Our Gracie
The Oldham Coliseum & The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Our Gracie was a fantastic set designed by Celia Perkins that had an interesting concept behind it. The notion, was that the audience was present at a one night only performance by Gracie Fields at the theatre in the early 1960’s. Therefore the design and consequently the construction had to replicate the idea of the local theatre carpenters creating a set that doesn’t quite hit the mark of opulence but certainly has all the right ingredients.

The main recurring design within this set is the use of Art Deco columns that run from the very down stage edge right back to the backdrop cloth. Without knowing the concept of the show the temptation would have been to make every column perfectly symmetrical and following architectural rules of lines and curves. However with this not being the case Splinter took the time to replicate the designers exact free-hand drawing with all there minor imperfections to give each column its own unique style and character. These all also had differences in thickness that allowed areas of the design to stand out more, rather than being a flat profile.

Splinter also made lots of other parts of the set such as the band stand with brass effect handrail and props including Gracie’s trunk, changing screen and the dressing room tables. All of the props were constructed and painted to be seen from every side as they were all to be transferred with the show to the theatre in-the-round at Stoke.


Celia Perkins


The Oldham Coliseum & The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme


Matthew Baker