The Palace Scene

Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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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 positions.

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! next

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