On Friday 31st March, I had a brief discussion with Jack, who will be playing Saint Jimmy, about the initial ideas of the staging, following a meeting held that morning about how we wanted it designed. We had spoken about having platforms on more than one level, in which Saint Jimmy’s office would be at the top. I liked this idea as Jimmy’s office would be at the top, which would show to the audience his power and being top of the rank. Following that, he showed me a design that he had created as an initial idea:
This design was very limited on information, only giving a couple of figures on the height of the stage. After looking more at it, I am not too sure on the stage section of it, I was not entirely sure if that was the stage for actors while the other pieces which are just characters interacting, this is how I interpreted it. The technical team were then going to start designing the stage based on what had been discussed.
On Monday 17th April, Alex had posted their initial design to the staging, designed by Leah, which had used our ideas of tables to add the cabaret effect of sitting down at tables to watch the acts. A change from Jack’s idea which I immediately noticed was that Saint Jimmy’s manager’s office has now been placed on the floor, not on a platform, but the two platforms for cabaret acts stand. The bar meanwhile, is situated on the opposite side of the stage of Jimmy’s office, which I liked as all of the stage will be used up and on the floor so it can be easily accessed.
As this stage design was posted before we started rehearsing, we decided on Friday 21st April that my character, Ruby would enter through the bar entrance, walking to the bar, therefore, this specific aspect will have to be kept in mind for when we continue rehearsing. For the cabaret acts and the platform for that, I will need to bear in mind that my Saint Joan monologue will take place in that section, so I can look into how I will perform that and the staging.
The stage design was posted on the Saints and Sinners Facebook page, because in previous discussion, we had talked about bar stools and high tables, I raised the concern that going by the design posted, they might get in the way of the audience’s view of Saint Jimmy’s office. However, I was assured that the stools which are planning to be used will be small so this would not be an issue. Following that, there were also questions as to why Jimmy’s office has to be show in the first place, but I understood why in the explanation that it shows the hierarchy of that character. Jack later explained that the office wouldn’t be used for his character throughout, mainly used during the opening number, and would therefore avoid distracting the audience by constantly going to and from the office during numbers.
Spacing was another issue raised to this set design, as we will need space to perform in, especially the dancers with their routine, we were then told that the spacing is not accurate to how it is in the theatre and currently, have spaced the design out too much. We will need a meeting to discuss this and when a final design has been created, we can mark up the rehearsal rooms so as we are running over pieces, we are in the space that we could have in the theatre as well, which can avoid injuries and having to re-block some parts due to not having the correct space previously thought.
In conclusion, I like this design, but I was not too sure after looking at it more about where Jimmy’s office is situated. I think that a stage meeting can help resolve this issue , however, overall, I am happy with the design and feel that it works well to what we were hoping from discussions.