top of page

Week 4

Stage decks and lighting

Today we went into the old music venue where we moved stage decks into the studio for our projects. Then we started ton plan what lights we needed which was a light behind the plague doctor, a spotlight on the bed and a white wash over the whole set which was too simple. Then we looked at the pictures of old shows on the walls which one was in a hospital that had a light blue wash over the whole stage. So, we decided to have a blue wash over our set instead a white wash then we had an idea to have a red alarm above the door and to have LEDs on the ECG machine with orange and red lights. Also, we wanted to use industrial lights to hang from a bar above the set. Also we wanted a warm glow on the bed instead of a spotlight. Then we needed to decide on a colour so we grabbed a birdie and some gels then we plugged in the birdie and we started to test the gel colours. First, we looked at the blues and they were either too dark or too light so it was barely visible the we found two blues that were 201 and 063 which we decided on 201 to be the wash for the set and then doubling the 201 gel to create a darker blue to go on the plague doctor. Then after a few tests we decided on 009 for the amber warm glow around the bed. Then I grabbed a source 4 junior part for the gel to slide into which I took from a different source 4 junior light in the lighting store. Then we were in the workshop where we grabbed out the rest of the flats that we needed but we needed to change what was on the flats because there was a design with holes in. First, we removed the top off with a mallet and banging it around the edges to push the glue off then we removed staples with pliers and a small screwdriver. After that we grabbed a chisel to scrape off pink stuff that was on the frame then glue was put on the frame, and we put the new flat on top of the flat. After I removed the staples and pink stuff from one of them, I started to remove the staples from the new flat. Before it was glued on. Then we put away the flats that we got out to reach thae flats we needed for our set.


<---- Stage decks for my set

Old show picture on wall---->


Birdie without gel in front

Part of source 4 junior I put on---->

2 lights and 2 industrial lights for set---->

Preparing flats for our set


Flat before top removed

Frame before new top on

<---- Flat store after flats removed

Tools used to remove staples---->

Rigging lights

Today we rigged the lights into the bar, but we didn’t focus the lights and I was holding the rope to pull up the light to give to the person on the ladder. This process took a while to do but I was doing the same thing on the rope or watching the person rig the lights to check if it’s safe. After rigging the two lights we needed to rig the industrial lights, but we had to move the stage decks to put the ladder there so that we could rig the lights above the set. Then after we rigged them, we put the stage decks back underneath the lights. Then we needed to tidy up before lunch, so I removed the knots in the rope, and I folded the rope up then I tied the tail around itself. Then we were doing prop making and I needed to finish making my dead flowers, so I added a few more paint layers with the sponge onto the petals and then I got given special paint that sticks to the material of the stem which was brown paint. This paint I used on all the stems then I painted the leaves with the same paint but once I painted one side of the leaf it was hard to pint the other side and when my hand was holding the stem, I removed the paint. This process was repetitive similar to rigging the lights.


Ladder that I was holding rope for

Industrial light rigged---->

Rope, I tied up---->


Brown paint used for stem and leaves

Finished fake dead flowers prop---->

Learning sewing

Today I was in the costume department with the new costume tutor where I was first learning how to do a slip stitch which was over a bit of fabric that was folded over twice and ironed before we arrived. I did the slip stitch in blue which was alternating between on the folded over part and not on the folded over bit and when you’re on the not folded over bit you try to pick as little as possible from the top when sewing into it. First, I made the gap too big at first and I it was seen from the other side but as I went from the right to the left, I got better. Then I got taught how to do a hidden stitch in green which had one stitch not on the folded bit and then is stitched on the side of the fold so it’s not visible from the front or back. I did struggle at first getting the needle through the side of the fold, but it got easier the more I did it. Then I got taught how to sew a button 3 different ways and the first way was with across by sewing the top right hole to the bottom left hole then this was repeated to make it more secure then I did the same thing with the other two diagonal holes. Then I did another button, but I sewed it parallel by sewing the upper right and bottom right together a few times then the upper and bottom left together. The last button was a bit different because I sewed the upper and lower right tother and then I wrapped the sewing around the button in a circle then I sewed the upper and lower left holes together. Then it was prop making again but I didn’t have anything to make so me and another person went to the prop store where I found a glass jar with small bits of paper in that could be emptied out then I found another glass jar with small brown things inside. Then we grabbed onions because it was one of the believed black plague cures and a stethoscope to go into the medical cabinet. Also we grabbed a doctors caot to hang on on a hook in our set. Then I made the outside of a drug box which some people had already made but we needed to make another one, so I got told how to do it. First, I glued a piece of paper to a bit of cardboard then I drew around a box that was unfolded. Then I cut it out with scissors, and I used double sided sticky tape to fold it into a box. Then finally I glued a printed out drug label onto the front.


