As the puzzle games that my performance will be about are all about finding patterns, I want the space to be filled with these patterns and block colours. At first, I wanted the floor of my space to have some kind of jigsaw on it. The use of a regular jigsaw would be tricky to cover the entire space, and the small detailing of it would be barely noticeable to an audience and possibly distracting. This led me to look at larger soft playmats used to decorate children’s rooms or nurseries. They fit together like jigsaw pieces and the boldly coloured squares could be assembled into the tetrominoes used in the Tetris game. After discussion with my tutor, we found it was possible to obtain some blue judo matts that are similarly designed. Although I considered painting the matts to match the colours of the game pieces, once I tried laying out the matts in the space, the blue of the matts contrasted the black floor well and I realised that paint might ruin the block colour of the matts. I tested out different ways of laying out the shapes on the floor and was unsure whether the pieces should be placed in a grid like formation, or if they should be placed off-kilter.
The grid like formation kept the look truer to the game, but having the pieces off-kilter made the pieces look like they were breaking out of a game and into the real world. As my performance aims to explore the Tetris effect of puzzle pieces appearing in the real world, it is the second option that I settled with.
I also made some prop Tetris pieces out of card. I measured and cut out nets from coloured pieces of card to make many carboard cubes of the same size. I then folded and glued them together to form the building blocks for the centre piece of the show. I intend to stack the pieces physically in the show as another representation of the puzzles from a game entering the physical world.
For my costume, I also wanted something quite bold and interestingly patterned to match the shows aesthetic. I considered wearing split black and white trousers and jacket. The outfit is bold and the pattern matches that of a crossword or a chessboard. I have worn part of this costume before in a production of King John set on a chessboard where I was playing a king chess piece, so the costume has proved to work well in the past at representing a puzzle piece abstractly.
However, through rehearsals of the script I realised that I was giving a rather honest performance, not playing a character, and speaking as myself with natural dialogue mostly. The black and white suit seems to be a bit zany for this style of performance so I have decided to go with something more casual. Instead, I will wear a brightly patterned jumper over a black and white checked shirt. It is something which I would wear, whilst also being slightly eccentric and resembling the patterns of the puzzles in my show.