Thursday, 20 August 2009

Infinite Variety


Just completing work on a project for The Whoopee Club which has involved the re-invention of a variety show as a stylish operatic cabaret. It is also partially a re-invention of The Whoopee Club, who wish to diversify and try out new ways of working. I don't know how the audience will respond to this work, especially their regulars. Most people who have seen the designs have found them to be very unusual and not what they expected.
At times I wish that I wasn't so ambitious as my designs take a great deal of technical planning to realise. But the end results are usually beautiful and stand the test of time, which makes the hard work worth it.
My temporary studio is in Brixton market and it has been a welcome contrast to working from home, which can sometimes make me feel isolated. It has been positive to have my work on display and talk to people about the show and what I do. I'm considering keeping the studio for longer and making it a second home.

Postscript 2011
The project with the Whoopee Club did not go well. I had to involve my trade union BECTU. I was not fully paid for the job and my contract was broken.
The Whoopee Club received numerous grants, but it seemed that the company was in financial difficulties. These complications severely impacted upon the design input. The worst aspect of this job was seeing the lack of respect paid to designers and others involved in the project.
From my own viewpoint despite signing a contract:  I was not fully paid; I did not receive the budget on time; I have never been fully credited for my role (this has proved to be a blessing in some ways); I had an assistant, Scarlet Nite (who was not chosen by me, but by the Whoopee Club) crediting the designs to herself but who did not truely assist me...I could continue.
This was an example of how not to run a production.Despite this, the Clore Leadership Fund forwarded Lara Clifton to the Arts Council as someone to support. I had a meeting with one of the leaders of the Clore Leadership Fund and put forward my case. I was told to forget about it, that a lot of theatre companies operate like this...


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