Janne Robberstad

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The Full Monty

By spotogspindel | February 7, 2020

Today is the opening night of The Full Monty (I blanke messingen) with Kompani Andersen. A small group of amateur-theatre-enthusiasts decided to stage the musical about the unemployed Sheffield-workers who put on a strip-show to earn some fast cash.

Not unexpectedly, they discover that one thing is to undress, another thing is to do it while hundreds of people are watching.

They become painfully aware of their own bodily flaws…

… and try different approaches to get to terms with it.

(Almost) The whole cast and backstage-crew involved in the show.

I designed this set a couple of years ago, when the director first started talking about staging the show.

As always, I try to be as ecologically sustainable as possible in my designs. And with a small newly-started amateur-group with hardly any budget, one of the challenges was to make the set as affordable as possible. I decided very early on that I wanted to use corrugated iron plates. After an advertisement on Facebook, people called in, and donated old, rusty plates they had lying around which they hadn´t thrown away yet. And we used all 31 of them!

One of the essential principles of being sustainable, is to ensure that a product has several lives. These plates were already used, and were heading for the landfill. They were partly rusted and partly still grey. However, since I wanted a visually warm feel to the show, I painted over the grey areas. (And when I say “I”, I mean a group of wonderful volunteers! Including the community is another welcoming sustainable principle). The plates are made to be outside, and I chose an oil-based paint, which in itself is not ideal, but it does prolong the post-show life of the plates. At least some of them will go on to their third life, as new building-material (its already been arranged before we painted them)

The team of volunteers included four carpenters, which built a very solid foundation for the structure. All new wooden material was used here, which may or may not be ideal. But it needed to be strong and safe, and it will be carefully dis-mantled and stored for the next production.

It is a very versatile and practical set-up, with two hidden stairs, and two visible. Lots of space backstage, and plenty room for the band. Even though it was made with a run-down industrial city in mind, the set could be used any number of other shows/plays.

An eight-man band was placed on top of the stage, behind a little fence of more rusted corrugated iron. Since a lot of the plates were cut, the edges were very sharp, and we took especially care to hide all edges with thin, wooden shielding plates. For the final strip-show, we used a glitter-curtain, which again is not especially sustainable. But once you have it, use it again and again. This was first used in 1999, and has been in many shows since then. It´s all about using what you have, giving it a new life, and help it get even more lives afterwards, using local resources, involving the community, using natural materials, and quality craftsmanship for safety, durability and joy!

I do love the theatre!

Click photo above for TV Haugaland story

The Full Monty

Kompany Andersen

Director/choreographer: Hilde Hoff Andersen

Scenography: Janne Robberstad

Lighting design: Simon Alvsvåg

 

Topics: backstage, Diverse, set design, sustainable | No Comments »

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