Behind the scenes: The making of Eyam.Plague-ridden corpses,…

Behind the scenes: The making of Eyam.

Plague-ridden corpses, skin-able rabbits, deer guts and a miniature model village – these were just some of the things created by our very talented Props team for our production of Eyam.

Headed up by Katy Brooks our Props makers bring the Designers visions to life. In this case they were manifesting the ideas of Hannah Clark who created a stiflingly dark and puritanical world of death and decay.

Eyam is a real village in Derbyshire that was hit with the plague in 1665. The villagers had to make a decision whether to flee and risk spreading the deadly disease or stay and suffer the dire consequences.

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Houses created by Beth (@bclentz) and Isobel (@Isobelirwin)

Many of the houses still exist and after visiting the village director Adele Thomas asked that the model village that appears on stage at the opening of the play represent the real houses of Eyam in all their worn irregularity. The houses themselves are made of Airex, a dense foam that can be sculpted, allowing for more detail than wood. Its lightness makes it easier for the cast to handle. Props must look good, but they must be easy and comfortable for the actors to work with.

Charlotte Austen got stuck into the blood and guts of the show, creating the deer guts, heart and a rotten finger which was cast from a real (living) finger.

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Images © Charlotte Austen 

To create realistic, but hygienic deer guts Charlotte used silicone cured inside tubes, and latex balloons filled with flexible foam. The heart was clay sculpted and then cast out of silicone and filled with soft foam.

You can see more of Charlotte’s work, and her works in progress on her website

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Body by Lifecast and finger casting

The plague-ridden body was made by prosthetics company Lifecast who make wonderfully horrible things. All the other props were made by our Props team.

Catch Eyam on the Globe stage until 13 October.