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Gormenghast


 Break Down the Sets: Fuchsia's Attic
Launch Image ViewerChristopher Hobbs on Fuchsia's attic:
There were actually two attics -- the main attic and the little room at the top, the attic beyond the attic. The main attic was very simple... it was just a fairly simple arrangement of the blocks, and then we emptied in tons and tons of rather strange objects and covered them in dust and cobwebs. (The dust is Fuller's Earth for the most part, or a substitute for it, and the cobwebs are a mixture of very fine gauze torn up, and a sort of spray-on cobweb.)

You actually don't see one side of [Fuchsia's attic room beyond the attic,] which is slightly sad because I put in a lot of detail that was in the book... Peake described paintings and objects and I tried quite often to get them into the set. Even though the room didn't look exactly as some people might have expected it... there was a painting of one of the Lords of Gormenghast with tattoos all over his face. There are things like that that are really quite specific. I actually painted those myself for the most part because it's cheaper and quicker and it keeps me sane. (laughter)

Estelle Daniel on Fuchsia's attic:
Despite our desire not to make the past a wash of beige and sepia, there are dusty and faded colours in Fuchsia's attic, contrasting with the splash of strong colour in her scarlet dress. Looking at this set it became clear that Fuchsia in a way represents the artist, surrounded by objets trouves, the sort of thing you might find in a painter's studio. She lives in an imaginative world, Peake's world. She writes all over the walls, and Christopher added a little 'Fuchsiaesque' poetry of his own, in the absence of enough original Peake!

In Peake's Words:
Fuchsia's bedroom was stacked at its four corners with her discarded toys, books, and lengths of colored cloth. It lay in the center of the western wing and upon the second floor. A walnut bed monopolized the inner wall in which stood the doorway. The two triangular windows in the opposite wall gave upon the battlements where the master sculptors from the mud huts moved in silhouette across the sunset at the full moon of alternate months Beyond the battlements the flat pastures spread and beyond the pasture were the Twisted Woods of thorn that climbed the ever steepening sides of Gormenghast mountain.

Fuchsia had covered the walls of her room with impetuous drawings in charcoal. There had been no attempt to create a design of any kind upon the coral plaster at either end of the bedroom. The drawing shad been done at many an odd moment of loathing or excitement and although lacking in subtlety or proportion were filled with an extra ordinary energy. These violent devices gave the two walls of her bedroom such an appearance of riot that the huddled heaps of toys and books in the four corners looked, by comparison, compact.

The attic, her kingdom, could be approached only through this bed-chamber. The door of the spiral staircase that ascended into the darkness was immediately behind the bedstead, so that to open this door which resembled the door of a cupboard, the bed had to be pulled forward into the room.

. . . The attic was composed of two main galleries and a cock loft, the second gallery leading at right angles from the first after a descent of three rickety steps. At its far end, a wooden ladder rose to a balcony resembling a narrow verandah. At the left extremity of this balcony a doorway with its door hanging mutely by one hinge, left to the third of the three rooms that composed the attic. This was the loft which was for Fuchsia a very secret place, a kind of pagan chapel, an eyrie, a citadel, a kingdom never mentioned, for that would have been a breach of faith -- a kind of blasphemy.

-- Titus Groan, "Prunesquallor's Knee-Cap"
 


 Set Design:
Kitchen | Fuchsia's Attic | Stone Corridors | Library | Graveyard

 Analyze a Scene | Costume Design | Set Design | Producer's Diary

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Behind the Scenes Analyze a Scene Costume Design Set Design Producer's Diary The Graveyard The Library The Stone Corridors Fuchsia's Attic The Kitchen