Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday Five: Furniture

A Welsh dresser
For our current production of Blithe Spirit, I have been rootling around in the props department for the necessary furniture. The stage set requires a several tables, desks, chairs, a sofa and a piano. I'm not sure that a piano counts as furniture, but we've got one anyway. 

In attempting to describe exact requirements I have learned that there is a standard size for a writing table, as opposed to an escritoire or a spinnet desk. It has caused me to reflect upon the specifics of furniture in a way that has hitherto passed me by.

5 Favourite Furniture Items:
  1. Tallboys and lowboys - chests of drawers to some, but it seems odd to keep a tall boy (or a low boy, or indeed, any kind of boy) in the corner of the room for the purpose of holding one's clothes.
  2. Whatnot - a delightful name for a stand used to hold ornamental pieces of china and other 'trifles' (also known as dust-collectors).
  3. Welsh Dresser - traditionally a utilitarian wooden piece of furniture with shelves and cupboards used to store and display crockery, but it also puts me in mind of Rhys Ifans' character Spike going out in his 'goddamned underwear' in Notting Hill
  4. Chabudai - a short-legged table from Japan which has given rise to the term 'flip the chabudai' as in having a strop and flipping over the table.
  5. Occasional tables - this is all very well but as a child I used to wonder if they were only occasionally tables, what did they do when they weren't? I liked to imagine them living entirely separate secret lives - much like part-time traffic lights.

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