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 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…
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…
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.’
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 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.
Lawrence’s Villa exterior from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – September 2017
Then everybody clapped and cheered and it was awesome. THE END.