This well known Terry Pratchett novel has been adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs and is an excellent choice because of the strong female characters and sophisticated humour. Once again we made use of a large projection screen, situated in the proscenium arch but this time we mounted the projector on the lighting rig and were able to front project a much larger image. As before we had to be careful not to use to much overall light as otherwise the projected image was lost. Reflected light from the stage floor proved problematic even though our stage floor was a dark brown colour.
Granny Weatherwax was given a more distinctive costume through satin black for the dress, whilst Nanny Ogg's costume was made from calico which was then dyed. The white shoulder scarf gives the costume more of a homely feel and again adds variety. Magrat's costume was a challenge. In the book she is described as wearing a green dress that would cling if she had any curves for it to cling to! We decided to keep the mock elizabethan feel to her dress, keep it simple and adorn her with plenty of wooden "occult" jewellery and top it off with a ragged wig peppered with flowers.
The old King is discussing his situation with nanny Ogg. The stocks were fairly easy to build but have to be feasable for the stage crew to bring on and off quickly. With only the one stage space we had to clear the stage between each scene and the combination of stocks and dungeon door proved quite a challenge for the crew. Overall it is possible to stage the play with only minimal scenery although it is a good idea to invest some time and effort in the costumes. the chain mail for the King is made from non slip underlay for rugs which is cheap and from a distance looks quite effective.
The Duke and Duchess are absolutely fantastic roles and wonderful parodies of Macbeth and his wife. The red dress that the Duchess is wearing is made from the generic dress pattern which is detailed elsewhere on the site. We worked quite hard on the stomacher that goes on the front. A truly satisfactory solution would be to go the whole hog and make a corset for the actress but this would be too much so we ended up using the dress itself to pull her in and up!
The players discuss whether or not to accept the commision to write the play. The doublets are made from adapted waistcoat patterns which have sleeves and epaulets added as well as skirt pieces around the bottom to create the right shape. The hats make an important finishing touch.
This is an example of a moment when the projection really pays off. As the scene is set at night, the image can be clearly seen. The moon seemed appropriate as a backdrop rather than a shot of a heath as it appears more dramatic.
The staging of the penultimate scene is quite awkward with only one stage area, as the action demands an auditorium, a stage and a backstage area. We marked the on and off stage areas with a simple screen and placed the "audience" on the steps at the back so that they could watch without obscuring.
We made extensive use of video technology in this production. I have no photographs because it doesn't come out well, but we used a projected video clip for the demon that the three witches conjure from their washing tub and for the sequence where Granny and Nanny fly around the kingdom, we filmed them against a blue screen and then superimposed them over a variey of night time images. All this was done using Adobe Premiere. Contact me if you want further details.