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Tyne Theatre & Opera House share first look at new Victorian scenery

By June 24, 2024No Comments
Photograph of the wooden stage machinery that sits below the stage.

On Friday 2 August 2024, Tyne Theatre and Opera House host a 1-day conference focusing on Victorian scene painting; ‘Theatrical Scene Painting in the 19th Century: The Artist and the Picture Frame’.

Following an acclaimed international conference in September 2023, which saw over 100 delegates from America, Canada and Europe meet to discuss aspects of Victorian theatre, the 2024 conference will include a demonstration of the theatre’s unique Victorian stage machinery, with newly commissioned scenery.

This will be the first time that the recently restored stage machinery is seen with scenery, as it would have been in the Victorian times. Created by specialist scenic painter and stage historian Wendy Waszut-Barrett, the landscapes have been painted onto canvas using historic techniques. Fixed to multiple wooden frames, they will rise from under the stage, giving an impression of scenic perspective. In the Victorian times this would have been a new and thrilling experience for the audience, who came to see the extraordinary pantomime transformation scenes.

Tyne Theatre & Opera House’s Master Carpenter Colin Hopkins says “It has been a privilege to work on the historic machinery, restoring it to working condition so that we can demonstrate it with scenery and give the public a sense of how it would have looked and worked over 150 years ago. I am simply following in the footsteps of the nineteenth century stage machinist – we are rediscovering a lost art.”

The demonstration will take place at approximately 1.15pm in the main auditorium as part of the one-day conference. For more details regarding the conference, you can email or view the event page on the Tyne Theatre & Opera House website:

Image credit: Tyne Theatre and Opera House

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