Connellan, Patrick (3 of 9) An Oral History of Theatre Design
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2007-09-20, 2007-11-30, 2008-01-11, 2008-02-15
Interviewee’s Home, Coventry
Connellan, Patrick 1961- (speaker, male)
Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)
Part 3: Early trips to Denmark; visit aged about ten; uncle’s house in the forest; dislike of cousin. Visit to Dollerup family in Middelfart; exploring the area by canoe; visiting other relations on an idyllic island; arrival of cousin by aeroplane, which landed in a nearby field; impression of life in Denmark. Journey to Denmark by ferry; ship design; food on the ferry and in Denmark. [0:08:15] Starting upper school; feelings about this; school intake; changing accent; giving up on education; effect of smoking on running; hitching a lift during an orienteering competition. Enjoyable aspects of school; social life; two groups of friends; girlfriends; being friends with girls; first kiss. Youth centre, 1970s pop music; soul and disco; David Bowie and T-Rex; beginning of interest in fashion; hairstyles. Earning money by working on a fruit farm; looking after raspberry canes; spending money on clothes and lager; drinking in pubs; cycling to parties; riding motorbike home from parties; village policeman. Pranks; story about blowing up the herald’s gates; story about an incident with a horsebox. [0:27:49] Drama teacher at upper school; involvement in drama club and school productions; being allowed to stay on for sixth form because of roles in school plays; starting to do some lighting design; assumption that PC would become an actor; summer drama courses at the Mercury Theatre; doing lighting for Essex Youth Theatre [EYT]; not wanting to be an actor; wanting control over creativity; assumption that gay men were set and costume designers. [0:33:39] Lighting ‘Oedipus’ for EYT; lighting amateur and student productions; working on a play by a group of philosophy students; going to their parties; operating lights for amateur companies; reasons for not wanting to become a lighting designer at that time. [0:38:31] O-levels and CSE [Certificate of Secondary Education] exams; failing maths; father’s comments about exam results; his encouragement of PC pursuing theatre. Getting one A-level, Art; feelings about History education; difficulty writing essays; feelings about this. Headmaster’s speech, which mentioned PC disparagingly; letter to parents from Head of Sixth Form. Visiting friend, Jackie, at university; her character. [0:48:06] Decision about what to do after A-levels; elements involved in theatre design; comments about theatre design teaching in art and drama schools; art foundation course at Ipswich School of Art [ISA]. Punk and skinhead trends at the time; dressing as a skinhead. Going to Canvey Island; gigs at Essex University; ska and reggae bands; reclaiming skinhead style for the left; skinhead look; feelings about mod style. Description of skinhead clothes worn by PC; fashion labels; Crombie coat. Grant to attend ISA; travelling there by bus; feelings about being at ISA; Mr Reynolds the sculpture teacher; mention of making an albatross and a suit of armour; feelings about painting.
Life story interview with Patrick Connellan (1961-), theatre designer.