Tuesday, 22 May 2012

lyric Opera “La Bohéme” at the NCH

lyric Opera “La Bohéme” at the NCH 

Saturday 19th, 7.30p.m
Monday 21st, 7.30p.m
Wednesday 23rd, 7.30p.m.

I had a very enjoyable night out last Saturday at Lyric Opera’s production of La Bohéme at the National Concert Hal under the Direction of CAV. Vivian Coates.

Staging a production in the NCH does pose staging challenges for the Set Designer, in so far as it does not have the staging facilities associated with an Opera House or Theatre. In such circumstances, Lyric Opera’s director/designer CAV. Vivian Coates and Set Designer/Scenic Artist John O’ Donoghue acquitted themselves reasonably well in devising an appropriate setting to evoke a supportive visual ambiance and atmosphere to the production. While the scenic elements and objects enhanced the dramatic experience, they remained unobtrusive or distracting to the audience. The slow paced resetting of the dressing props and hand props by the choreographed and costumed stage crew during the interval was again quite poetic. Equally important to creating the appropriate visual ambiance and atmosphere is the Lighting Designer, Alastair Kerr’s contribution to colouring the dramatic mood and tone of the moments. 

There were mixed opinions from my friends on the costuming interpretation 

As I have commented on in the past; the NCH does not have an orchestra pit which necessitates
the setting of the orchestra at auditorium floor level between the audience and the stage apron. This can prove challenging for both the vocalists and the audience; for the vocalist in projecting over the sound of the orchestra and for the audience in receiving a balanced sound from both. Having said that, both the vocalists and the orchestra were of accord and sounded super.

I am looking forward to November to see what Lyric Productions can achieve in the Gaiety Theatre with their production of “AIDA”. November 14th, 16th and 17th.

Lyric Opera at: http://www.lyricoperaproductions.com/home.php

Gaiety Theatre at: http://www.gaietytheatre.ie/index.php/whats-on-buy-tickets/calendar/aida-by-giuseppe-verdi/430

Patrick M for

Digital/Video images on a LED screen

Alice in Funderland 

What a knock out, lively production last week at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin with the Abbey’s production of a new musical, a world premiere of “Alice in Funderland” by Phillip McMahon and Raymond Scannell. 

Set Designer and Costume Designer Naomi Wilkinson acquitted herself very well in devising appropriate settings to evoke a supportive visual ambiance and atmosphere to the production. 
 Naomi's collaboration with Jack Phelan’s Digital/Video images on the LED screen was a good example in the use of new and evolving technologies in Scenography.
This performing set with its stylised scenic elements, objects, lighting and particularly the digital imaging played its part in transporting the audience into an enhanced and exciting and dramatic experience. 

Jack Phelan’s Digital/Video images on the LED screen, the lighting and the performance were choreographed to set the time, place and mood to this audio, visual, emotional journey. Naomi Wilkinson’s stylised domestic set for the opening and closing scenes bookended the magic parallel fantasy Dublin she created in between. 

The result of collaboration between Set/Costume Designer Naomi Wilkinson, Video Designer Jack Phelan, Lighting Designer Sinéad McKenna and Director Wayne Jordan gave the audience an absorbing, scintillating, immersive theatrical experience of colour, movement. 

The choreographed, paced setting and resetting of scenic elements, dressing props and hand props during the scene changes by the Stage Crew in the background and cast on stage supported the audience’s transitional illusion from scene to scene.  

Equally important to creating the appropriate visual ambiance and atmosphere is the Lighting Designer, Sinéad McKenna’s contribution to colouring the dramatic mood and tone of the moments.  

The Costumes designed by Naomi Wilkinson were very contemporary, whacky and at times Fetish, yet Alice’s retained innocence throughout that defined her character against the colourful, make-believe, larger than life, imaginary characters populating her imagined world. 

The multitasking multitalented five piece “Funderland Band” was accommodated up stage of the acting area and gave of their all. They achieved a vibrant, paced, balanced and at times raucous   sound. Having said that, both the vocalists and the orchestra were of accord and sounded super.

When it comes round again it will be a must see for students of Set Design, Costume Design and Make-up Design. It is a production bursting with potential for designers. 

Abbey Theatre at: http://www.abbeytheatre.ie/

Patrick M for

Sunday, 6 May 2012

When no set is still a set!

Chrysalis Dance with ConTempo String Quartet:
This is an interesting small dance company that excels in interpreting difficult themes through innovative interpretations on classical ballet training and expertise. Their presentations incorporate movement, light, sound and projected imagery to evoke an immersive experience in as appropriate an ambience and atmosphere as a travelling production can achieve with the limited funding available to it and within the facilities available at our provincial Art Centres/Theatres.

Such productions are at times best presented in a neat, clean black limbo of dressed black drapes, borders, back cloth and (if possible) black floor. Ballet dancers and contemporary interpretation dancers require an appropriate floor surface to perform on and most theatres now provide a matt black roll out rubberised surface to cover the stage surface with. It needs to be laid carefully, avoiding wrinkles and gaps, its inertia weight helps it rest on the stage surface without the need for taping or fixing
I am traveling to see their current production, World Premiere “Thought once was” at the Drogheda Arts Centre and will comment later.

I expect Chrysalis Dance to be pushing the boundaries of classical ballet in this production, enhanced by the live music of the ConTempo String Quartet
 The Double Bill incorporating ‘The Space Where Thought Once Was’ and ‘Scatenato’ promises to be a visceral feast for the senses. The audience will be brought on a poignant and emotional journey where the company will demonstrate their incredible versatility. An exhilarating crescendo of group movement…a wonderfully evocative score’ Dance Europe.
* The Space Where Thought Once Was, is an exploration into Alzheimers and Dementia and Drogheda Arts Festival In association with Chrysalis Dance And Disrupting Alzheimers will present a pre-show screening of the documentary Disrupting Alzheimers, followed by a Q and A.
Pre-show screening
Venue: The Barbican, William St, Drogheda
Date: 6th May at 6.30pm Tickets: Your ticket to the dance piece allows you free entry to documentary”.

May 9th at the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, 028 92 509 254
Also at “The Dock” http://www.thedock.ie/ on Thursday 10th May 8.30pm €15/€12
Carrick on Shannon
Co. Leitrim
Box Office 071 96 50828

May 11th at the Black Box, Galway,
Box Office 091 569777

Follow on Chrysalis Dance on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chrysalis-Dance-Company/122214681168609?sk=info

Follow Catastrophe Theatre Company on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Catastrophe-Theatre-Company/108190232608427?sk=info