The Story Giant

As part of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre Rep Season, Splinter were asked to build this beautiful set. The home of ‘The Story Giant’ complete with a vast array of books scattered about a natural landscape with a large tree focal point.

A great set for us to develop our skills in producing natural textures of stone, moss, bark and even producing over 8,000 paper leaves. The tree as a focal point of the set worked brilliantly. This piece  was built to be able to support 2 actors climbing the trunk and also for all four branches to ‘break’ and then lift back into place.

Part of the beauty of this set and the other four sets in the Rep season is how they are built to break down and be erected with speed to ensure a quick turnaround between shows.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

With a fantastic contrast to the playful A Midsummer Night’s Dream we built early in the year, this minimal, contemporary and very striking set designed by Jamie Vartan was a brilliant set to construct.

The design consisted of two settings with a stark contrast to one another. Firstly the clean, crisp and pure Athens with a white seamless setting followed by the dark depths of the forest illuminated by the ever present moon commanding the space.

Producing the huge sparse, seamless flown wall for Athens in conjunction with the four massive revolving columns whilst keeping them all light weight was a challenge. Also due to the sheer size of the moon paint job we decided to build the flats and paint the canvas separately on a paint frame. This also allowed the painter to create the desired effect requested by the designer. Using this method allowed us to roll out the canvas across the built flats and then when separated and brought together in the theatre would still produce a seamless design.

 

Present Laughter

Widely acknowledged to be Noël Coward’s funniest play, set in the lavish home of the actor Garry Essendine during a near mid-life crisis. Simon Higlett has designed a fantastic set, a double height living room space complete with mezzanine level. Splinter were involved in building the entire set from working bay window shutters to the cast iron spiral staircase.

There are many stand out pieces of the Present Laughter set that took a lot of head scratching and man hours to achieve in the Splinter workshop. Constructing a spiral staircase from scratch that had to give the appearance of a cast iron structure was on of them. With a mixture of materials and methods including laser cutting the treads and rolling a steel hand rail we were able to achieve the brief with great success.

Part of the beauty of Present Laughter is not what the audience sees, but the construction methods that have gone into building a set to be able to tour to 5 different venues. Bearing this in mind Splinter built many of the components such as the fireplace, bookcase and doorways and separate items to the walls that would both break up the weight of the set and also making stacking the set in a lorry more efficient.

The key to this design is in the detail. The majority of the work done in the workshop was done by many hands creating a lavish interior design complete with short wood carvings, vac-formed columns and bendy moldings to follow the smooth neo-classical curves of the design.

Take a look at our virtual tour and pictures below.

Parklife Festival 2016

The Parklife Festival in Manchester is an annual music festival with a capacity of 75,000 people. Each year the event has a different theme, Space was the theme for 2016, with all of the decorative elements around the site all tying in together to give the festival its own feel so it wasn’t seen as a set of generic stages. Splinter were asked to build various elements around the site including the main stage ‘Parklife’ signage, the entrance archway, VIP Entrance archways & a rocket that was mounted on top of a VIP stage.

Building the elements for the festival was a great experience for Splinter and sometimes quite a challenge. Designing the illuminated letters for the main stage was an interesting balancing act with trying to make the letters large but at the same time light both for fixing purposes and for installation to make it easier for the Splinter crew. The three archways that were built were all fabricated by our master welder in the workshop and built in a manner for ease of construction on site and more importantly very sturdy for the safety of the general public.

The greatest challenge of the build was how to install a 2.5 metre tall rocket on top of a 7.5 metre bandstand roof. This resulted in multiple discussions and meetings with the designer, owners of the bandstand & event organisers to built an impressive and safe visual piece. Overall, with Splinter’s extensive knowledge in the theatre industry the project was a brilliant success and every element of the design was achieved to a high standard for the festival.