WHAT IS IT ABOUT SCENE CHANGES?
Confession: I HATE scene changes. That moment when everything on stage comes to a standstill. The magic disappears, the lights go dim and you suspend your interest. People in black clothes start whooshing around the stage moving things around. I hate it even more if the tabs (curtains) close to disguise the event, cutting the audience out altogether. As if we don’t know what’s going on. Then, after the scene change, it starts up again and we try to pick up the thread. I will do almost anything to avoid that scenario.
THE PEACH OF WONDERFULNESS
A few (ok, many) years ago I directed James and the Giant Peach. Now there’s a show that needs a revolve if ever I saw one! Offbeat’s Jim Rolt engineered the fantastic peach. TIt sat on an 8′ square revolve and occupied centre stage throughout. A couple of screens sat either side for projected scenery. Another elegant way of changing the set. The revolve was not only the peach, but we attached a façade to one side at the beginning to create the Aunts’ house. We removed it after the peach turned for the first time. One side was a cross section so the actors could be inside the peach. The other was the outside with ‘windows’ so they could all look out. It dominated the stage. It was magnificent. Again, the turns were always moments of magic – music, lights and action all taking place – no stopping, no pauses!
SMALL BUT ELEGANT
Of course you don’t need to use BIG revolves. We used 2 smaller ones in Beauty and the Beast – reminiscent of fairground waltzers. Perfect for quick changes – ‘interior scene with table and chair’ to ‘exterior stone wall with statue’. In seconds. If you’ve never considered using one before – why not give it a try?