Since early November, Northern Ballet’s technical team has been hard at work building the sets for the World Première of The Great Gatsby.
We joined carpenter Jonny Mills at the Company’s technical base in Bramley, Leeds to get a glimpse of how the sets are coming along.
‘The sets for The Great Gatsby are much simpler and more contemporary than some of the sets we’ve built in the past, such as Beauty & the Beast. Of course there will be lots of open space for the dancers to perform, with some really beautiful backdrops and scenery.’
Creating the backdrop to one of Gatsby’s famous party scenes has involved tying over 23,000 artificial leaves to camouflage netting, whilst a giant windmill and 45ft long pier will be other impressive features of the set.
‘The most impressive scene will definitely be the garage scene with the bright red petrol pumps. It’s been a lot of fun to build and will involve some really interesting props as well.’
The garage scene was inspired by artist Edward Hopper’s famous painting ‘Gas’, and provides a stunning setting for Gatsby’s iconic yellow car.
‘The car itself took us about two weeks to build. Jerôme gave us a model box of the set which Steve Wilkins, our Technical Manager, then turns into a working drawing. All of the practical considerations are taken into account such as weight, durability and safety before we put it together with whatever materials we can lay our hands on.’
‘It’s great to get your teeth into building something like the car and we’re really pleased with the results. It really illustrates the 1920s era of glamour and style and is a highlight of the set.’
With just the finishing touches to be applied before the sets are transported to Leeds Grand Theatre for the World Première, The Great Gatsby promises to be one of the Company’s most stylish productions to date.
Don’t miss your chance to see it all come together on stage this spring.
Submitted by Liam Verity on Fri 15 February, 2013
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