We (somewhat ironically) find ourselves building a set that looks like a theater backstage for The 39 Steps. It's not the first time. One of the quickest and most realist ways of making lots of fake brick is a product called "vaccuform". A mold is made and very thin (.5mm) plastic sheets are formed from it. Here are a few photos of it being attached to the "scenic" flats.
We are doing some shopping these days in the UK - for our play from London - including this brick. If you want it to look like the real thing - shop locally. Welcome to the global marketplace! After about 10 days of searching the US for someone to make this brick for us, we gave up and ordered from Peter Evans Studios in Bedfordshire. They have a variety of brick that easily surpasses anything we've found stateside, and we didn't have to pay for a custom product. We'll also be getting some fabrics, backstage props, and perhaps a few hats from "across the pond".
Alvin - our youngest shop cat, is turning into quite the supervisor. Below he can be seen helping out our carpenters, Jim (l) and Tim (r), as they fit the brick. Everything needs to line up perfectly - just like real masonry. Alvin enjoys using the straight edge.
Not only are we building bricks backstage, we've made a couple of these ladders (below). They see some pretty specific action and need to fit just right - so our craftsmen have turned out these beauties! We are using photos from the London production to recreate the finish for much of this set. Hopefully we'll get the color right. The last photo is of a sign used in the train scene. Blink and you'll miss it.
Scenery designed by Peter McIntosh.
Rehearsals begin in two weeks. You'll be hearing a lot more about this show from here on out.