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bonnie and clyde

Role: Assistant Producer

Project dates: September 2018 - January 2019

Performance dates: 14th - 17th January 2019

Company: Shotgun Theatre

Bonnie And Clyde was the first show that I was involved in at university, taking on the role of assistant producer.

In our performances at the Exeter Phoenix, the project also represented my first experience working with a regional venue. 

As assistant producer, my responsibilities involved:

  • Overseeing the stage team in the conception and construction of set and props

  • Ensuring uniformity across our marketing campaigns

  • Running activities which strengthened bonds between cast, band, and prod team

  • Assisting the producer with other tasks

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Bonnie and clyde

Teaser trailer

We wanted to keep our primary marketing for the show focused on the two lead characters, aiming to encapsulate both the glamour and threat of these outlaws.

We did this through a simple teaser trailer which was released on social media alongside updates to our company's cover photos.

Building 1930s america

The car

When working on Bonnie and Clyde, a sense of realistic detail felt important. If we wanted our audiences to believe in the plight of the lead characters, I felt we should recreate their world as vividly as possible for them. The question was how could we build 1930s America with the limited resources and space we had.

We decided to build the infamous car out of an old crate, fashioning a grill out of a palette we found in the workshop and adding a number plate ordered online. The 1930s headlights were made on a budget using LED lamps glued inside clear plastic bowls sanded down to seem translucent. They could be turned on and off by actors through two sawn off nails which acted as buttons.

The car set piece therefore - a key symbol for the outlaws' dream of social mobility - was built from materials found for cheap in the local area. Everything the Barrow gang needed to set themselves free was built from items in the stage space from the start.

The tyres were sourced for free from a scrap heap in the Marsh Barton area. We screwed them to secure wooden bases so that the actors could easily bring them on and off. Equally, a steering wheel - sourced from a friend - could be slid on and off the crate. The palette was designed to be lifted off the crate in one smooth motion.

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Personal props

I used Adobe Illustrator to design the newspapers and magazines, gluing them to existing documents before tea-staining to create a dusty effect. Similarly, I digitally restored 1930s matchbox and cigarette pack designs on Photoshop before applying them to the props.

 

All of these things helped make the world of Bonnie And Clyde feel more authentic and detailed, and therefore more real to the actors and the audience members.

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headshots - literally!

Headshots appear by the dozen on the timelines of people involved with Theatre At Exeter. As such, we wanted to make sure ours stood out.

Aiming to capture the grittiness of Bonnie And Clyde's storyline, our publicity team reached out to make up artist students at the local Exeter College for their specialist skills in SFX make up.

The resulting headshots of our lead characters, with blood streaming down the faces of the actors, were highly effective in standing out from a busy Facebook timeline and promised a truly dramatic performance.

audience response

We put together this short video to catch our audience members as they left, and ask them for immediate reactions to the show.

review

"Dramatic, sexy, and thrilling"

Greta Sanna, Razz Magazine

Blanche Barrow

"A convincing performance, with the help of a versatile wooden set and the emblematic car, a symbol of the couple’s passion and deviance"

Greta Sanna, Razz Magazine

“This juxtaposition of the sacred and profane creates a true reflection of an era where individuals, placed in atrocious conditions, were losing their faith”

Greta Sanna, Razz Magazine