The Wonderful World of Dissocia
The Wonderful World of Dissocia
The Wonderful World of Dissocia is a play which was written and directed by Anthony Neilson. It is about a woman suffering from dissociative disorder. Act one is set in her dream like imaginative life with many interesting and menacing characters. In act two it comes crashing back to her reality which is bleak and depressing.
31st of October - 3rd of October
Debbie Hannan - Director
Deborah Jenkins - Designer
Lizzie Powell - Lighting Designer
Maciej Kopka - Sound Designer
Production Manager - Lynfryn MacKenzie
Stage Manager - Kirstie Connel
Deputy Stage Manager - Louise Charity
Production Electrician- Euan Odd
Technical Stage Manager- Reece Flynn
Head of Flys - Craig Stevenson
Deputy Technical Stage Manager- Ross Brodie
Sound 1 - Regan Kelly
Sound 2 - Rachel Matthews
Stage Management -
There was a lot of props for this production. Most was borrowerd from the RCS Props Store, Tron (where the original production was performed) and NTS.
The most challenging prop was the food. I found the cheapest options for the food (which was hot dogs with onions, mustard and ketchup) was frozen supermarkets (e.g Iceland), Booker wholesale and lidl.
Snapping Guitar String - Allan Hamilton (ASM)
The simplest solution that we found was to use a lower gauge of guitar string. In WWoD we used a 9-gauge nylon string with ball ends on the end. This still gave us the original sound of an acoustic string but was a lot thinner meaning it was a lot easier to snap.
When stringing the guitar, the nylon string should be fed through the bridge at the bottom, then brought up to through the track towards the neck of the guitar. The hole on the tuning peg should be facing upward. The string should be wrapped around the tuning peg 4 times. On the last time wrapping it round, it should be fed through the hole. With a pair of pliers, hold the loose end of string whilst tensioning it. Once in tune, take the string above its tone, and bring it back, stretching it out.
If the tuning peg is proving difficult to turn, cover the string and the tuning peg and use a small bit of WD40 to lubricate.
For WWoD, we used a high E string. So for snapping, it was roughly 8 turns from E until it snapped.
When the string snaps, depending where the tension breaks first, it will either rip the ball end out, or it will snap of the tuning peg. With the force of the string snapping, it will slip down the bridge, so ensure that the hands are kept clear and the guitar is facing away from the performers face.
Master Props List
The sound department on this show was lead by the show sound designer - Maciej Kopka. The assistant sound designer was Fraser Cherrington, the sound operator was Regan Kelly and the sound 2 was Rachel Matthews. The show was very sound effect heavy and included a redesign of the usual New Athenaeum Sound System, utilising the announcement speakers, wing space audio and auditorium output to create a surround sound effect within the show.
The visual cue running list for the sound operator (File:Dissocia - Visuals Running List.docx) The power up and power down procedure for the sound department to complete prior to a show commencing and after the show has completed (File:Power up + Power down Procedure.docx) The show checklist document that is completed before the show commences and during interval (File:Show Checks.docx) During the initial sow read through a basic sound effects list was created from the show directions (File:SFX List From Script.docx)
Technical Stage Management
The Technical Stage Management team was lead by - Reece Flynn. The Deputy Technical Stage Managers was Ross Brodie and Craig Stevenson. The team had difficult tasks to fulfil, during this show there was a 12 metre vertical astroturf that ran up to the Grid. The Vertical Astroturf was 5600 width, due to the tight show budget this was astroturf used from a previous show that we had to glue together. By using black material at the back of the astroturf and glueing the together with E11 Glue (also known as death glue).
During the design process of Dissocia, the director Debbie Hannan requested for a performer dressed as a goat to be abseiled into the stage. With tight budget and thinking about the safety of the performer we decided for this action to be done with fakery with an automation line doing all the flying. The performer had to swing out from the prompt side fly floor. With this angle it was tricky to allow the Automation Line to make it to prompt side without threading against the grid. We then removed a grid panel and a keeper from the divert pulley to allow the 45 degree angle. The performer was then lowered out with another line while the automation raised him a metre higher to prevent a fall factor from the performer stepping off of the edge. This was a very slick procedure that had to be checked consistently before each performance.
There was one more effect that brought challenges to the technical team which were the swings. We originally went with the idea of a 16 metre Truss that was on two points of automation to allow the three swings to fly IN and OUT. We originally had the swings dead hung on the truss with drifts wrapped inside of the hemp to prevent stretch when sitting on the swings, but when this got flown OUT the swings were still getting seen. With LX bars around the truss we always had to keep the truss above the LX bars to prevent it from hitting the Bars around it when people swung on them. We prevented this by running guy lines through a eyelit attached to a doughty clamp at both ends of the Truss. With not being able to fly the swings all the way out, we then changed the rigging to a pulley system onto the truss that the lines then ran through the truss and off to the fly floor (Kleeted Off). When the Automation flew OUT the lines would then disappear as the Truss raised, for a smoother IN we attached weights to the bottom of the swings for more weight to allow them coming IN. We then tensioned two brail lines Prompt Side - Fly floor to prevent the hemp lines hitting LX bars around them.
"'Automation Flying System'"
In this particular production, we used one automation axis dropping through an open grid panel DSL. The original idea was to run the system through the grid panels, unfortunately the plan we had to swing the performer on stage via prompt side fly floor wouldn't work with the panel in place, as the line would snag on the grid as it ran through at an angle. As well as the single automation line to fly the performer in and out, we installed a steel deck platform (prompt side flys) to swing the performer out onto stage. This station had two members of crew, one behind the platform with a control line to let the performer out onto stage maintaining a consistent height as he was moved. The other crew member was on the platform, helping the performer get hooked in to the system, attached to an adjustable fall restraint line slung around the I beam above head.
Here is the running list for the crew member responsible for for getting the performer into the harness and out onto stage, also example screen shots from Vectorworks to show 1; where the platform was on prompt, 2; what grid panels were removed and 3; where the drop down point was in relation to both the winch and the grid panels.
Lighting for TWWoD was fairly simple consisting of 4 booms stage left and stage right. I decided to keep things easy and use some budget to hire 80x 90 degree fixed scaff clamps instead of using the standard boom clamps. This meant that we had a much quicker and easier job erecting and dismantling the booms as well as hanging lights as the most difficult thing with the boom arms is the fact that you have to do two bolts up and then change the clamp on the fixture while trying to bolt the fixture on to the boom arm in mid air. Using a 90 degree arm on a bit of scaff is much more efficient, safer and easier.
We used the MA Node do distribute signal on the ground to minimise cabling and ran all underground cables through the traps in the stage. This meant that all of the cabling once tidied and discreet. All of the cabling on the ground as well as the tank traps were in before the show went into its fit up meaning that TSM could start the floor as soon as they got in. This enabled electrics to carry on fitting up overhead LX which made the get in much quicker.