Full-scale luxury period train carriage stage set designed by students unveiled
A full-size replica of a period train carriage has been unveiled at the latest showcase of degree student work at The Northern School of Art.
The impressive set, created by Level 5 (second year) BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage & Screen students, was revealed to an invited audience of family, friends and members of the local civic and arts community at the School’s Hartlepool campus.
With costumed waiting staff in attendance, the event invited people to step back in time and journey from ‘Hartlepool to Istanbul’ on the set that was entirely devised, designed and built by the students.
The luxury train carriage is an example of the hands-on nature of the degree programme and the skills that students gain whilst on the programme – drawing, designing and building – including carpentry, upholstering, glazing, prop design and construction skills.
It will now be used in filming projects as well as a local theatre production ‘Equally Divided’, in Billingham’s Theatre Upstairs.
Lydia Maclure, 20, from Middlesbrough said she had not known how to use a drill when the project started and added: “Now I have learned so many new skills that I never thought I could do as well as helping to create a full size train carriage set that the whole class can be proud of.
“What I enjoyed the most about the project was getting a taste for what it could be like in the industry. It was so eye-opening and exciting to be involved in a project like this.
“I designed the stained glass windows, my mum helped me in making them, and then I assembled them as well as being involved with the main construction of the train.
“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after university. Set building was never something I thought I would be able to do let alone want to do, but now it’s definitely something I am interested in doing for the future.”
Student Hope Harvey, 19, from Darlington who was involved in a number of duties throughout the project, including health and safety manager, and the main construction and upholstery of chairs featured on the set, said that working on the project had really boosted her confidence.
She said: “It has really inspired me for the future. I have learned construction skills and finishing techniques and enjoyed working in a team and creating designs from my research as well as building the set.
“I chose to study Production Design at The Northern School of Art because I found the course really inspiring as it is a unique course that offers specialist techniques which will help my employability in the industry.”
Chloe Smith, 20, from Blackhall Rocks, County Durham, who has ambitions to be a prop designer, created all the veneer decorative panels on the train, refurbished the piano and made cocktail menus that feature on the set as well as helping out in construction.
She said: “What I enjoyed the most about the project was designing different outcomes and layouts for the trains interior and coming up with numerous designs for the veneer panels. I also learnt a range of new skills making them and refurbishing the piano
“It has inspired me for the future as it gave me lots of opportunities to design and construct props.”
The design and construction used sustainable production methods and techniques and gave students an insight into working within the BAFTA albert sustainable production framework, with the entire set being made from items that can be recycled or are biodegradable to ensure a zero carbon footprint.
Hartlepool student, Joe Littler, 19, who acted as head of construction and worked on construction and finishing throughout the project, said he learned a number of new skills working sustainably with recycled materials.
He said: “It was amazing to see the train go from a pile of recycled wood to a completed set and I enjoyed working to see the project through from start to finish.
“I learned valuable teamwork and communication skills as well as several construction techniques. Although I am still unsure of what to do in the future, I think set construction would be an enjoyable and rewarding path to take.
He added: “I chose to study at The Northern School of Art as it is the only course in the country that offers an opportunity to construct a full scale set like this. The opportunities available on this course and at this institution are perfect for people wanting to enter the creative industry.”
The School’s Production Design Lecturer, Norman Austick, said the project had been a huge success, adding, “The Northern School of Art is one of only a few institutions that provide the opportunity for students to design, develop and build full-scale sets.
“We have alumni from the course who work for the Royal Shakespeare Company, BBC, Disney, Madame Tussauds, Pinewood Creatives – it’s a terrific, hands-on course that provides students with the practical design and specialist skills they need for an exciting career in the creative industries.”
Details of the BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage & Screen course and all skills-based creative courses offered by The Northern School of Art are available at www.northernart.ac.uk Or visit one of the School’s open days at its Hartlepool campus which take place on Saturday 23 March 2019, Saturday 8 June 2019 and Thursday 4 July 2019.