Jack and the Beanstalk

From paperclip
Jump to: navigation, search
Jack and the Beanstalk
JATB 2013 icon.jpg
Director Alisdair Hawthorn
Written by Alan McHugh
Set Designer Robin Peoples
Lighting Designer Oliver Gorman
Sound Designer Sam Cunningham
Production Team
Stage Manager Natalie Wilson
Technical Stage Manager Jennifer Howes
Chief Production Electrician Patrick Watson
Venue New Athenaeum
Performance Dates 7th - 13th Dec 2013


Jack, his tube of a brother Archie, their rambunctious mother Daisy and their cow Moo-moo all live in the kingdom of Inverweege. Life would be perfect if it wasn't for the Giant who has eaten ALL of the animals! After a misunderstanding by The King and Queen the Giant has decided to eat their daughter, the beautiful Princess Lulu! Worse still he's going to eat Moo-moo too! With the help of the good Fairy Flora, Jack sets about saving his true love Lulu and finishing off the Giant, and his henchman Fleshcreep once and for all, by climbing a magical beanstalk that grew out of the cludgy! Will Jack be able to get to Flora in time? Will Archie be able to live without his best pal Moo-moo? And where exactly did Daisy get that goose?


Creative Team

Script Writer - Alan McHugh

Director - Alastair Hawthorn

Set & Costume Designer - Robin Peoples

Choreographer - Kerry McLellan

Musical Director - Doug Price

Lighting Designer - Oliver Gorman

Assistant Lighting Designer - Robbie Butler

Sound Designer & Operator - Sam Cunningham

Vocal Coach - Jean Sangster

Technical Team

Production Manager - Sandy McRobbie

Stage Manager - Natalie Wilson

Deputy Stage Manager - Rosie Barber

Assistant Stage Managers - Mary Crook, Chrissie Huxford

Technical Stage Manager - Jennifer Howes

Deputy Technical Stage Managers - Stuart Lord (Head Flys), Ian Smyth

Crew Supervisor - Kev Murray

Stage Crew - Riona Gilliland, Bradley Jones, Laura Mason, Kerry McAreavey, Kiri Newbery, Sean Quinn, Kirstin Rodger, Neil Smith, Daniel Thompson

Chief Production Electrician - Patrick Watson

Lighting Programmer and Operator - Elleanor Taylor

Sound No 1 - Sam Cunningham

Sound No 2 - Fraser Milroy

Video Technican - Rory Boyd

Stage Electricians - Mark Blythe, Shannon Howard

Follow Spot Ops - Stephen Cunningham, Nathalie Page

Props - April Clark, Darren Dewar, Edward Howat, Lorna Ratcliffe, Shoni Tavendale, Victoria Blackaby, Clara Fink, Zoe Kemp, Lisa Speirs

Costume - Rebecca Coyle, Helen McKnight, Nicola Russell, Ruth Walford, Carola Gudim, Evonne MacRitchie, Jade McNaughton, Sophie Prior

Construction - Connor Gallagher, Robert Gear, Lauren Keanie, Oliver Ralph

Scenic - Rosie Jacob, Carolyn Clark, Iona Gray, Gillian Reilly

Technical Stage Management



Due to the size of the LX bars, it was necessary to brail a number of the bars.


7x 12x4 soft legs

1x 8x4 soft leg (Necessitated by a missing 12x4 leg)

8 x dogleg frames. Two of these are constructed from scaff and key clamp, as we only have 6 purpose-built frames.

Pit Bridge

In previous performances which require the use of a pit bridge, there had been a number of various solutions to this problem.

For this show, it was felt that a stock platform, with stock treads should be built. This could then be customised with different height legs. This solution enabled the platform to be the same height as the auditorium, to reduce the probability of slipping or tripping.

Technical Challenges


JATB beanstalk 4.jpg

A crucial element of any production of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' is not complete without a beanstalk... This year, our beanstalk was provided by the Designer, Robin Peoples. It consisted of a fan unit, with a large section of rip-stop fabric attached to the top, forming the 'beanstalk' element.

As we were concerned about the amount of noise the fan would produce if it were to be onstage, we sited the fan unit in the pit. One of the pallets in the stage floor was removed, and replaced with a trap unit.

As the beanstalk was of fabric construction, we used a spot line attached to the top, to prevent it flapping around the stage on inflation and deflation. Although a line of hemp was used to go from the flyfloor, through the grid, fishing line was used wherever the line would be visible. This was felt to be strong, but also relatively invisible.