Slip stitch


Hidden stitch sewn over slip stitch


               Wrap                                Parallel                              Cross                      


<---- Box of props grabbed                   

Prop finding and making


Drug box

Cut out paper on cardboard

My show review of Back To The Future | The Musical

Today I went to the Adelphi theatre in London to see a show called Back To The Future The Musical which was based off a film. The story is about a boy called Marty McFly who has a looser dad bullied and he visits doc who invents a time machine inside a DeLorean car, but it needs plutonium to power it and can only be activated with his own voice, but he gets poisoned by the plutonium, so Marty goes into the car to save him, but he gets stuck in 1955 and he was in 1985 also the fuel ran out. Marty goes into a diner where he sees a young version of his dad in school getting bullied by his future boss and then he interacts with his dad to get him to stand up to his bullies. Then he talks to his dad in a tree which he was supposed to fall then meet his mum Lorraine, but Marty breaks his dad called George’s fall and takes his place messing up the timeline. Then he visits a young doc and tells him about being stuck in 1955 and then you look at a picture of him and his family which he was disappearing from the photo. Then Marty joins the schools where his mum falls in love with him instead of George and after teaching George some tricks and him standing up to his bully Biff in the school dance she falls in love with George again. Then Marty grabbed a flyer from his pocket that had the exact place, time and date of a lightning strike hitting the clock tower which could be enough power to send Marty home. So, after some planning and telling Doc about the plutonium poisoning, he managed to get home which saved the Doc. Also, Marty changed the timeline, so his dad was famous for writing a book and the bully Biff was the looser working for George. The costumes were effective in this play because it helped setting the time period of 1985 and 1955 also, I liked it when Marty first arrived in 1955 wearing his puffy jacket people thought it was a life jacket used on boats. The costumes helped with characterization because even though Marty’s puffy jacket looked out of place in that time period, he wore it with confidence which it made him stand out and look cool. Marty did a costume change for the school dance because he was on a date with Lorraine while trying to get Lorraine to fall in love with George again and then after the dance and a song je did a quick change then he met with the Doc to get back to 1985. The costumes showed status because in the beginning Biff was wearing a posh suit while bullying George but at the end Biff was wearing janitor’s clothes while George was wearing the suit which was very effective and noticeable for the changed timeline. The lighting was very effective and different for each time the location changed for example the outside of a mall was made by having a dark set with a red shop sign lighting up in the background with a mall sign of wheels down stage. The colour blue was used a lot mainly because every time the DeLorean moved or stopped blue lights came on with a screen over the top so the car was still seen behind the screen, but it looked like the car was moving with the moving blue light which must have been an intelligent light. Blue lighting was also used for the school dance because the dance was under the sea. Red lights were used near the end when Marty was playing on the guitar while singing after he got back to the changed timeline future where he was in his own band called Marty McFly and the pinheads also a giant sign came down from above that said the band name which also has simple lights around. Sound was used a lot in this show and the back to the future music was repeated which was effective. It was played at the beginning when a screen said you were going back in time to 1985 it was also used every time the DeLorean was driven, and it was played at the end. The music created excitement because it played when something exciting was about to happen. The car had a robot voice which was activated when Doc spoke into the car, and it said things like “time set to the 5th of November 1955” and “I only respond to Doc’s voice” it also said a few funny lines too. A powerful sound effect was a lightning strike which powered back up the car and then the robot voice said that there was enough power to go and then the back to the future music started to play again. Also, at the end the car’s voice said that you were travelling back to 2022 then it said the exact date that it was at the time of watching it which was same at the beginning. When the show started a screen moved upwards to reveal a set of the workshop that the Doc lived in which had bookshelves with tools on, armchairs, pictures on the wall and inventions in the background also it had a door with a window to make it look more like a house. Also, in the workshop Marty was messing around with a powerful speaker connected to a guitar which when he played it the speaker blew up and the bookshelf fell over onto the floor which had supports behinds that fell when a button was pushed which was unexpected and funny. When the scene ended the flat of the workshop split in two then was moved off stage to reveal another set behind it which was a quick and effective set change. On the stage floor there was a circle that turned which was used for many different effects. The DeLorean car was on it, so it looked like the car turned and was moving and, in the school, lockers were in front of the circle, so it looked like hallways then the circle turned to reveal the lunchroom. Also, Marty and Biff were fighting on the lockers and Biff fell backward off the lockers, so some sort of soft landing was hidden behind the lockers too. Also, when doc went up the clock tower stairs instead of having another set to move in the screen came down to create stairs and Doc pretended to climb up them while moving on the spot which was clever and another fast set change. The set was very good and clever so there was never an awkward pause with the lights off to change the location, so it flowed well as a show. There were many props used but they were used so naturally that it was hard to spot like cups, plates and consumable props which was a canned drink and cereal which was when they were introducing the 1985 looser dad before the timeline changed. There was also a light up red lightsaber used by Marty when fighting Biff on the lockers as a reference to Star Wars which was funny that also had Darth Vader breathing in the background when he had the lightsaber. Also, there was spaghetti glued to a plate that the bullies used to put on Marty’s head which showed that he did it without making a mess of him, the costume or turning the floor into a slip hazard. This prop was taken off the set by being on Biff’s head while he was in a wheeled box of spaghetti so if it fell off his head then it would just fall into the box that was being wheeled off anyway. I enjoyed the play because it had lots of humor in also, I saw the play before in the summer holidays and apart from there being a scene where an actor got the hiccups it was exactly the same and still good. I enjoyed the end bit when the DeLorean started to fly with the actors Marty and Doc in and then the car started to spin upside down with the actors inside which was an incredible stunt and surprising both times, I saw it. This was done when the rest of the stage behind was in the dark, so I think a crane was hidden in the dark moving the car also I enjoyed seeing the reactions of the students that saw it for the first time. I don’t think that this show could improve anything about itself because it was really good. It took the classic well known story of Back to the Future and added songs, comedy, and impressive effects like going up the clock tower stairs and the DeLorean moving with the turning floor and a screen.

