MIKADO set design
April 17, 2012
When my son's soon-to-be father-in-law called to see if I would be interested in doing a backdrop for a production of The Mikado he was directing my first thought was "how the hell did he know I was the perfect choice for this job!"
Apparently, without knowledge of my love of the Japanese aesthetic, John Brown of the Holroyd Musical and Dramatic Society concluded I was up to the task.
The task, as it turns out, is a bit of a dream job.
- In my illustrative inkline style.
- To my layout.
- The backdrop, actually made of 5 timber flats, is 3 metres x 9 metres.
- There are two scenes, the village square and the garden.
This required copious research of bonsai trees; pagodas; stone-gardens; wood-block prints and all things Edo which to a japanophile like me is like being forced to eat chocolates.
Last Saturday was spent pencilling up the first 5 panels which I did with a blue chunky piece of chalk taped to a metre long painter's pole. When it's 3mx9m, that's the size of your pencil!
I got enough of the black linework painted for me to realize we should have a pretty striking pair of images for the kimonoed-costumed cast to work to.
Will update the set's progress in future blogs.
Here are the two illustrations for The Garden and The Village.