In my previous post, I talked about designing the backdrop for the school play which takes place in a circus.

After a rather slow start, we got our 2m x 4m canvas backdrops stretched and primed. The designs were scaled up and sketched onto the canvasses, before colour washes were applied to add some zing where the painting wasn’t perfect.

Of  course, with the teenage cohorts assisting – chaos and mayhem broke out all over the place!

Apart from the paintbrush wars, work continued well, but was cut short by a month long holiday imposed because of our country hosting the Soccer World Cup. This meant taking a few whole days out to go back to school and paint. Not a bad situation as it would eliminate all the rather self involved acting bods who would come and watch us in their breaks and ask inane questions like: “Shouldn’t the tiger be orange?” Hard not to sarcastically answer: “Its a pretend tiger, sweetie. If we had real tigers, seals and elephants, PETA would be camped outside the building

Thankfully, my dedicated team turned up for two full days during the vacation to complete the panels. Thanks guys (and random parents) your support and hard work was appreciated!

Four days after returning to school, the first performance was staged, so the first day back at school was a chaotic blend of construction, final adjustments and on my part, a lot of ladder climbing and serious muscle work.

I had taken the day off work to just “lend a hand” and as it turned out it was totally essential. Every one of the staff involved were up to their eyeballs in other stuff, so it became my responsibility to get the canvasses from their storage space and put into place.

Some strong armed help was briefly provided by an ex student before he got whisked off to fix the sound equipment, the student teacher assigned to me is scared of heights, so I was scaling great heights behind the scenes to lash the canvases to the one and only load bearing beam at the back of the stage.

The final effect on an empty stage

The final effect was quite pleasing. Making the decision to keep the palette limited was a good one. With all the actors on stage, they blended in more and had the effect of being more like posters a la Barnum and Bailey.

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Chaos and mayhem – the circus comes to town
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