You may be forgiven for thinking Christmas had come early for some pupils, as Newcastle-under- Lyme School put on C.S Lewis’s ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.’
As usual, the production saw students involved in all the creative and technical roles, including months of preparation in the costume department for this visually rich story.
One of the most striking aspects of the performance were the intimidating but beautiful masks created over 12 weeks by Year 8 art students for the characters Maugrim and his army of wolves.
The students gave up their lunchtimes to create the masks from design to completion, with amazing results. Here’s how they did it:
1. We covered mannequin heads in clingfilm and moulded plaster bandage onto them. This created a base mask, which we could then develop into characters.
2. We tried to define the face, through exaggerating the features, the eyebrows, nose, mouth and eyes so we could distinguish that these masks were for a pack of wolves and Maugrim. Each mask is unique, however they are all designed with a similar style to show that the wolves are of one pack.
3. We carved out the mouth eyes and breathing holes in the nose to make it practical for the actors wearing them.
4. Once that was done we decided to use wire to create the shape of the ears that we could then cover with plaster bandage.
5. We then had a fitting with the actors to check for comfort and to see if anything needed adjusting.
6. They were then ready to be sprayed with metallic paint. This made the surface of the mask look more three dimensional as well as sealing off the plaster so that it did not irritate the actors.
7. Finally, after 3 months, they were finsihed and ready to be worn by the actors in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. And they looked amazing on stage!