With Cheese being a play about the financial crisis fanSHEN wanted to perform it it in the centre of finance (the City) or the centre of commerce (Oxford Street area). Cheese is set in 2008, in the offices of company closing down and so the venue chosen was an empty property on Oxford Street, itself a by-product of a property market seriously affected by the economic down turn. The building is now managed by 3Space and hired out. By using a disused space fanSHEN are able to produce theatre more sustainability and enjoy creatively using a site specific theatre space. The old office became the Cheese production office, the rehearsal space and theatre set and everything that needed to be done happened here, including much of the writing for this blog!
The photo-essay below shows the space and its transformation from its humble beginnings to the set of Cheese, undergoing a low energy make-over.
Planning the layout for the space. On show night this area will turn into the bar.
The back of the room, to be turned into seating for the audience.
The set, facing our onto Oxford Street. The lines on the floor divide the space into three and correlate with the three scenes/locations within the play. The set will be partitioned into three (see tech images below) and as the play progresses the stage moves back from the audience, so the final scene is played out at the very front of the room (see image directly below). The table and chairs sit waiting for a rehearsal.
The very ‘front’ of the space, facing out onto Oxford Street, and the area for Scene 3. The room at the side is where a lot of this Pedalling Power blog was written, ad was a place much organisation and storage; an important little room.
The lighting designer and Production Manager talk tech, below a ceiling in transformation.
The team wiring up the the ceiling for the play, using non-thetre lights to save energy.
Technical rehearsal, with the set done up and lights up. This shows the first section of the set, behind the partition there are sections two and three.
Lights go down and the rehearsal continues with the technical team looking on, carefully working out queues for lights and sound and how it will all come together with the low energy budget they are working with.
Tech rehearsal continues with the off stage team, including the lighting designer (centre) looking on, understanding how this will all come together and look using non-theatre lights and on a very low energy budget.