Betty Blue Eyes
|Betty Blue Eyes|
|Associate Director||Emily-Jane Boyle|
|Musical Director||David Higham|
|Set and Costume Designer||Fraser Lappin|
|Stage Manager||Jane Paterson|
|Deputy Stage Manager||Oran O'Neill|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Ross Jardine|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Elspeth Watt|
|Technical Stage Manager||Andrew McCabe|
|Deputy Technical Stage Manager||Kieran Fitzpatrick|
|Chief Production Electrician||Ben Terry|
|Lighting Crew||Maciej Kopka|
|Lighting Crew||Sarah McDonald|
|Sound Number 1||Graeme Brown|
|Sound Number 2||Laura Dougan|
|First Year Crew||Ryan Greenfield|
Technical Stage Management
Betty Blue Eyes was a technically challenging show as there was quite a large set in a small studio space. Another challenge was that the stage was set up in a traverse style; meaning that the audience was seated ether side of the stage. As can be seen from the groundplan below the stage and seating made full use of the space in the Chandler.
In 'Betty Blue Eyes' we used a double kabuki for one of the scenes near the end of act 1. The kabuki dropped in front of the main sliding doors U/S and was then ripped down by one of the cast.
We made the kabuki using old fabric we had in stock from Dracula. The fabric was cut to length to fit the stage and then the loop part of Velcro was stitched to the top edge. I used the loop section of the Velcro because the cast would be holding it on stage and the loop is softer and not as sharp/rough as the hoop section. There was a beam of wood attached to the catwalks using fabric ties, normally used on cloths, to hold the kabuki 'mechanism' up. Pairs of eye screws were put into the wood with a slight gap between them to allow the bag fabric to fit. The bag (that holds the kabuki fabric up when not seen) was made out of black tat. It was stapled to the back edge of the wooden beam and was around 500mm in length; just enough to go round the fabric when folded up. On the front edge of the wooden beam was the hook part of the Velcro. This is where the kabuki fabric was held up, and the Velcro allowed it to be easily ripped down by the cast and re-set by the crew. To complete the kabuki we used small pins (normally used in pin hinges) attached to a line of black sash that allowed the operator to deploy the kabuki when needed.
This kabuki (not including red fabric) is now in stock and is stored in the scene dock.
Mirror Ball and Chandelier
Part of the design in Betty Blue Eyes required a Mirror Ball and Chandelier to be able to fly in and out. This was a very simple effect to create. We used 3mm black cord from flints as a flying line and small barton pulleys from flints to divert the line across to the gallery. The lines were tied off and controlled from the S/R gallery where the crew were hidden behind some masking. On cue the mirror ball of chandelier could be easily flown in or out.
Quick Signs and Canopy
Another part of the design for 'Betty Blue Eyes' were some signs that could be attached and detached from the U/S wall by the cast quickly and easily. To achieve this effect we used small sarking panels, the same as the set was made out of and cut them to small sections and attached them to the face of the set and painted them in to help disguise them. We then put velcro along the top of these sections and on the bottom of the inside frame of the signs. When they were both put together the signs sat in their exact positions and were difficult to accidently knock off because of the velcro. When the cast came to remove them they popped off and could be carried off stage.
Masking for Traverse Style
To mask a set with audience on both sides can be quite difficult, but thankfully in Betty Blue Eyes due to the orientation of the stage and the Audience it was quite simple.
- We used the Chandler tab track to mask behind the audience risers. These just had the standard Chandler blacks on them.
- The sides of the U/S flat were masked using small blacks from the Ath that were tied back and pinned up to make them look neat.
- The D/S flat was masked using small blacks from the Ath that covered the area behind the flat and also masked the retracted Chandler seating bank.
We had to be quite careful with how much space we used for the D/S masking as there had to be sufficient room between the legs and audience to be used as an emergency walkway.
