The East Lancashire School of Dance’s Showstoppers 2013 is looking to be a really exciting show. I would normally shy away from combining too many elements into one poster. Two years ago I did a nice, minimal, Mary Poppins design for the show, but this year’s combination of Phantom of the Opera, Sound of Music, Bugsy Malone and Thriller was a mash-up I couldn’t resist.
My first sketches were all based on Phantom of the Opera, I was looking forward to doing some Batman style, cloak swirling poses. But then I started thinking about what a jerk the Phantom is. He’s a kidnapper. Showstoppers is essentially a celebration of young female talent (there’s not many boys at the dance school) and it seemed an odd choice to highlight this obsessed, creepy man, in the publicity. Of course he had to be there, as he’s the iconic thing about that musical, but I’ve purposefully had him hide behind Tallulah, who (in my interpretation at least) is an up-front, splurge gun-totting heroine, alongside Maria (who has God on her side). The best the phantom can do is strike a pose.
There’s a strong comic book influence to the composition; it has the feel of a team book and I would love to hear the banter between these characters. Imagine Maria and Tallulah on a road trip, chased by under-age mafia and with a reluctant passenger, the phantom, hiding in the trunk of their stolen car.
Tickets are on sale now from the Burnley Mechanics website.