The Set – At First Site!

There are four separate locations built within the one stage set so that characters can be seen simultaneously while at various parts of the ‘exhibition hall’. 

There is no need for scene changes as all of the action is facilitated within one or more of the four locations; the various locations are selectively lit while in use:

External – this is a relatively small part of the set to the far left hand side of the stage (as viewed from the auditorium).  It ‘suggests’ that this is the front of the Earls Court halls, with one glass door and some steps, implying that the rest of the many doors are off to the left.  There is a large banner for the show suspended above the door.  The audience cannot quite see inside.

Outer organiser’s office – this is to the right of the stage (as viewed) and consists of a rather featureless rectangular room that connects to the larger inner office.  The two organiser offices form the major part of the set.  The outer office has its entrance to the right front corner so that those entering come in with their backs to the audience and those in the office are facing this entry point and thus the audience. 

This is the entrance used by exhibitors and visitors when seeking out the organisers.  When it has been set up it has five desks and some cabinets and the Tannoy microphone.  The rear wall is a modular shell-scheme with Velcro-happy walls that can have floorplans and other notices stuck to them.  This is a drab room with no external windows, perhaps the suggestion of a skylight.

Inner organiser’s office – this is to the left of the stage and is accessed only via the outer office.  It too is drab and the furniture is all of the insubstantial variety used at exhibitions.

This has a small bar, a meeting room table and chairs at its centre and a few small round tables with chairs near the bar.  There is a cupboard.  To the left there is a window with venetian blinds that overlooks the entrance to the halls – so that members of the cast can appear to be looking at what’s happening at the entrance, though the audience cannot see what it is that they are able to discern.

Balcony – this is suspended above the two organiser offices and suggests that it overlooks stands that are beneath and behind it, as it commands a view of the hall below.  This view however is merely implied as off stage and to the right.

One complication, or rather opportunity, of this staging is that the combination of direct speech, talk via walkie-talkies and announcements over the Tannoy need to be managed realistically.

© Bob Denton, 2014
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