I snapped up the chance to technical direct Salad Days because I loved the show the first time I did it, and because there was huge scope to have fun with this at the ADC. With two weeks of building time before the Mayweek slot and with my finals over, I had lots of time to spend on the set.
Exciting set items included the canvas flying saucer, the gorgeous university flat complete with all its vacuum formed bits, two 'Minnie' pianos, pyramids, full-height painted side-masking and a backcloth. None of this would have been possible without the help of the lighting crew (Ursula and Jo), who's real motive in helping was to paint everything pink!
The get-in was quite a challenge. The plan was to arrive at midnight, work through till 8am, have a fried breakfast for incoming and outgoing crews, do the lighting by midday and leave for all the usual Suicide Sunday garden parties. While the outgoing crew managed the champage fried breakfast at 8am, the LX crew were stuck at the ADC till mid afternoon, but still made the important garden parties. Then we plotted, teched and dressed the show on Monday in time for people to leave for May Balls by 7pm!
Unusual crewing jobs? This show featured 'Cloud Crew' - whose sole job was to hide behind and move the clouds in the flying saucer scene. This visual gag was discovered by accident the first time I did this show, and just had to be repeated.
As soon as I've scanned them
As soon as I've scanned them
Standard(ish) flattage, only triangular and with exquisite painting by Jo & Ursh. They were adorned with heiroglyphics which translated as
Eddy and Jo built a beautiful pyramid. Ursh wasn't quite sure of the translation of built though...
In Salad Days, Uncle Zed's flying saucer is a larger-than-life version of the type of saucer that normally accompanies a tea cup, and is not of the space-invader type. To construct your very own saucer, start by cutting out a circle of 3/4 inch ply for the centre section. Then you'll need to make the ribs; these are the frame that the canvas will eventually be streched over. The ribs attach to the centre section at one end, at to each other at the top by the saucer 'rim' (more cut-out curvy wood). I found the easiest way to attach the ribs to the centre was by screwing them to 2"x2" which was in turn screwed into the centre section.
Don't forget you'll need a spare rib!
Once the rib frame is complete, staple the canvas to it. This is best done using one piece of canvas to cover the whole top and half the underside of the saucer. Starting from the back, work along each rib, stretching the canvas as you go. Then you'll need a second centre section to sit on top of the 2"x2", ribs and random canvas that's in the middle of the saucer (Applying flat canvas to an awkward-shaped curvy thing is quite awkward, but not as awkward as the maths we did to work out how much canvas we needed!). The photo shows the saucer taking shape, and the 2"x2", ribs, and both centre-sections are visible. NB, the back of the saucer is never seen.
Then you'll need to size the canvas (flameproof primer works quite well), and then you need someone who can paint to paint it for you. This was the one of only a select few items in the show that Jo didn't paint pink!©Eddy Langley - This page last updated 7 November 2003