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Pillowman crew talk about why they like backstage work

Posted by Julie Fraser (julie) on Sep 03 2016
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Pillow-talk! NWTC catches up with some of the crew  who are helping to bring  NWTC’s autumn play, ”The Pillowman”, to life.


Within a backstage capacity, what have you worked on before (or is this your first venture into backstage work) and, generally speaking, what do you enjoy about this area of work?

BRIAN PARKER (lights and sound technician): I enjoy theatre and especially musicals but as a software engineer in my day job and a musician in my spare time I’ve long been fascinated by the technical processes that support the production of digital sound. I’ve designed and executed the sound for a few shows here in Luxembourg ranging from “Betty’s Summer Vacation”, “Aladdin” and most recently “Oh What a Lovely War”.

The freedom to create in modern digital sound still continues to amaze and fascinate me and the extent of what is achievable with a laptop and a few extra pieces of equipment is remarkable. As a musician if I can sneak some of my own stuff in the mix then that is an added bonus and of course, there is always the thrill of cueing a live performance.

HILARY BROWN (costumes): As many of you will know I have been involved with the costume team on many productions now over several years and I have met many  new people who have been involved with costumes as well.  I enjoy being part of the life of the theatre and the productions without actually being on stage in the limelight.  It is also a bonus to know that the costumes you have found will help with the realisation of a production.

LAURA FRASER (hair and makeup):  This will be my fifth show in which I do the hair and second I help with makeup.  I really like working backstage and having to organise the work. I loved  helping on “Peter Pan”  as there were lots of fantasy characters, such as mermaids. I also enjoyed doing very classical styles in “Oh, what a lovely war!” This year Natalia Sanchez, who directed the youth theatre, asked me to be her assistant and I’m looking forward to learning more about everything with her. I like that you help make the character by how they look but at the same time you don’t have the fear of going on stage or  need to learn any lines!

 How are you preparing for the task ahead in Pillowman and what do you see as the most enjoyable/challenging aspect this play has with regard to your work?

BRIAN: Obviously a script read and identification of cues, which is still under way, after which I will meet with Gav, the director to discuss which ones should be included or changed, this is easily an ongoing process with ideas moving backwards and forwards between us and the rest of the production team. In the meantime I am trawling the internet for everything I can find about The Pillowman and starting to try some composition ideas for ambient music in support.

HILARY: When Gavan asked me to do the costumes for Pillowman I wasn't sure about it but it has been a nice team to work with, with different people in the cast as well as people I know so it has been a pleasure.

 It doesn't matter how big or small the play or musical is, it is still a challenge and keeps me busy in my old age! So if you need something to do during the winter months and you can sew a bit then please contact me or anyone on the committee and you can be part of it too.

 LAURA: So far I have met the cast and other crew members, looked at different types of paint and chosen one that can be used on hair, body and clothes as there is one scene where an actor has some paint on.  This is a very different play to others with more of a dark side than I am used to.


Last changed: Sep 03 2016 at 11:51 AM


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