Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The life and times of granny's boots

This is my first experience of prop  making for long running tour, and although I was expecting some wear and tear, I didn't expect to have the recurring title of 'official reviver of the red sparkly boots'. 

Granny's red sparkly boots are one of the stars of our show. The original pair in the 2013 Wardrobe Theatre version were in fact a pair that had belonged to my granny, my mum and then me. They had certainly walked a few miles before their glamorous makeover. 

Photo Chris Collier
My original method to glitter up the boots was a bit of a maverick approach. I used red spray paint to cover the boots, and whilst it was still wet, it acted as a glue: I poured the glitter over the drying boots and hey presto, they were done!

Through the year I have been hunting for red elastic of the laces. To no avail. However, I eventually found some sequinned elastic, which although it wouldn't go through the lace holes, the boot also mercifully had metal loops to feed it round instead.

I finished off the boots with a coat of spray varnish, in the hope that this would prolong the glitter's attachment.

taking centre stage at the Wardrobe in 2013
Over the course of the year and the first leg of the tour they have suffered a bit: the soles have come away from the leather and poor Jade and Eloise have had to do a few on-tour quick fixes.

Therefore, as we arrive in Cheltenham at the Everyman Theatre we lay these originals to rest. They have served us ever so well, but it is time for retirement.  

I have bought a new pair; it is rather hard to get a good pair of walking boots within budget, I just hope these ones cut it for the remainder of the tour. Glittering them up hasn't been straightforward: the black faux leather didn't take to the red spray paint very well, so my spray paint glue method - although the glitter clung on happily - the boot stayed black underneath. 

I had to resort to a rather odd, backwards approach after leaving them to dry over night: I mixed some red poster paint with PVA (proper primary school training), filled in the gaps and poured some glitter over.

They're looking OK at the moment and the impact is always multiplied under the stage lights. They are currently drying overnight before our tech tomorrow, fingers crossed the Granny's boots live another day!

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