The dawning realisation that we’re nearly halfway through Shifting hit  us during this weekend. Time certainly flies. And when you’re on residency here in No. 76 and you’ve got a production every 2 months, then time really flies an awful lot quicker.

This weekend we arrived at the stage where the play is pretty much blocked (give or take a few entrances and exits) so now we have another 3 weeks to knock it all into shape, tighten it up, throw things out, throw new things back in and generally make the best play that we possibly can. The actors on this one have taken to a Devious Theatre production like fish to water and I’m already confident that they’re going to really establish themselves as some of the best young actors in Kilkenny once the play opens. It’s been great to get so many talented young people into the Arts Office and have them making theatre.

One of our big areas of focus on this production is going to be turning No. 76 into the sitting room location that Shifting takes place in. I think people might well think that the formation we used for Scratcher is going to be the one we’ll use here but there’s a big difference between having an abstract dole office set up and a fully functional sitting room for a house party.

Our set designer Eddie Brennan came up with the idea of building a sitting room into the corner of the Arts Office where there’s already existant windows and doors. Then we had the idea that because the play happens in real time that we can use a certain amount of natural lighting which hopefully will look quite nice if the sun comes onside with us! We’ve put out a call for couches (which was kindly answered) and we’re slowly but surely starting to move in everything that will turn the space into a sitting room. The toughest part is going to be the walls. We know we want them to be yellow (like the colour scheme in the poster) but we’re not sure if wallpaper or paint is going to be our best bet yet. What we do know is that we want to have a really well laid out, immersive, detailed set that will give the actors plenty to interact with and can really thrust the audience into the world of the play. At least that’s the idea!

Turning No. 76 into different theatrical spaces has been one of the most exciting parts of the residency. We really enjoyed giving audiences a completely unique experience for Scratcher and we’re equally excited about doing it for Shifting. Audiences like to walk into new spaces and see something that they haven’t before. For us, we get to take our blank canvas of a room and turn it into something else altogether. We hope it’s going to make for an exciting theatrical experience when the play opens in 3 weeks time.

So make sure you come along between April 18th and 23rd and see what we’ve done with the place!

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