About the Design | A Man with Five Children

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About the Design | A Man with Five Children

Design including film is an integral part of our production. See below creative visions from Production Designer Georgia Hopkins and AV Designer by Tim Hope. 

Tim Hope | AV Designer
As a theatre person who is also a film person it’s great to have a theatre piece explore film so thoroughly, and as someone who works as a cinematographer as well get to explore what film means recontextualised and get a chance to kind of hit at that essence a bit in a theatrical concept.

As a cinematographer too when I work in the theatre it’s always great shooting knowing you’re going to be working with more than a flat screen, and with other things in the space, it adds a whole other level of thought in terms of how and what to shoot. Really collides two schools of thought and each teaches you more about the other when you go back to doing one of them on its own.

One of the first references Anthony brought to me when we started talking about the style and function of the filmic aspect of the piece was the work of Ingmar Bergman, particularly his film Persona. Where I think the easy answer would be to make with the filmed moments of the play kind of voiceless and naturalistic, the far more intimate and invasive nature of Bergman’s cinematography says something about the nature of the documentary and the documentarian in the lives of these children. This supposedly impartial external observer is anything but.

As our discussions move and as we introduce cast and others to the ideas we’re developing we keep coming back to the sequence at the opening of Persona. I think it’s because it speaks most loudly to a share meta-commentary between the two works, a reflection of film, and film making and the artifice of it, from the first moment of the film we see the mechanics of film front and centre, the arc lamp of a cinema projector coming to life and the film rattling its way around the machine. 

Georgia Hopkins | Production Designer 
Since it's creation, I always felt inspired by the architecture of the Eternity Playhouse. I felt it was important to expose the beauty of the venue by keeping the back wall unmasked, particularly with a play where place is often unimportant and the ethereal nature of the architecture is appropriate.  

A Man with Five Children is an exciting play to costume design because the play spans almost thirty years. It has been fantastic to have the chance to research the clothing worn by ordinary Australians from the 70s to the 00s - I delved into my parents photo albums for some inspiration. We have to be very precise about the costume items we choose because each item of clothing needs to indicate the time period and the age of the character wearing it, as each character ages almost thirty years throughout the course of the play.

Reference is my mum Julie in the 70s travelling around the UK in a van, and some fantastic 80s teenagers I found.


Posted 20 May 2016

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