Doctor Zhivago props
Making the props for the world premiere of a new musical based on the Boris Pasternak novel, Doctor Zhivago, which opened at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in February 2011 was a big project. The show, starring Anthony Warlow as Doctor Zhivago and Lucy Maunder as Anna, tells the story of an intense love affair set against the backdrop of the Russian revolution
The 1965 David Lean film of the book starred Omar Sharif as Yuri Zhivago and it remains one of the top grossing films of all time. Produced by the Gordon Frost organisation Doctor Zhivago was directed by Des McAnuff (The Jersey Boys) with music by Lucy Simon. Michael Korie and Amy Powers did the lyrics and the book was written by Michael Weller.
Michael Scott-Mitchell was the designer of the production. Many props required for the production of Doctor Zhivago were made by DecoWorks Pty Ltd. A description of making the wooden chair props shows the work involved in making them
Wooden chairs X6
The designer found a chair he liked and asked for X6 copies to be made. There were also two breakable chairs made which were broken each performance in a fight sequence. The parts were held together by thin dowels. Detailed construction information can be found here.
This is the smoke machine under the ironing board. The iron would be placed flat onto two contacts on the top making a circuit which heated oil soaked resistance wire. A small fan forced the smoke out through the top of the ironing board.
Two of these period ploughs were made. A fibreglass plough share was used and plastic chains to minimise noise.