I, Peaseblossom: designer's notes
Graeme fills us in on some of the background to the design:
"The original commission for all three fairymonsterghost plays was by Pippa Smith of the Brighton Festival Education Department. The overall idea was called Shakespeare in a Suitcase, and that is what I, Caliban and I, Peaseblossom were - the set had to fit into a suitcase that Tim carried into a school, set up and performed. I, Banquo stretched the notion of a suitcase somewhat, but that's another story.
"For me, design is about solving a series of problems set by the play, the production, the venues it is playing, and, crucially, the budget! The main problem for the set of I, Peaseblossom was that Peaseblossom spends quite a lot of time asleep (he does a lot in his sleep, so don't let this make you worry that you are going to watch some sort of Warholesque piece...).
"As the production was largely touring to school halls, which don't, as a rule, have either stages or raked seating, this presented a sightline problem - how would children sitting two or three rows back see what was going on? So I came up with the idea of a raked table. This is my technical drawing of the table.
"Even though I make most of the things I design, I like to make sure that there is a proper drawing - working it out with a pencil (or, rather computer drawing program) is a very important stage for me.
"The rake, or slope, on the table is shallow enough for Tim to lie on without falling off, (although he might disagree with me on that one!) yet it is steep enough for the audience to get a good view of what is going on without being too high to exclude those sitting on the floor in the front.
"The rest of the set is basically set dressing to make the table look like it is suffering the aftermath of a wedding feast - there are place mats, discarded food and flowers, which Tim strews around (as instructed by me) before the show begins.
"There is a blackboard, which was added after a few rewrites Tim put in for the Bath Shakespeare Festival run. I made the blackboard from scratch as it had to be just the right size. Don't tell Pippa, but the blackboard won't fit in a suitcase.... "