Miseryguts

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The Misanthrope is widely held to be Molière’s finest work. No small praise for the author of Le Malade imaginaire and Tartuffe. Perhaps the reason lies as John Wood asserts in The Misanthrope and Other Plays that it’s a “very deliberate comic masterpiece” but one that “pushes the boundaries so far that it slips into the realm of tragedy.” Or perhaps it’s simply because his protagonist is so damn timeless and recognizable.

A ‘Miseryguts’ for whom all the world’s inhabitants are sycophantic, ingratiating, social climbing idiots incapable of telling each other the truth.

A man who’s happier to damage himself, even ostracise himself from society, rather than compromise his integrity. Molière’s great comedies have always translated very well into Scots and this one is no exception. Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, whose adaptation of Tartuffe has enjoyed legendary status for nearly two decades, once again blazes a particularly Scottish, thoroughly modern trail through one of the great man’s angst ridden, painfully honest and truly funny masterpieces.

Creative Team

Writer - Liz Lochhead

Director - Tony Cownie

Designer (Set and Costume) - Rachel MacAllan

Lighting Designer - Oliver Gorman

Sound Designer - Graeme Brown

Production Team







Stage Management

Champagne

The director requested that we had popping champagne bottles on stage, we managed to source some inexpensive glass bottles and corks from Balliihoo (link bellow). We used a soda soda stream to carbonate the water this gave of a better effect then using bottled fizzy water. We used a couple of drops of the coke flavoring to imitate the colour of the champagne. The key is making sure that the cork is secured, I achieved this by using a rubber mallet. I also found it gave a better pop if you gave it a quick shake before taking it on stage.

http://www.balliihoo.co.uk/

Onstage Cocaine

After a trying out some different options we found that corn flour was the best option for imitating the powder. We printed out a £5 note and rolled it up securing it with a piece of tape. We then packed the roll with a cigarette filter tip, and put some hot glue in the top to seal it, this is so no powder was accidentally inhaled. Before the plate was preset on stage we dripped some water on the filter tip which helped pick up any excess powder to make it a little more realistic.

Prop Daffodils

File:Prop daffodils.docx

Running Lists

File:Misery guts running list.docx

File:Misery Guts Runnings List Final Draft .pdf

Lighting

Lighting Plans

Focus Notes

Gel List

Special Elements

The bay windows, in act four, had a back drop of an Edinburgh skyline printed and attached to the back of the bay window. This was then required to be lit. The way it was decided, was to use four dimmable linolit slimlite 221mm un-switched holders, and four striplite 240v 60w221mm Opal lamps. These were sourced from 'CP Lighting'.



Example of what the linolits looked like and the bay window:

Linolit.png



Window 1.jpg


The linolits were wired by the use of a choc block. With two linolits to one choc block then onto a 15amp plug. These were then cabled off stage. A basic drawing of this wiring is shown below.


Linolit wiring.png


The linolits were then attached to the underside of the top of the bay windows. A break down of where the linolits were positioned in the window can be seen below.




It is important to note that the beam of these linolits was not that strong and looked like a sunset in the window. After it was installed it was later cut because of this effect.

Equipment List

Below is the list of lighting equipment used in the show. All the equipment was in house and there were no special pieces.


Colour Call: File:clip Gel Call sheets.pdf

Technical Stage Management

Set

Miseryguts had a very basic set, in the sense that, once it was up, it did not need much work from the TSM department. It consisted of two large white walls that ran diagonally across the stage.

One of the walls had a set of double doors that changed into a bay window. These could both be covered by a large set of red curtains. The other, larger, wall consisted of two different doors that could be in turn covered or revealed by the 'turning flat' that pivoted in the middle of the flat. This wall was also covered in large paintings to make it look like an art gallery.

The floor was simple sheets of MDF painted grey to look like concrete and with a pattern cut into the front to break up the front of stage line.

MGFitUp.jpg MG.jpg

Technical Challenges

Trucked Bed

The Bed truck had to be brought on stage through the double doors on the set with two actors in the bed. Due to the width of the bed and the width of the double doors there was only about 100mm of a gap at either side of the bed when trying to get through the doors. The bed consisted of a reinforced Ikea bed with six fixed casters on the underside of the bed, so that the bed could only go in a straight line. The casters were hidden from sight of the audience, lifting the bed slightly off the ground. Workshop also attached a large metal frame handle to the base of the head board so that the bed could be pushed and pulled easily by a crew member. There was only one crew member pushing the bed as having more than one person made the bed not go in a straight line due to the misbalance in pressure while pushing the bed causing it to run diagonally.

Flag Pole Flat

During Miseryguts we had to perform a scene change without any of the crew being seen. Part of this scene change was to turn one of the flats in the middle of the stage 180 degrees. Below is a simple diagram on how we achieved this effect.



Sound Department

Overview

The Sound department consisted of two engineers, one at FOH and one at an OB desk mixing for the multi cam shoot and also multi tracking it. We ran 1x QLab 2 pro audio system with a 003 rack to look after all playback and at FOH we used the New Athenaeum PRO6 and an LS9 at OB.


Multitrack and multicam

The multi cam shoot and multitrack recording were both new to us, this was the first production we used the multitrack recorder on and the first show where we had a dedicated mix to the camera team.

We took direct outs from each channel at FOH (Midas PRO6) i.e all QLab channels. And placed 5 AKG SE300's on stage to cover vocals. We initially used 6 SE300s with a stereo pair DSC but found it sounded much more natural with a mono center mic. We patched the SE300's through the Athenaeum GPO patch system and from the GPO at the control room we then patched into a multicore that ran from the patch to the av room where the ob desk was situated. Stereo mics sounded weird on the centre of the forestage, the width didn't work well because there was a lot of action that was mainly on one side of the stage so the recording sounded like there was one side missing!