Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Last Performance - Woooohooooo !

Sooo, after 12 nights of madness behind the scenes of the English Theatre, last night was our last staging of Brave New World.

I really enjoyed this performance, as I have most of them, and even though it was exhausting (it's like a second full-time job) and annoying at times (people "misplacing" my make-up in their backpacks...) I will miss the mayhem and creative loopiness of the actors, the tech & backstage crew, the box office girls and the bar staff.

The performances of the last few nights have seen their fair share of improvising and spontaneousness, more often than not puns referring to the fantastic game that the German football team played on Saturday. Of course for the last performance, everybody took it a step further - and I wase part of it! That's right, I had a teeny cameo appearance on stage in the last scene. Make-up artists like applause too, you know :)

In fact I believe that for a perfect theatre experience one should see the opening night and the last performance. On the opening night, the actors will stick to the text and the director's directions (hopefully) so you get to see the piece exactly as it was intended. By the last night however, little changes will be made and obviously the actors act more freely because they are more used to their roles, lines and audiences.

And on the last night, obviously things get a little wacky and crazy. Here's a list of the little changes that were spontaeneously made last night (can you tell I like lists? :) )

  • two "policemen" turned from stonecold and rough into flirty gays with golden handbags
  • the "savage" decided to not hide in Dover, as he did the other nights, but in Offenbach instead... if you don't know what Offenbach is like, don't worry, you're not missing out on much. The rivalry between Frankfurt and Offenbach is one of the many things I won't ever really grasp about this strange part of Germany that is Hesse.
  • in a party scene, two actors started making out wildly in the background until one of them was completely covered in blue (!) lipstick
  • the tech crew replaced one projection, almost ruining the mood in the final scene because it sent half the actors into giggling fits
  • cameo appearances by myself and the director's assistant

  • and then some ... :) if you read this and find I forgot something, tell me about it. I'm absolutely positive that I didn't give everyone credit here, sorry!

So, that's why last nights of stage productions are a lot of fun. Another classic is replacing "fake" drinks with actual alcoholic beverages, but seeing as a lot of "champagne" (water...) was consumed on stage, that would've been really expensive ...

This post is also to thank everybody in the cast for making this a fantastic and fun experience!

You rock, guys!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Affair with the Theatre

Did you know that Frankfurt is the home of the largest english-speaking theatre in continental Europe?

I only found out about this after I started helping out there. That's right, I've been appointed the in-house make-up artist for the new play, Brave New World.

My boyfriend is one of the lead actors in the production, hence my involvement. Also, it's sooo much fun! I get to paint a good dozen of actors and actresses, one of them actually gets a bodypainting all over his chest, arms and back - every night of the week!

Of course director Michael Gonszar and the fantastic mistress of costumes Nina Luecker have their ideas as to how the make-up is supposed to look, but I get a lot of artistic freedom with the actual designs. I also like to talk to my "victims" in the make-up chair to make sure they feel comfortable with my work. They get to check their faces halfway through the process, put in their ideas and wishes and so on. This way, everybody tends to be happy with the results - maybe with exception of myself because sometimes I just don't get WHY ON EARTH some of the make-up-madness is neccessary.
WHY does that one androgynous character have a blue face with white lips and massive falsies? (You can see for yourselves, she's in the picture above on the left)
WHY does the "savage" have to be green and red? And I mean green and red all over. I asked the actor about that and he said he plays a ninja turtle, which is really not the case, but he sure looks the part :)

I have to admit I'm quite glad that many of the actors are perfectly able to do their own faces. The others have been very sweet and patient with me, very creative and very much fun. On top of that, I have a lovely "assistant" on some nights, so I actually get to watch some of the play.

Of course I highly recommend going to see the piece :) It's a quirky, colourful yet thoughtfully planned production, with many passionate actors, whose love for their profession radiates from the stage. They take a rather wordy, lenghty play, make it fun and exciting to watch and leave you breathless and with lots of food for thought after the show.

Oh, and it's only 15€ cover, with reduced prices for groups and students. There are still tickets available for next weekend, so hurry and get yours :)