Beauty and the Beast at the Liverpool Everyman is a pantomime full of whimsy with a fantastic design by Dinah England.
The paint job on this set really brought it to life. Our team worked on building the set for four weeks at HQ and then the set was shipped off to our workshop in Wales to be painted by a group of top quality painters. The set in itself was a combination of a strong interlocking steel structure to make up the upper level combined with multiple methods of construction for both static and flying flats.
Take a look at the virtual tour here and see if you can find the beast lurking in and around the set!
As part of CBeebies month-long celebration of William Shakespeare, Splinter built the set of the Royal Shakespere Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Filmed at the Liverpool Everyman in front of an audience of children and aired on CBeebies. With the aim of bringing Shakespeare to a new younger audience Splinter worked closely with the designer and production manager to produce their vision of the set.
One of the pieces that proved to have the most complex construction was the four large trees measuring close to four metres in height and width. These trees not only had to be dismantled for transport to the venue but also had to have fairy lights woven into the construction. Two of these trees were also flown which meant that the trees also had to keep down on weight as much as possible.
Other parts of the set included a couple of small three-dimensional bushes, a carpenters bench, an Athenian house and also a large chain curtain that spanned the full width of the theatre.
Overall the set was a great success and looked fantastic on TV.
The new touring show by comedian Daniel Kitson, Mouse – The Persistence of an Unlikely Thought, was a great little set piece for Splinter to build. Designed by the comedian himself as he likes to run all of of his own productions, Splinter’s work consisted of a large backdrop wall that evoked the impression of the show taking places inside a run-down rusty storage container. Working under a tight deadline Splinter were able to build and paint the set during a week. The key element to the design of the set is that when the show tours to different venues the wall can shrink in width by removing a panel giving the set great flexibility.
The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary was a great set to construct for Splinter. On the face of it the design it appears to be a fairly simple idea, a chalkboard wall & floor that can interact with the actors by use of doorways and move the show along through each act. However, when it came to constructing this piece creating a tight woven mesh of steel framework, sliding doors, hidden portholes & pulley systems all within a tight space had its difficulties. Working closely with the Liverpool Everyman, Splinter were able to come to a solution for all the niggling issues of this construction to create a seemingly simple yet profusely versatile set.
Another key area of the design that Splinter constructed was the large chandelier which doubles up as a crinoline structure for Madame Bovary herself. This was a fantastic design idea which we were able to model in 3D in our office and get one of our welders to assemble the structure. Entirely made of aluminium to keep the weight down the structure has been duly noted in numerous reviews as a “terrific moment” in the show.
“The set, made of blackboards and sliding doors and hidden cupboards, is as versatile as the actors, with chalk taps producing water and a chalk gramophone providing music”
Johanna Roberts, Downstage Centre
“Humour is further aided and abetted by Conor Murphy’s set—a veritable wall of portholes-cum-chalkboard that facilitates the farce in no little way”
David Sedgwick, British Theatre Guide
“There are some terrific moments, including the La Vaubyessard ball, where we see Emma reeling with emotion, trapped within a structure that neatly represents chandelier, crinoline and prison”