View Full Version : Any theater 'experts' out there?

George Jung
09-23-2009, 06:29 PM
Our high school is doing Willy Wonka - the Musical this fall. Daughter #3 has been cast in the role of Violet (the giant blueberry). I've read a bit on the net re: inflatable suits. Anybody in the know on this one? Seems like a toughie to pull off well.

Put your thinking caps on; it'll be a welcome respite from the usual Bilge fare!

Captain Blight
09-23-2009, 06:35 PM
Good question. I'll see what one of my Other Forum (yeah, I've been seeing other forums. WHaddaya gonna do 'bout it? ) theater-geek pals has to say about it.

George Jung
09-23-2009, 08:41 PM
This oughta be good.....


Michael s/v Sannyasin
09-24-2009, 06:47 AM
You could get one of those sumo wrestling suits and paint it blue :-D

09-24-2009, 07:04 AM
You could get one of those sumo wrestling suits and paint it blue :-DActually ... Halloween's getting close. You could find a pumpkin costume and adapt it.

09-24-2009, 07:25 AM
Tom's suggestion sounds right.

Speaking of things pneumatic, an acquaintance who owned a bicycle shop went to a Halloween party dressed as the Michelin man. Wrapped all up in old tubes half full of air. While it made a great costume it didn't agree with his circulation. About half way through the evening he almost passed out on the dance floor and had to take it off.

George Jung
09-25-2009, 12:50 PM
Okay; found the inflatable costumes (some of those are rather 'interesting'...)
they don't say much about them - some have self-contained (but very slow) pumps. I'm wondering if one with, say, a bicycle valve, inflated from a pump or air tank, wouldn't be better. Not sure these costumes could handle much pressure. Guess it's time to do some calling.


Jim Bow
09-25-2009, 01:43 PM
Howzabout some nylon and some fiberglass tent poles.
Make a giant one of these:

09-25-2009, 01:45 PM
Howzabout some nylon and some fiberglass tent poles.

Yeah. The pumpkin costumes I'd been thinking of weren't inflatable, but a whole lot more like wearing a globe-shaped tent with very thin tent-poles.

09-25-2009, 03:13 PM
If you want it inflatable, and for Violent to be rolled about the stage by the Umpla-Lumpas, I think the design is going to have to begin with two large tractor tire innertubes. Maybe one, I'm not sure; with one, she'd be able to bend at the waist, with two it would be a little more stable to roll her about.

No, wait. Cut gores that will fit a roughly toroidal shape, containing Violet, with the exterior being most of the inflated blueberry. From her waist down, it falls away fast enough so that she can move her legs freely, with stretchy fabric making the bottom of the berry, slits for her legs. Top is similar. You might have to use that tractor tire as a liner, or cut several up and glue them to make the berry. The air compressor and battery she wears in the upper part of the costume.

Could you do an on-stage switch, of either costume or dressed actresses?

09-25-2009, 10:23 PM
I think the tractor tire material would be much to heavy. but they do have pool toys that are very light vinyl and they come with a hole in the middle. so three of those and a blue spandex covering would work the inflation bit is just a little bit more work with a 9 volt compressor, some clear tube and a couple of fish tank one way valves.

George Jung
09-25-2009, 10:50 PM
I'm going to have to talk with the director/costumer about what their aim is; ie, are they rolling this kid off, or are we 'glossing over' this part a bit? I've found a few theater sites, and there approach has been varied, with several using the kids sumo wrestler outfit, while others have run a 'double', already done up, switching places. One resorted to 'puppets' running that scene; I don't think that's a player. Knowing our director, the closer to the movies special effects, the better. But that could be difficult, apparently was even for the big budget film.

Htom - good ideas, but maybe too complex, unless I can figure out how to link the tubes so they fill simultaneously/same fitting. I'll let ya know when I know more. Thanks.

09-26-2009, 08:05 AM
Stage is known for invoking the imagination of the viewers ... let's not forget that!

We don't need Hollywood FX or CGI!

George Jung
09-26-2009, 04:30 PM
Oh, no worries about that! :D

But with this worldwide mob, it is just as likely to get a response such as

'no problem - just happens I have that sittin' in the closet'

or some such variation on that theme. And if it's easy/safe/entertaining, why not? (and in that order)

I haven't seen a youtube version, but it's likely even the 'puppet' version is a hoot. All depends on the state of mind you take into the thing.

10-03-2009, 06:35 PM
An experienced costumer recommends finding the pattern for the California Raisins, making it in extra large, and inflating it She cautions that she has not done this, and there may be better ideas.

George Jung
10-03-2009, 10:40 PM
Interesting - I'll see what I can find. Thanks.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
10-04-2009, 01:36 AM
Easy,safe,entertaining and cheap.
Balloons and duct tape.


10-04-2009, 06:52 AM
The one on the right could be Betty Boysenberry; I'm not sure about such a script alteration, though.

George Jung
10-04-2009, 08:32 AM
I like it! And this one looks eminently 'do-able'!