Antonio: Antonio (The Merchant of Venice) gambles in the tavern

Time-lapse video shows three weeks taken to craft paper tribute marking 400 years since Shakespeare died

A time-lapse video showing the three-week process to create a life-size paper tribute marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death has been released.

The video shows how 22 first year students from the Birmingham City University’s Design for Theatre, Performance and Events degree course individually handcrafted using 780 meters of corrugated cardboard and nearly 5,000 meters of brown paper.

The show at the university which displays scale models over six feet tall, a three-meter-high balcony and even a walk-in tavern, has been made as a tribute to mark 400 years since the Bard’s death.

Students used techniques learned on the course to sculpt the entire setting and the 14 characters on show.

Among the figures on show are a likeness of William Shakespeare writing at his desk and full size replicas of some of theatre’s most famous names – including King Lear, Caliban, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet.

The exhibition took nearly three weeks to create, with students working day and night to make each setting, character and item from scratch, as well as selecting music and lighting to complement each element.

The installation housed in the Shell space at the University’s Parkside building is open to the public until Friday February 26, meaning visitors can attend as they like it.

Hollie Wright, module leader for the project, said: “The project is a simple yet extremely effective approach to experiential learning.

“We want the first year students to engage with fundamental principles associated with performance design including scale, narrative, space, light, sound, audience and collaboration; as well as abilities that are difficult to teach like tenacity and determination.

“The project begins with students researching and responding individually to a given theme, which this year was Shakespeare, ideas are pitched and a final one is chosen to realise to full scale out of these basic materials.

“We have full confidence in the students’ research, skills and abilities to reach this to the high level presented, so that the ownership of the project is entirely student led.”


(from a press release)