Any Umbrellas ?

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Any Umbrellas ?

Postby Richard Coombs » 20 May 2007, 11:48

"Any Umberellas , any umberellas to mend today ?"


The wet weather of the 2007 Covent Garden Myayfare did have some usefulness to me , Neccessity being the Mother of Invention.

Having been lucky enough not to have encounterd such a day before , there were a few tricks of the trade to be learned from more experienced Proffs .

Bryan Clarke was first to perch an umbrella over his proscenium to keep the playboard / playboard pelment / theatre curtains ( tabs) and 'clock' dry between shows.

The red and white striped booth cover being canvas , does its own good job of repelling water , but the brolly protects those other bits which are non waterproof , and usually velvet , or nice fabrics , both of which act like a sponge.

For the long periods between shows the brolley keeps everything nicely protected.

I and one or two others followed suit..you can see the umbrellas on many of the crowd pics in the Mayfayre gallery on this site.

The only problem is , you cant leave the brolley there for the Show as the handle protrudes into the 'performance window' right between Punch and Judy. And of course the bigger ( and wider ) the brolley : the longer (and more in the way ) is the handle.

As we found at the Mayfayre , crowds will still stay and watch shows -(under their own brollies)- even it it is drizzling or light rain.

The trouble is your puppets get damp. - Not soaking wet admittedly .
Even mine were only damp after what was probably the worst rain of the day.
But that still means they all have to go in front of radiators to dry them out and stop them getting mildew.

********** Long winded intro, sorry , but here is what I have done this week *********

I got a red and white cheapo brolley ( £3) and cut off the handle and about 13 inches of the central pole with an angle grinder .
I then filled in the last few inches of the now exposed hollow metal tube with P38 to stop the tube getting crushed or mishappen .

This was important , as the 'ring' holding the spokes toghether now slides off the foreshortened pole. Incidentally the brolly still folds up neatly , and rolls up for its little velcro fastener to go round. But when you open it you have to slide the 'ring' back over the central pole each time .

The sprung clip is still there near the 'pointed-end' to lock the ring in place and hold the brolley open.

All you now have is an umbrella with a very short short handle.

If you mount a short metal tube ( bit of copper plumbing 15mm or similar) to the back of the centre of your Proscenium you can slot the brolley in place. #~#
I drilled a hole through this tube , and the P38 strengthened part of the brolley -rod , so that a split pin can be inserted through to stop the brolley being blown off

I have also made a kind of 'harness' for it: with four straps meeting at a centre ring ( big metal curtain ring) which goes over the brolley 'Point' when it it up ..these straps clip onto the booths 4 guy ropes , which would be on the booth if it was a windy day.

( The Mayfayre was wet , but mercifully not windy )

And there you go : an Umbrella cover to keep the performance window and puppets dry , even if you are performing in light rain .
********************************************************

#~# How you fix this tube would depend on your own Proscenium and how it folds or dismantles for transport.
I drilled 3 pairs of small holes into the plywood , either side of where the tube was to go , and then put strong garden wire through and twisted it tightly; ( rather like the way toy manufacturers hold toys in place in their cardbaord display boxes )
Then I used some 'metal Bond' ( 2 part epoxy paste ) down each length of the tube to 'glue' it to the plywood.

But my proscenium is a veritable 'jigsaw-puzzle' of bits that come apart for transport , so I actually made a duplicate centre panel specially to take the umbrella mount, and as such I have put the mount on the front of the Prosc and detailed it up as a feature .

I am guessing that anyone adding such a device as an 'extra' now , would want to hide it away on the rear ? ... I would suggest fixing the tube to a small recatngle of ply , and then glueing the ply to your existing Prosc ( perhaps a couple of panel pins through from the front too for strength ) ..but this way would do minimal damage to the look of your Proscenium.


I will take some pics in due course.
Best Wishes to all Richard
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Postby Chris » 20 May 2007, 14:04

Wonderfully useful information Richard. Perhaps when you have time you will post details of your built in emergency urinal and tea-maker.
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Postby Richard Coombs » 20 May 2007, 14:09

Happy to oblige Chris ..one is a vacuum flask , the other a plastic bottle.
( I will let you decide which is which ) :-))
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Postby Chris » 20 May 2007, 14:13

Vacuum flask? Why do you want to keep it warm Richard?




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Postby Richard Coombs » 20 May 2007, 17:00

Actually its odd you mention Tea Chris.
I was performing at the Blackpool 'Puppets Up' Ferstival yesterday , and was positioned at thier Street Performance Venue # 5 ..( pedestrianised street between The Disney Store and Whittards Tea Emporium )

I bought a handpainted mug with multicoloured squares all over it for only £3 ( sort of matched my 'daimond' tousers and waistcoat ) ..I am going to use it to hold pencils and paintbrushes on my desk in the workshop.

But yesterday the Whittards shop-folk let me keep filling it up with fruit teas from thier sample Thermos' ( the big ones with the push pump and tap ) ..they had teeny tiny polystyrene 'sample' thimbles to let punters 'have a taste'...but I kept having mug-full after mug-full of the lovely stuff :-)

Guess that was a bit of Karmic - Return for the cold miserable conditions of the Saturday before at the Mayfayre. ( and also helped in no small way by me going in and introducing myself beofre I set up the booth to check it was OK ...it was a Council designsted performance spot , but even so a bit of politeness goes a long way )

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Postby Chris » 20 May 2007, 17:16

I see you haven't mastered the spell checker yet Richard!!

