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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

And finally for today, here’s the poster I’ve done for Carlinghow Theatre Company’s September 2018 show – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I’ll try to keep my updates more regular now instead of dumpin all of them on you at once. Until next time, keep it Chris!

…that’s my new catchphrase now. It’s definitely going to catch on…

GPB poster

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes poster – September 2017

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Life’s a beach

Ahoy there! It’s nearly panto season yet again, and here’s the poster I’ve done for Carlinghow Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Robinson Crusoe. Beards and no moustaches are in this season.

Robinson Crusoe poster

Robinson Crusoe Poster – September 2017

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Dirty Rotten scenery

Yep, I did the scenery for the show too! We start off in Beamont-sur-Mer, a mediteranean seaside town in the South of France where Lawrence Jameson, a high-class con-man, is busy romancing money from the purses of rich, sex starved society ladies. I thought it might be nice to have a sky a bit like a Van-Gogh panting to give the scene a dreamy, romantic feeling.

Beaumont Sur Mer

Beaumont Sur Mer from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

The next backdrop is in Lawrence’s Villa, where we meet Freddy Benson, another con man (but more low-rent and scruffier) who blackmails Lawrence into teaching him the tricks of the trade. If this looks a bit empty, it’s because there was physical scenery in front of it with a couple of fine art forgeries…

Villa Interior

Lawrence’s Villa from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

…speaking of which, here’s a knock off Jackson Pollock and a fake Mondrian that hung on the walls. I chose these two because the messy nature of the Pollock reflected the messy nature of Freddy and the more strict, refined composition was reminiscent of Lawrence’s refined character. Also they were the two easiest artists to copy…

PollockMondrian

And here are a couple of sculptures I painted on the physical scenery too. A horse and an elephant!

 

The next backdrop appears when Lawrence has successfully seduced Miss Jolene Oakes, the Oklahoma oil heiress; unfortunately instead of taking her money and binning her off, Jolene is determined that they get married, and sings a song about how lovely life will be when they’re together in Oklahoma with all the dust and the skin cancer.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma landscape from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

Lawrence doesn’t like the sound of this so he gets Freddy to pretend to be Ruprecht, his genetic abomination of a brother, who scares off Jolene with a jar of farts and some mild sexual assault. Most of these backdrops were stitched together from photos which I warped and generally messed around with until they looked reasonably convincing. Also, the director demanded there be a toilet on it so I did that.

Ruprecht's Dungeon

Ruprecht’s Dungeon from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

Jolene flees the riviera, leaving Freddy and Lawrence to consider their next target, Christine Colgate, the American Soap Queen. They have a big falling out and make a bet with each other as to who can con her out of 50 thousand dollars, with the loser leaving the riviera forever. This scene takes place in the lobby of a grand hotel, which I decided to call Le Dauphin after the Dolphin Hotel from a Haruki Murakami novel.

Hotel lobby

Hotel Lobby from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

In front of this was a hotel desk that I painted with the hotel logo that you can see on the windows there.

Le Dauphin

After Christine sings her big hello song, she is met by Freddy, who has now disguised himself as Sergeant Buzz, a soldier in a wheelchair. He manages to gain her sympathy with a ridiculous sob story about Dance Fever and she takes him to her room to write a letter to Dr Emil Shuffhausen, a psychiatrist that Freddy made up whose fee just happens to be 50 thousand dollars. The performer playing Christine is a fan of cats so I made sure there were loads of them on the painting in the backdrop.

Hotel Suite

Christine’s Suite from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

At the end of act one, Lawrence  intercepts the letter that Christine wrote and appears as Doctor Shuffhausen, much to the annoyance of Freddy. Lawrence smacks Freddy with a reed to test the feeling in his supposedly numb legs, then takes them to his villa at night to continue to work on ‘Sergeant Buzz.’

Villa Interior Night

Lawrence’s Villa at night from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

Lawrence then whisks Christine away to a beachfront dancing establishment to rile up Freddy a bit more. There were flashing lights and stuff on this backdrop which I can’t show you because I’m not that clever.

The More We Dance

The More We Dance from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

Then a load of funny stuff happens, Freddy and Lawrence find out they’ve been conned themselves and they end up licking their wounds on the terrace of the villa. I thought this backdrop might be nice if it was an approximate mirror of the first scene, hence the swirly sky again.

Villa Exterior

Lawrence’s Villa exterior from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017

Then everybody clapped and cheered and it was awesome. THE END.

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Dirty Rotten Poster 2

Well, we took some photographs of the cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and I was asked to recreate the design for the West-End version of the show, which I did. I’m the one in the silly hat.

DRS poster 2

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels poster 2 – September 2017

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Men in suits the fourth – HellOOOooo!

And here we come to the fourth and final man in a suit; the incomparable Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks: The Return. I was hooked on this show all through the summer and it’s been one of the funniest, most horrifying, strange and wonderful things I’ve ever seen on TV. Check it out if you’re not adverse to the avant-garde. I’ve taken a break from the caricatures due to other stuff I’ve been doing, but there’ll be plenty more coming along soon; probably not men in suits though. Perhaps ladies in ballgowns or pugs in binliners… hmm…

Dale Cooper

Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper caricature – July 2017

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Men in suits 3 – a man with two first names

John and Oliver are both first names but one is a last name, what’s that all about? Anyway, this was a request from a member of a forum I frequent, who also happened to be a man in a suit; John Oliver from Last Week Tonight, a satirical news review show a bit like the Daily Show but not every day. And yes, he does look a bit like Ben Elton.

John Oliver

John Oliver caricature – July 2017

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Men in suits 2 – a person of interest

My second man in a suit is actor Michael Emerson playing the character Harold Finch from the TV show Person of Interest, an amazing techno thriller about artificial intelligence, conspiracies and a German Shepherd named Bear (he’s a dog, not an actual German Shepherd.) Watch it now, thank me later. I redrew the original sketch about a million times (well, seven at least) before I was happy with it and started painting, which I think makes all the difference.

Harold Finch

Michael Emerson as Harold Finch caricature – July 2017

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Men in suits 1 – The Doctor is in

I’ve been struggling for years to find a style I’m happy with but back in July I decided to have a go at some caricatures done in a more elaborate fashion from photo reference and I think I’ve found my thing. Here’s number one of what I’ve called my men in suits quartet – none other than Peter Capaldi as the current Doctor in Doctor Who!

Capaldi Who

Peter Capaldi as The Doctor – July 2017

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The stars were out again!

By day I am a tubby nerd, but by night I become an amazing musical performer, which is lucky since April’s Songsational show happened at night. There are ten stars on this poster as there are ten stars in the show! There’ll be another show in 2018 so watch out for that, why don’t you?

Songsational 2017 flyer

Songsational 2017 flyer – February 2017

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And Kitty makes Three.

Back in October 2016 I was in a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, which was directed by Kim, who was planning on getting married to Ollie, and they have a cat called Meg. All of whom appear in this illustration I did for their wedding invitations.

Kim and Ollie casual

Kim and Ollie’s wedding invitations – February 2017

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