Show poster

Back future poster.jpg

Stage before show started 


Weekly evaluation 4

This week I have added a stage deck to the studio, chosen our lights we want in the group, prepared our flats, helped rig lights, finished my dead flowers prop, learnt how to sew stitches and buttons in different ways, grabbed items from prop store, made a drug box and watched Back To The Future The Musical. This week was when we started to prepare for our set to be made next week. I solved the problem of not having the front part of a source 4 junior light I solved this by going to the prop and asking which one a source 4 junior light was then I unclipped the front and I brought it into the studio then I slide the 009 amber gel inside and I clipped it onto the light. This is teaching me the skill of recognizing what a source 4 light looks like this is useful if I ever need to grab one for a show. I have improved on my knowledge of sewing which I now know how to sew a slip stich, a hidden stitch and three ways of how to sew buttons. First, I struggled a bit with the hidden stitch because I struggled to get the needle through the folded bit but then I realized that I was going through the wrong part on the folded bit then I found it easier. I also used a needle threader tool to make it easier to thread the needle because last year I found that annoying to thread. I can improve on my wrap technique of sewing a button because it was nearly the end of lunch and that was the only technique of sewing a button left so it was rushed a bit and I can’t remember how to use the wrap technique of sewing a button. This week I have researched images of the Back To The Future The Musical I saw because I didn’t take any photos during the show when the actors were on it but I took a photo before the show started but that was only one picture that didn’t show you what the show was about so I searched for a poster of the show I watched which I put into this logbook.

bottom of page