WE'VE PAINTED our backdrops in the order
they appear, so, as in most pantomime's, we end up at
the Palace for the grand finale. I hoped we'd have time
to embellish the Caliph of Constantinople's
throne room with marbled panels and columns but as the
stage is needed for dress rehearsal this afternoon we
had to make do with the basics of dais, doors and windows.
These symmetrical scenes are so difficult
to get right; get the top of a door or window out by
just a couple of inches (which isn't much on a 20ft
wide backdrop) and it appears glaringly askew from the
auditorium. I used a broom handle to establish the relative
The last thing we put in was the border
above the window tops, to take away the plainess of
the top half of cloth. We used a chalk line to mark
its position. A useful tool; I've never used one before.
We had to give up on the 16 arches across
the top. Can't hold up the dress rehearsal!