Management

Technical Stage Department

SET The set for A Very Expensive Poison consisted of 8 white sheeting cloths (3500x4000mm) and 2 sharkstooth gauzes (3500x4000mm) that were on Uni Beam tracks in a square shape, these could be swiped across the stage to create different scenes. these were rigged onto a truss structure which was made visible to audience. The stage floor within the truss square was painted white to match the cloths and create a studio like space on the stage. lining the outside of the Stage Right and Stage left cloth tracks was a row a 5 'hospital styled waiting room' chairs which were used by the cast when they weren't in character.

TRUCKS to help create other scenes there were 2 trucks created, the Moscow flat and the London flat. the Moscow flat was 2640mm tall by 3000mm long, it was used as the background of the main characters apartment when they lived in Moscow. there was a shelf on both sides, a 1000mm long shelf on the upstage side to store props for scene changes and a 1680mm shelf of that to put set dressing on. the truck had 2 handles attached to the back side of the set for the ASM's to bring the truck on and off stage without being noticed. The London flat truck was smaller but chunkier than the Moscow flat, it was dressed as a kitchen unit with fake tile's, a kitchen worktop with a sink in it, 2 shelves and 2 cupboard doors. the SR cupboard door had a magnet attached to nob in order for it to be pulled off in the show, the magnet was strong enough to hold its own when it didn't need to be removed. there were 3 eye hooks attached to the underside of the bottom shelf which was used for sash (the main character) to hang tinsel from.

OTHER SET PIECES A green sofa was used as well as the Moscow flat to create the apartment it was fixed to a truck base which had 2 lockable castors upstage to prevent it sliding about on stage. There was also a hospital bed which was used in act 1 and 2 during present day scenes there was nothing added to it as it had its own castors. A small Grey desk was used Down Stage Left on felt sliders to create an office for Putin, accompanying this was a desk lamp, bin and an office chair. A wooden, square table was used for multiple scenes to create a restaurant, dinning table, café and sushi bar. the table also had 3 wooden chairs that were used with it as a matching set. An electric piano on a truck base was used for the top of Act 2 where Putin plays the piano, the custom built truck base for the piano had a back shelve on the upstage side for sound to run the various cables and DI box on to hide it from the audience. A double sided chalk board was also used during the top of Act 2, this was added in to the Stage Left side across from the piano.

FLYS Sitting Down stage in the rig was an NTV sign used during Act 1 Scene 8, the sign was lined with RGBW LEDs to glow during the scene it was used for. Upstage of this is the disco penis, this was a 3 foot tall polystyrene penis which was covered in small mirrors to be used as a mirror ball for a club scene in Act 2. The next flown object Up stage of that is the florescent lights bar, this was 3 florescent tube lights lined equally along a Counterweight bar which was used to resemble a hospital in Act 1 scene 2 and scene 3. the last flown item was a printed map of a section of London which had red lights wired into it. the idea being that in the scene they were used they would light up in different areas to resemble different places in London. this were used in Act 2 scene 6.