How to Build a Tree - Part 1

Wednesday 2nd January 2013

Rivalry on the tennis court

All of the productions here at Nottingham Playhouse throw up a few challenges for our props team, and Alan Ayckbourn’s dark comedy, Joking Apart is no exception. The play centres around a group of friends who we meet four times over the course of twelve years. They gather at the tennis court for games which trigger rivalry and jealousy within the group. The set design for the production will feature the corner of this tennis court as well as a hedge and a huge tree which is currently being built from scratch. We thought we would follow the tree’s progress as it changes shape each week, to reveal the many stages something as complex as this goes through before its completion.

Sparks fly

The tree began its life as a metal frame, welded by a team working on our external workshop site, ten minutes down the road from the Playhouse. Sparks were flying as the branches were welded onto the huge metal trunk. The size of the tree – 6.5metres – is impressive – it’s so big it had to be worked on in several parts and a ladder was used to climb up its branches. Next up the tree will be transported to Nottingham Playhouse where the props team will add to its design, creating the mass of the tree as a first step, until it’s ready for opening night!

Joking Apart opens on 26 January. To book tickets click here or call the Box Office on 0115 941 9419.

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