Tag Archives | Handspring

We Have Crossed The Finishing Line

I rather like the title of this post as it is appropriate to the central racecourse scene in Act II of our show.

Before mentioning anything else, I think it might amuse many of the followers of this show to hear a bit about how we designed the ‘Logantown Races’ scene for Castle Gillian.

Firstly, a horse race is a notoriously difficult thing to stage in a theatre.  In fact, and of course, it really can’t be done with any degree of realism – where do you get all the horses!  In theatrical terms today, we now have the work of the brilliant South African company Handspring and its designers, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones to thank for making the representation of a horse (in their case, ‘Joey’) a brilliant conceptual idea.  But, that said, it is unique solution for the production of ‘Warhorse’ as created by the National Theatre in London based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo.

How else can it be done?  Well the first way of course is not to show the horse race at all – as was the solution designed by the writers of My Fair Lady (lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe) and, in our humble opinion, still the best Musical ever written.  Today we have the luxury of back projections and other types of sophisticated puppetry as choices, so there are alternative options.  I’m not going to give away how we do it, other than to say the audience does get to see and watch our ‘Benbecula’ on-stage in our adaptation of Castle Gillian.

Moving on:

The first complete version of Castle Gillian is now complete.  We should be going into a first workshop in New York in September 2020 but, as mentioned in my last post, the global COVid-19 pandemic has put pay to any likelihood we will be able to do this until after April 2021 and, even then, we remain entirely unsure at to whether restrictions currently in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo  in New York City, will permit us to put actors together in a studio to do the work. It is a waiting game for everyone in the theatre industry.

In the interim we have commenced orchestrations for the show with the hope that we will be able to get into the recording studio in late November, pending the severe restrictions in Melbourne, Australia, being lifted by then.

More soon,