After tech, it was felt that the Beanstalk was too short. Therefore it was extended with a small section of green rip-stop fabric, bought from Mandors. Whilst this wasn't visible in Act 1, due to the beanstalk being hidden behind the Cludgy truck. However, in Act 2, the bottom of the beanstalk was visible due to the absence of the Cludgy. It was felt that this was an acceptable trade off.

JATB beanstalk 1.jpeg JATB beanstalk 3.jpg JATB beanstalk 5.jpg

Beanstalk inflation sequence

Giant's truck

At approximate dimensions of 2000x4500x6000mm, it was the largest piece within the production. It was designed so that it would fit through the dock doors with around 100mm clearance. This meant that 4+ crew members were required to move this piece with great care.

It had a large tapering floor cloth, that was attached to the front of the truck. This had to be folded with great care, to preserve the paint effect, and also to ensure that when the cloth was pulled out during a live scene change, it would unfold properly. During the performance, this was done as a live move by two actors.

The face of the giant was designed to be a live video feed of the actor's face. [info] It was imperative that this truck was moved with great care at all times, as the video setup meant that there was a projector, and very large mirror that were built into the truck.

The design was to have the arms of the giant capable of being manipulated by crew members. These were built as a joint effort by Props and Workshop. These were operated by a simple lever mechanism from the back of the truck.

1469814 623463774357315 478225798 n.jpg JATB 1256.jpg

Giant's foot

A slightly incongruous set element. This was not part of the original design, but only an idea. It was borrowed from the Lyceum in Edinburgh. Therefore, it was a very awkward set piece; one that didn't really fit the design of the show, or the size of the venue. It was used when The Giant was required to 'squash' Fleshcreep.

In the latter part of the production process, it was discovered that all the foot was required to do be slid onto the stage, and then be removed a little while later. This took 3 crew members to operate. Whilst the foot was relatively light (being made of Arex), it's large size and the placement of the booms made this process a little awkward.

Fleshcreep's Dummy

Fleshcreep's body was required to fall in a very precise space, in front of the village houses, and behind the Dairy truck. This was a gap of around 0.6m. The dummy was rigged onto the back of one of the borders (Bar 14), using a quick release shackle. A line was then taken off the shackle, and onto the Intermediate Fly Floor (due to the height of the border). This line was then used to release the shackle, and let the dummy fall.

JATB Fleshcreep 1.jpg JATB Fleshcreep 2.jpg


This was a relatively large set element, and one that was pivotal to the plot. It was required to open and shut relatively quickly, such as your average Castle Portcullis would operate.

It was decided that the best method of achieving this effect, was to create a counterweight system within the set piece itself. This involved a system of pulleys within the piece, with a counterweight cradle. It was found that an optimum weight to balance the portcullis gate was 2 full fly weights.

Unfortunately due to the placement of the pulleys, the portcullis wasn't able to fully open. However, the designer was happy with this, and it did create a few comic moments!

JATB portcullis.jpg JATB portcullis 2.JPG JATB Portcullis 3.jpg

Confetti Drop

White confetti was used during the walk down scene. The white paper confetti that was dropped was spare that was left over from Carousel 2013.

It was dropped by using the traditional snow/confetti/petal drop bag method. This was rigged onto Bars 9 and 10.

Scene Matrix

Due to the sometimes complex scene changes and large crew amounts a scene change matrix was made up with all crew, scene numbers and actions for each crew members to do. File:Scene Change Matrix PDF.pdf



Lighting Plans


Hire List

As we had secured a borrow of moving lights, we had to hire in additional data/power cabling which consisted of:

5 x 5-Pin DMX Cable 5m 5 x 5-Pin DMX Cable 10m 2 x 5-Pin DMX Cable 20m 2 x 5m Socapex Multicore 2 x 10m Socapex Multicore 2 x 15m Socapex Multicore 4 x Socapex tail > 6 x 15A Plugs 2 x 13A Extension - 10m 1 x 13A Extension - 20m 20 x 15A Grelco 2 x 16A Grelco 2 x 16A Trelco

Gel List

Gel Order

LEE HT 013 Straw Tint (3.5 Sheets)

LEE HT 020 Medium Amber (2 Sheets)

LEE 068 Sky Blue (2 Sheets)

LEE 103 Straw (3.5 Sheets)

LEE 138 Pale Green (3.5 Sheets)

LEE 141 Bright Blue (5 Sheets)

LEE 154 Pale Rose (1 Sheet)

LEE 201 Full CT Blue (0.5 Sheet)

LEE 353 Lighter Blue (4 Sheets)