One of the main parts of the design for Betty Blue Eyes were the sliding doors. This was mainly a workshop project. The effect was created by using triple e track mounted to the back of the U/S flat where the doors ran using scenery carriers. The triple e track and scenery carriers were supplied by TSM from stock.
LD: Sergey Jakovsky Board Op/Programmer: Sarah MacDonald Since the stage was in traverse everything was mirrored which meant the use of groups was extremely helpful when programming. As well as generic fixtures we used LED parcans, Mac TW1s,various practicals and a mirrorball. We used the ETC Eos Ti desk.
Cue List and LX Plan
Working on BBE meant some new challenges for everyone, especially the sound department. For the first time ever in the RCS the band were not in the venue - but played live in recording studio C which is on the second floor of the RCS about a 100m cable run away.
This threw up more challenges than anyone ever anticipated it would. Some these were video communication and audio communication as well as comms for show communication.
Actually, the remote band and the yamaha SB168 that we used to connect this to the sound network was the easiest part of the operation.
Our budget was extremely pushed to get the show running to a basic level, something that will need to be addressed if the remote band is to be done again. I think everyone learned a considerable amount from the remote band, budgeting being the main learning curve here. For instance there was not enough inputs for the MD to have a talkback mic so instead he had to talk back to stage using the drum ohervead, not ideal, and we couldn't set up a microphone in the venue to speak to him as we had no mics left in the building!
Laura, Sound no2 has uploaded the studio sub box patch list. This shows how we struggled to get everything into 16x8, and the only reason this couldn't have been 32x16 was budget.
Betty blue eyes was a really good show in terms of prop sources and finds. We had a few paper makes and a few big makes. The only main issue was keeping on top of where props ended up throughout the performance as there were so many entrances and exits.
Props Lists and References
Stage Management Resources
Please find bellow a list of templates and instructions on how to make some of the props that were used in Betty Blue Eyes
Ration book cover template
For use on wartime plays/musicals. A4 size sheet (for printing), with cutting guidelines. See below tea-staining file to add full-effect on props.
Ration book back cover template
Same as above, but with back cover! The wording is legitimate of the time, incase designers get silly with you
Instructions on how to tea-stain paper
Important thing to learn for making paper props in plays set in the past.
Prop blagging letter template
If anyone asks for a letter before they can give you any props. This has spacing top and bottom for the RCS headed paper, available from the AAS Office.
Note: RCS is a registered charity, so ask to speak to the person who deals with charity donations at the company. Have the charity number to hand.
Letter used to get Ikea Table
Old fashioned can labels
Fit on standard size baked bean/soup tins. For best results add a light layer of PVA glue to the top and bottom edges, and the end which sticks the label down.
PROPPING CONTACT LIST
Useful contacts who've helped us during this show.
Union Jack Flag Template
Pages 1&2 are the same, and 3&4 are the same, to be printed double sided to make 1 flag.
We used kebab skewers as the flag sticks.
Prop Makes Photographs
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip Photographs
The two ends of the microphone were constructed using a polystyrene ball, halved and then two card cylinders were attached. I Made a collar of cardboard and attached it around the centre to make the middle section of the microphone. I painted the base silver and the top black, both with spray paint. Then used a copper colour paint for the centre. Scenic showed me how to make a metal effect using gold white and black over the silver and copper colour. The mesh top was made using a gold/black lace type material from wardrobe and attached using spray mount and black LX tape. It is fiddly to get it to look flat. For the writing on the centre I painted some card to look like metal using the technique from scenic and then printed straight onto it. The Yolk and fake bolts of the microphone was made using styrofoam from props and painted. I put a hole the base and attached to the microphone stand, then screwed a nut over it to keep it still. The Stand was a RCS stock black stand, wrapped tightly in a3 paper and secured with masking tape, then painted. The microphone took a large number of hours to make but working replicas cost in excess of £500
_________________________________________________ Running Lists
UpStage Wing Running List (ASM-Ross Jardine)