Anybody looking at the date of my last blog will have noticed that it’s been ages since my last post. Not because I have developed an allergy to keyboards, but because life has been somewhat of a circus recently.

And the circus is literally coming to my life. I have mentioned spending a lot of time waiting for children to finish their various extra activities. One of these is the major drama production at school. Rehearsals continue well after dark and I spend rather a lot of time hanging about…

Until I decided to be totally self-serving by offering to help paint the backdrops. Yes, it sounds mad, but painting huge scale stuff would be like therapy after days spent doing commercial design! My offer was snapped up with heartfelt cries of joy and I am now “it” for the backdrop and a few other items.

A few small stumbling blocks: the budget is so tight, I have to beg, borrow or recycle materials. The whole projects has to be coordinated through overworked teachers, so it is taking longer to get it up and running than I anticipated. And finally, the Soccer World Cup is looming, which means the school is shut by government decree for a whole month. The performances start about a week after re-opening Рso essentially I have about three weeks to get this done, and as I am only  painting at school during rehearsal times (after work) I am going to have to do this at speed! Nothing like a looming deadline for focus!

The show is one written by the teacher and is about a circus and the people who perform in it. Lots of scope for design except for those lovely stumbling blocks.

The plan is to recycle the boards already in place at the back of the stage (no money for canvas or frames). Tight budget means I am also restricting the palette of colours used. Red, gold and blue-purple are what I would like to do. We are painting four stylized circus posters for the backdrop (initial sketches for these are displayed in the slideshow on this post), recycling some red and gold drapes to add the effect of a tent and if all goes well, converting a refridgerator box into a ticket booth.

I will try and remember to take photos of the process and share the development of the circus with you. But I think by July I might just be ready to run away from the circus.

Life is a circus
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