LEE 550 ALD Gold (1.5 Sheets)

LEE 601 Silver (1 Sheet)

LEE 702 Special Pale Lavender (0.5 Sheet)

LEE HT 707 Ultimate Violet (1 Sheet)

LEE HT 716 Mikkel Blue (1 Sheet)

LEE 725 Old Steel Blue (2.5 Sheets)

LEE 106 Primary Red (2 Sheets)

Other Purchases

1 x Bottle of Le Maitre Haze Fluid (5L)

Stage Electrician Show Cues

As panto was a very busy show the two stage electricians had several cues during the run of the show. This was mainly due to the number of trucks that needed plugged up. On the giants truck, lamps had to be re-focused during every run. Switching on the beanstalk on a cue light signal was another such cue during the run. Below is a link to two of the running lists for the show.

File:Panto LX running.pdf

File:clip Shannon Running List LX Crew.pdf


One of the biggest challenges for electrics was creating the giant effect. It was decided by the designer this would be done by projection with a live feed of a giant (offstage in a studio). Due to budget constraints we were unable to hire a 7-10k projector to project from a downstage bar onto the set piece therefore it was decided the best method would be to mount the in-house 5k projector to the rear of the set piece, then using a combination of two mirrors bounce to the screen. This meant that even if the set piece managed to somehow move off its marks the projection would never be misaligned.


For control we managed to secure a borrow Hippotizer Grasshopper media server combined with a Black Magic capture card from AC Entertainment Technologies to use as a control surface from the camera to the projector. This proved to be a valuable tool as we were able to manipulate the output to mask the overspill but also stretch the face to cover the screen.

The Studio

The studio consisted of the following items:

  • Sony HD DV Camera (With BNC output)
  • 2 1.2K PC's
  • TV Monitor with onstage preview
  • Wooden board with face cutout (to restrict movement of the actor so his face would not go out of shot)


Equipment lists




2X SEN E604


2X SE300


1X E906


3x D.I boxes

Radio kit



10X DPA 4066 headsets


12x D6 1x D12 3x CROWN K2





1X Klark Teknik DN9331 Helix Rapide GEQ




2x D&B E12

4x D&B E8

16x D&B E0 (NO REAR fx USED)


2x D&B Qi7

2x D&B MAX12

3X EAW VFR129i





Kit with percussion



Cast Mic List

File:Jack Cast Mic List.pdf


For this production many classic panto style SFX were required.

Some of the more common ones were sourced from the SFX library

and others recorded by myself and Fraser Milroy.

These included:


Lightning crack

Giant laughing – Ahd recorded

Giant roaring - Ahd recorded (several takes) must be deep and boomy.

Neighing of horses

Galloping hooves

Rife ricochet

Cow moo – recording of actress ( do several different takes, including one longer distressed moo)

Cow laughing – recording of actress

Whispering – recording of cast ( at least 2 different takes )

Plundger like pop sound (like when you pop your finger in your mouth) – recorded.

Toilet flush

Dog/puppy single yelp.

Comedy kiss sound ( 2 )

Cock(chicken) crows

Alarmed chicken cluck

Metallic clang of barbell hitting the ground

Thunderous bang of giants hand

Giant tummy rumble.

Squawking hen

Clucking hen

Loud giants foot steps

One long section of clucking that slows down to a halt

Crash of man falling into the cludgie (toilet building)

Timber cracking

Beanstalk cracking and falling to the ground

Door slam and lock.

The Giant

For the giants voice we faced the problem of having to have both live and recorded

sections. This meant that we would have to exactly replicate the FX over the vocal

for both scenarios. This was achieved by recording clean,bright voice overs which

remained mostly un-edited. I then patched the giants v/o to its own output on Qlab

and its own specific channel, separate from other sfx playback. I then routed this

to the same onboard Pitch-shifter and reverb as the Live vocal.

This ensured a flawless transition between the two voices.

Stage Management

Props Makes

Red Roses

File:Prop make details- Red Roses.docx


A prop requested for Jack and the Beanstalk was a newspaper for a cow. This meant it needed to be large enough to seem like a realistic newspaper for the audience. We decided to have fun with the newspaper and fill it with cow related puns. This was made by following the generic design of most newspapers but changing the text on photoshop. Each of the pages was printed to A3 size and then tea-stained to look more realistic. It was stuck to cardboard to make it rigid, as the final newspaper was to rest on the nose of the cow costume. Unfortunately the prop was cut from the final show. Front page newspaper.jpg Sports page newspaper.jpg