The Old Bazaar in Cairo

Richard Bell's Wild WestYorkshire nature diary

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LAST WEEK it was Istanbul, this week the scene moves to the Old Bazaar in Cairo. I'd sketched out some ideas but this morning when I saw the backdrop we were going to paint over I did this sketch. What was a palace kitchen became the basis for this market; kitchen range and cupboards became market stalls.

SphinxI wasn't sure what to do about the rustic chimney going up the middle of the original backdrop. I thought it might become a kind of roof but then realised that as we're in Cairo it really ought to be a Sphinx.

That plinth, right in the centre of the scene was crying out to have something carved on it - heiroglyphics? I decided to make the setting absolutely obvious by writing

'M A R K E T'

On it in big bas-relief letters. 'BAZAAR' or 'SOUK' might have been more accurate but 'MARKET' seemed to me to be the right one.

While I was painting David the joiner was busy assembling the Mighty Roc. He and Frank (the Sultan of Instanbul) painted in the outline I'd painted in orange flourescent paint last week. As Grant and Daniel had just got the ultra-violet tubes connected we were able to briefly try it on stage. Wow! It's like something from another world, this giant 8 feet tall bird of paradise with flapping wings glowing in orange, yellow, pink, green and blue; it's so effective you'd think that it was a neon sign rather than paint on hardboard.


Wonderful way to end the first half of the pantomime. Can't wait to see it on the night. next

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