You know what they say: love is blind. That’s why, for my new, extra-special musical about inanimate objects that come to life and have astonishingly human problems, one of the characters is going to be a set of blinds. And they’re going to be positively obsessed with finding love, possibly with a nice set of Venetians.
I’m finding all sorts of workplay to inspire my characters, although I don’t want to base all of my characterisation around puns. The mark of a great character in a visual medium is design, and on stage, costuming. Just take the famous Andy Floyd-Jebber musical, Lats. You know, the one about the people in the gym having secret romances and working on their physiques to catchy music. You can tell what each and every character is like from the moment they walk on the stage, and that’s the goal.
I still have all those aluminium work platforms left over from my last musical, and since they fit so well into the theme of this one, I’d like to use them again. Maybe platforms can be my signature. But more importantly, what do you think of when you see a platform, or a set of scaffolding? Strong. Sturdy. Above it all. A support network for many people. Liable to be disassembled. Flexible.
See how easy it is? That’s a ready-made character, served up to me on a silver platter. It’s a playwright’s dream, you might say. The platform is perhaps the easiest, but I’ve already made a complete character sheet, including the lamp, the armchair, the blinds, the pneumatic drill and an old lunchbox. Brimming with character!
Perhaps I should add an old, yet still sturdy bailey ladder to shake things up. This story needs a wise mentor, and a symbol of stability.