Saturday, December 17, 2011

Su Blackwell Designs Sets For "The Snow Queen"

Poster for The Rose Theater's 2011 Production of The Snow Queen, with designs by Su Blackwell.

Yesterday, fantastical paper-and-more artist Su Blackwell posted her designs for a theatrical production of "The Snow Queen" and, as you might expect, her magical touch with paper cutouts rules the set.

In an interview Ms. Blackwell talked about her approach to set design, something which she hasn't tackled before. Here are some excerpts:
"It starts off with an industrial, Victorian, brick town in Denmark, which is quite bleak and then as Girder travels through the seasons, it becomes a magical, fantasy world," says Blackwell. "My favourite scene is Mrs D's garden, which is quite surreal and topsy-turvy. I had fun playing with the scale of props for that and planning explosions of colour for the stage."
...When it came to the set designs, each one was made by hand, on a small scale out of paper first before being turned over to the production team to recreate, scaled-up in canvas. "It was quite a restrictive way of working because the Rose is a circular theatre, so everything is on view and you haven't got the advantage of hiding part of the set away," she says.
You can read the whole article HERE.

And here's a very important piece of fairy tale news from the same article:
She's also illustrating a book of fairytales that will be out next autumn.

I'm putting that on my fairy tale wish list right now! :)

You can read a full review of the production by The Guardian HERE, which, as you might also suspect, has some lovely things to say about Ms. Blackwell's design.

A nice theatrical addition to this production is The Snow Queen Christmas Trail. From the Rose Theater website:
The Rose Theatre presents a selection of free performances of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales on the streets of Kingston to celebrate our adaptation of his most loved work, The Snow Queen. (Dates indicated here) ...The Snow Queen Trail project is supported by the Mayor of London's Outer London Fund which aims to strengthen the vibrancy and growth of London's High Streets.
The Rose Theater has been posting some images from the traveling players on the "Trail" on their Twitter account too. For instance:

 The Snow Queen went out into Kingston last night
to find a child to fix her broken mirror.

 Our travelling players get to work in Kingston...

The Trail runs from December 7th through to the 23rd and look like a wonderful way to build interest in the production, the story and help people enter the fairy tale world. I wish I could see it in person.

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