As you are on about tea I suppose that by Ferstival you meant Thirstival. An easy mistake to make.

Anyway, since you kept filling your mug with fruit tea was your plastic bottle adequate for the pee? Perhaps you could design something with a funnel, a length of hose and a suitably disguised petrol can.


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Postby Richard Coombs » 20 May 2007, 17:29

Id love to use the spell checker , but dont know how to access the one on this board ...the only buttons I can see say B/i/u/Quote/code/list/list=/Img/URL.


As to a length of hose to a petrol can ...what on earth would a petrol can be doing near a Punch Show ? ( actually after last weekend , I could answer that one ! ..LOL ... I think there might be a queue for the box of matches too )

:-) Richard
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Postby Chris » 20 May 2007, 18:10

The petrol can is empty Richard - until you fill it! It is a substitute for your plastic bottle after drinking mugs full of fruit tea.

The spell checker has been described several times on this board - the last two days ago when I wrote:
Why not use the spell checker I have built in to this script? As you type you will see that suspect words are underlined with a red dotted line. Put your cursor on the word, right click with your mouse, and suggested spellings will be shown. Highlight the appropriate one, left click the mouse and the word will change by magic to the correct spelling.

The only thing to watch is that this does try and enforce the American way of spelling and will try to change theatre to theater and colour to color.
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Postby Richard Coombs » 20 May 2007, 22:46

Just trying to trigger the spell check Chris ,

Famillly
allicated
karacter
substuncial

Nope the words dont get red underlined for me , and if I right click on the words which are definately wrong , the options you said dont come up ..just my own PCs drop down box with Undo / Paste/Detele/ Select all as options.

Guess it just doenst work on my PC ..pity as my spelling is not my strong point ...so much so that I would definately have noticed before now if words were being underlined.

I tend to post things , then re-read them , and where neccessary use the 'Edit' button ( at least I found that LOL )


But thanks anyway.


Actually my 'waste' bottles are plastic ice cube bottle/trays with good screw top lids . I carry 3 at all times in cool bag that also has a couple of bottles of made-up squash . Its my liquid In / out bag.

I use the Ice cube trays as they have wide openings, and were cheap (99p) I did spot a travel urinal in a dissability equipment store a couple of years back . It was about the size of a small thermos flask and had an even wider opening , decent screw top and a built in u-bend to prevent spillage if it got dropped or knocked over.

Ideal but pricey at about £19.

Dont worry , If you ever drop in for a G&T at Chez-Coombs , there are two ice cube bottles in the fridge ...but they never get mixed up with the Punch ones.
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Postby David Wilde » 20 May 2007, 23:09

So your party drinks are shaken not stired,00coombs!

Is your next film Punch and Judy are Forever
Im above all this!!
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Postby Chris » 20 May 2007, 23:29

Isn't it dangerous having orange squash in identical bottles?


About your spell check problems - what browser are you using? You need to be using Internet Explorer (mine is 6) or Mozilla Firefox



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Postby johnstoate » 16 Jul 2007, 23:32

Now that I think I've sussed the picture upload thing, I thought that in view of this wondrous summer, my design for a weather protection system might be of interest. It works on the simple principle of 3 holes in the topboard,(Picture2) angled slightly downward, with the two outer ones also slightly outwards, and a strip of waterproofed fabric on 3 metal poles approx. 15mm. thick which push into them to stretch the fabric tightly,. The whole thing extends outwards by some 18" and keeps the rain off the playboard cloths, In sun,(If you can remember sun!) it works as a sunshade if you work hands-in-front.The whole thing rolls up, and takes up very little carry space at all.
Image Image Image The pictures are taken in my workshop extension, (The wife calls it the lounge) and the third is of the interior view of the weatherboard, which covers the playboard opening when not showing in inclement weather.(Summer?)
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Postby Trev » 17 Jul 2007, 14:59

now, now chaps... all this talk about body fluids and you'll have Judy complaining again!

Just a point on SOME spell checkers; they might tell you if a word is spelled right but not if it is the right word. Hence "That cat just sits among my cabbages and peas".
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Postby billywand » 17 Jul 2007, 15:18

Hi Trev,

You reminded me of a song. There was an old music hall number called "She sits among the cabbages and peas "

Another classic, sung in pantomime by the late Charlie Drake was "What wonderfull fish are soles"

I believe there was a version of him performing it on YouTube, I will check this out.

They don't write songs like that anymore !!!!!!!!!!!!
Kind regards
Billy Wand

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Postby Trev » 17 Jul 2007, 16:30

Hi Billy,

Is that the "I have to relate that I'm partial to skate"?

If so the Rock'n'Roller Gene Vincent also recorded a version and 'dedicated' it to his former manager, Don Arden (father of Saron Osbourne).

As for the cabbages, I think I've heard the song itle but more likely I got it from an old seaside postcard.

I must find the lyrics....
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