Big Imaginations Festival 2017

2 Days to go….

2 sleeps left until… #BIGIMAGINATIONSFEST

In the final 2 days before the big kick off, it’s Handa’s Surprise time, we spoke to Designer Sophia Lovell-Smith about what it was like to design the set, how do get into designing and the best designs she’s ever seen!

What did you like most about designing Handa’s Surprise? 

Finding lovely fabrics to make costumes and puppets and creating through paint, fabrics, beads and structural materials a warm dappled-coloured set, creating hopefully an open, welcoming environment for a young person to enjoy Handa’s Surprise.

Was there anything tricky that you had to consider when designing Handa’s Surprise?

No nothing tricky, it’s been an interesting creative journey. We have been producing this show since 2004 and I have adapted the original set as we have increased our variety of touring venues. Handa’s Surprise was once a much larger set with village walls, large weavings and lots of sweetcorn clumps, the audience sat inside the walls of Handa’s village. I have since adapted to a simpler set for national and international touring

What is the most memorable theatre design that you’ve ever seen? 

Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams designed by Christopher Oram. Magnificent circular steel doors open to reveal a tropical New Orleans garden and close at the end of a 90 minute drama with light streaming through gashes in the steel, these scratches from carnivorous bird beaks and claws.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a theatre designer?

Ask to help out and get involved making, try to find opportunities to be in set, prop and costume workshops and watch and learn.

Handa’s Surprise introduces us to lots of fruits, if you could choose to be any fruit, what would you be and why?

A banana, it is beautifully dressed and changes its suit to suit its age

Handa’s Surprise is performing at multiple venues across the region, many venues have sold out, but enquire about availability at your local venue;



October 17th, 2017

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