I always love a good bit of print design to support a piece of theatre so it was an offer I couldn’t resist when graphic designer, Jo Phillips, suggested creating hand printed letterpress playbills to publicize our production of The Magnificent Tale of Emily Law and Arturo the Waterboy. The idea felt particularly apt as our story is set in Victorian Manchester when letterpress playbills would have been plastered all over Manchester city centre, letting people know about all the different shows and entertainments that were on offer.
First we agreed on a design that Jo created on his trusty iMac. Once this was finished we sent the computer files down to Birmingham where two metal printing plates were made especially for us! Finally Jo took these plates to his studio in Ancoats, home of his 1930s Heideberg printing press, and spent a great afternoon printing the 800 playbills that we will be using to promote the show. The picture shows you one of them – literally hot off the press.
The only problem we’ve got now is resisting the temptation to go all Victorian in our promotional methods and head out into the city centre to paste them all over every blank bit of wall that we can get our hands on. We’ll just have to be satisfied with using a bit of tape to show them off in the windows of Capitol Theatre instead!