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Set construction of Billy Elliot.

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Introduction

BILLY ELLIOT SET CONSTRUCTION Billy Elliot opens with the projection of black and white documentary/newsreel footage onto a large screen which is suspended within the proscenium arch of the stage. The film is genuine footage of the miners' strike and shows both police and workforce in situations of protest, conflict and division. As the film extracts conclude, The screen drops to the stage floor to reveal the basic set. During the production, this set is manoeuvred hydraulically into a number of different positions to suit the action of the piece. Essentially elements of the basic set were very realistic impressions of both interior and exterior buildings in the mining community. The centrepiece is the Community Hall, complete with stage where much of the action is focused. ...read more.

Middle

At Stage left is a cutaway section which reveals the kitchen of a typical terraced house of the period. The units are painted a bright tangerine and all the utensils and fittings are genuine. This is a completely realistic feature of the set. To help suggest the hardship that the miners are experiencing, there is little food in the kitchen. The attention to detail in this realistic set extends to the designer allowing for the viewpoint of individuals sitting in the Grand Circle as we were. Seen from above, all the walls in cross-section were sculpted and coloured to closely resemble genuine brickwork. At the Upstage end of the hall is a small stage. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is managed hydraulically using a groove system. The system allows the basic set to return precisely to the position seen at the opening of the show. The small stage is moved from Downstage to an Upstage position during the opening of the second act. As the realistic set is withdrawn, a false stage setting is lowered into position from the fly tower. This conceals the hall interior and creates the impression of an almost empty stage. To add to this impression a lighting bar is also lowered into position upstage. This was most noticeable during the audition scene. The basic impression generated by the fixed set is that of a rundown community. All the colours are generally faded and fittings look old and worn. The furniture in the hall is shabby, the piano looks battered. There are no bright colours to create a zing point. ________________________________________ PMR 17/12 ...read more.

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