Building 'Home, I'm Darling'

Hi, I'm Mark Ellis - I work backstage as a Stage Technician.

I was trained at Theatr Clwyd many years ago and decided to leave my law firm job to return. As part of my role at the theatre I build sets, perform scene changes and also rig and fly scenery.

I'm going to talk you through the fit-up of the Home, I’m Darling set into the Anthony Hopkins Theatre in 2019.

"It was amazing to put together - like a huge doll's house!"

I've put some tech talk in here for you, but in case you don’t know what it all means.

Booms are scaffold bars connected together to make frames or stands to hang things off

Borders are big black bits of material 16m x 3m that hang from bars to cover the set or lighting bars

Masking is used to hide what is going on behind the set usually

Up and downersare bars that go up and down stage rather than across

After seeing the designer’s model box we will be given a scaled plan to work from.

The roof has already been rigged in advance and wires are in place for the second stage.

You can see here what it looked like before we constructed the first floor section. This shows the roof of the 'Home, I'm Darling' set rigged.

This is a shot from the rear with the roof section in place. Notice the chimney on stage right!

Here it is from the front complete with bed and bath.

The first-floor section has been raised and the supporting framework has been constructed underneath.

It’s starting to come together now fixtures and fittings are going in. Look stage left and you can see the beginnings of a kitchen…

Now that the main set is constructed the lighting and sound technicians can start their installation. There are lighting booms rigged off stage right. Look at all the cables too!

This is a view from the fly floor. We have flown in borders and brailed back up and downers. If you look closely you can see that lighting is taking place.

Looking at the back of the set now up stage. You can see masking and treads that have been constructed to access the first floor. Props tables are starting to appear too.

Down stage of the first border you can see the scale of the set again taken from the fly floor.

The completed set with lights fixtures and furnishings.

For more trips backstage with Mark, check out his personal blog here:

Home, I’m Darling by Laura Wade was a co-production between Theatr Clwyd and the National Theatre. The designer was Anna Fleischle.