The Beaux Stratagem
|The Beaux Stratagem|
|The Beaux Stratagem
Aimwell and Archer: two impoverished gentlemen, use the last of their limited resources to tour around England in search of rich wives. Knowing that nothing is as unattractive as poverty they give the impression of wealth by alternating the roles of master and servant. Any money gained through their plan will be divided between them. We meet them in Lichfield where they come in contact with the household of Squire Sullen and espy Dorinda who is exactly the kind of young woman their stratagem was designed to entrap. However, things do not run as smoothly as they would wish and our Beaux' campaign has to deal with a scheming landlord, his clever daughter, a gang of highwaymen, and Archer's insistent need for sexual gratification.
Written in 1707, the same year as the Acts of Union, the play shows a glimpse of life in the brand new Great Britain where wealth and its accumulation has a kind of 'make it up as you go along' morality. It is packed with fun, charm, hapless eccentrics, and bags of style. It is a bright and enduring testament to the ridiculousness of human nature, a wonderful comedy of character and manners.
Director: Robert Carson
Set Designer: Isaac Wilcox
Lighting Designer: Simon Hayes
Sound Designer: Sarah MacDonald
Technical Production Team
Stage Manager: Samantha Burt
Deputy Stage Manager: Rosie Barber
Technical Stage Manager: Jennifer Howes
Assistant Technical Stage Manager: Ian Smyth
Chief Production Electrician: Ben Terry
Assistant Production Electrician: Kieran Fitzpatrick
Lighting Programmer/Operator: Fraser Milroy
Sound Designer/Sound No 1: Sarah MacDonald
Sound No 2: Maciej Kopka
Seating Bank Masking
One of the major challenges of this production was that of masking the seating bank. As the seating bank wasn't being used, the designer wanted it effectively masked in a tidy manner. Whilst it is possible to leave the tabs on the tab track, and simply pull these around and over the seating bank, this leaves an untidy diagonal and a 100-150mm gap at the bottom of the tabs.
Therefore, i decided to take on the challenge of rigging a bar in such a manner that the tabs could be hung so they fell vertically to mask the seating bank.
4 x cross bars were used as the primary support for the masking. From these, 4 x assemblies of Short Strop - 4mm wedge socket - single ended 4mm drift & 4mm dog - shackle - Short Strop, hung.
This supported a total of 11.5m of aluminium scaff bar. This was made from two sections joined using an inline scaff coupler. From this bar, the black was hung. This was just one of the standard Chandler Blacks. By careful adjustment of the drift length, a very neat finish on the bottom of the black could be effectively created.
2 x Keyclamp 90 degree sections were added to either end of the drop bar, to create returns into the back wall when coupled with short lengths of scaff pipe.
Free-Standing Audience Seating
For this production, the audience were seated on individual chairs in 3 rows. The back row was slightly raised on sections of 8x4 steel deck without any legs. Strips of wooden batten were screwed to the back edge of the deck to ensure that chair legs did not slip off the back.
Due to fire regulations all the chairs needed to be fastened together to prevent chairs falling over in case of a fire evacuation. As we were using the blue 'conference chairs', there is no method of attaching these together. Therefore, lengths of standard metal conduit were laid along the length of the seating rows, inside the chair legs. This conduit was then cable tied to the chair legs. This method ensures that you can keep some distance between the chairs. If you do not have this distance, the audience members tend not to be very comfortable! As a pre-show check, all of the cable ties were checked to ensure that they were still in place.
Stage Management Sourcing
Tolex Chairs -
Whilst we were propping for the show, the designer required us to get several very specific kinds of chairs. One of these types were the retro style ‘Tolex’ chair. We initially had great difficulty finding a source for them, however we found that the Jamie’s Italian on George Square had them in Red. Unfortunately the designer did not like them in red and wanted them in silver. To find out where we could source the silver chairs we called up the company ‘Tolex’ and asked where in Glasgow they had recently supplied their chairs to. The result was that ‘Darcy’s’ on buchanan street had them we then just called them up and asked to borrow a few for the show. The number for Darcy’s was 0845 166 6012.
Stage Management Makes
Pile of Receipts
We had to make a pile of receipts and legal papers. I found different sized images on the internet and printed them out on both sides of the paper. I then stuck them together to prevent them dropping onto the floor and wrapped them in a ribbon.
Various drinks were required for this production. This is how they were made.