Monday, 31 December 2012

The Last Blog Post (of 2012)

The end of the year is fast approaching, so I thought I'd squeeze in one final blog post.

Every now and again I am reminded it's a strange, small world, and never more so than in the world of The Arts. To cut a very long story (involving a New Year's Eve party 10 years ago, performing in a florist's shop, graphic design and 'Bunnies') short, I found myself designing the posters and flyers for this is tinder's production, 'The Last March', the Christmas show at The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter.

I haven't previously discussed it on my blog, but as well as being an Actor I am also studying Graphic Design. Whilst I can't claim to have designed the beautiful main collage (Ian Nicholson, Tinder's Artistic Director, had already commissioned it), it was a great job to work on as Ian gave me a clear idea of what he liked, but plenty of room to be creative. In addition to this, I have watched the show and it is a great piece of Theatre!

On the left is the original collage and on the right is the final design for 'The Last March' poster

The play is the tale of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's final expedition to the Antarctic in 1912. He planned to lead the first team to reach the South Pole, but was beaten by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Furthermore, Scott and his team died before they could make it home. “He didn’t go for material gain,” explains Ian, “It was a dream and he wanted to do it, it was important to him and his family. It was the last possible place left to be discovered, everywhere else in the world had been found.” Much like the story of Titanic, I haven't given away the ending and the heroic tale is full of myth and adventure. And tea, let's not forget the tea.

The final design for 'The Last March' flyer

Death and failure may not sound like the stuff of a heartwarming, Christmas, family tale, but Tinder saw the story from a very angle. After discovering Ian's great grandfather served under Captain Scott, Tinder did some research and discovered 2012 marks 100 years since Scott died. The story that emerged for them, was one of a very British adventure, with moments that appeared absurd and humourous when viewed from the 21st Century:

“They took out champagne and Christmas trees and a piano and a slide projector...They took 31 men and Amundsen took nine. Nine men and dogs while Scott had champagne
and brandy and footballs.”

Ian Nicholson, Director of The Last March, Artistic Director of this is tinder

The poster strapline states: "...This time, history is written by the losers..." because, as Ian explained to me, although it was Amundsen who won the race to the Pole, it was Scott's expedition and subsequent death that usurped his victory.

This is not to say that Tinder treat the expedition glibly, but the absurd and humourous moments they draw out make it both enjoyable and exciting, whilst in turn making the 'serious' moments more sympathetic and touching. If you are still concerned about it being a family show in which people die, the deaths are cleverly portrayed in a way which doesn't allow the audience to dwell on them and some younger children may not even realise that characters have died.

The Last March runs until 12th January 2013, so you still have time to catch it, before it disappears into the mists of time and a flurry of fake snow, but if you really can't find time to watch it, at least pick up a flyer to keep me happy!

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Tickets for 'The Last March'
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