top of page


Carlos Cashiero, set designer of Queen Lear (Artman English adaptation of King Lear), wearing a theatre mask and reclined amongst his work in progress

Set designer Carlos Cashiero amongst his "creatures" | Photo by Paloma León Calopa

What is it like to put on a theatre production? I don’t know why, but a memory springs to mind of a day spent with a friend (several years ago now), who was at the time a TV director. My friend had three tasks that they were filming on behalf of the show she was working on, all related to World Record Beating:

1. The most number of people in an old style London telephone box: we equalled the old record of 12, but not the current record of 14.

Double Image: students crammed inside a London's red phone booth & cub scouts inside an American booth in the middle of the countryside

Photo by Laura E. Hall Cub Scouts in a Phone Booth, by Dick Sargent

2. The most number of live snails on a human face... my face!: 16, nowhere near the record - impossible keeping the slimy gastropods actually on your face - they are very wilful and move much quicker than they are reputed to.

Huge snail climbing a boy's face to illustrate some of the madness that goes into an English Through Performance production

Snail Love, by Ren-S (Kaiki)

3. The longest Michael Jackson-style “moonwalk” by someone wearing a spacesuit: it wasn’t a real spacesuit and the guy’s feet got super hot from all the friction! It was, however, an unofficial record by way of nobody ever having attempted such foolishness previously. Always good to be a first!

Of course there are many more dimensions to producing a theatre show than these three TV tasks can illustrate, but I think they paint a pretty good, miniaturised picture of the kind of team spirited madness one has to embrace in order to make it to curtain up.

It still astounds me how many punctures, flat batteries and roadworks one has to negotiate on the road to any first night, and how through embracing flexibility, patience, good humour and hard work, solutions are found and the theatre-wagon climbs to the top of the once seemingly Sisyphean hill. Not a miracle, but definitely a marvel : )

We’ve certainly had the to be expected challenges with this production... But from those challenges have come blessings, too, and I regularly find myself experiencing a wave of deep pleasure when I think that there are 27 people working on Queen Lear - all motivated and excited about bringing our creation before an audience, in what is now only a few rehearsals more!

Artman English Ensemble rehearsal of Queen Lear as part of the Learn English Through Performance course

Adrià (KENT), Paloma (LEAR) and Héctor (FOOL) rehearsing The Hovel's Scene

bottom of page