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Cardboard suitcases supplied for local comedy production

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 18th February 2022
Posted In: Community / Charity | Company News xx 31179

A Great Performance!

Corrugated cardboard suitcases produced for local comedy production

GWP Packaging’s design expertise has been used in a rather unusual way – to create props in a local stage production!

Lynnette West, a member of the packaging design team at GWP, created a number of corrugated suitcases which have been used in the production of “Murder at Checkmate Manor” by the South Cerney Players.

As well as helping a local organisation, by using corrugated design expertise in an unconventional way it has provided a showcase for the creativity that GWP Packaging’s designers possess.

The suitcases follow hot on the heels of the corrugated “trophy” awarded to the students at the recent Foodbank competition, as well as GWP submitting designs into the 203 Starpack Industry awards.

GWP Packaging help South Cerney Players
GWP Packaging help South Cerney Players production by providing cardboard suitcases

The design challenge

Following an approach to David Pedley from Mark Sweet, the producer of the show, the design team at GWP was tasked with the brief of creating suitcases that would look good, last a number of performances and be suitable for health and safety requirements (as the suitcases were thrown about during the performance).

The brief received was as follows:

We have a need for our next production. 4 suitcases that need to be light and easy to throw about, but last 10 performances plus rehearsals.

We have been using cardboard boxes as per photo.

The size is 24″ x 18″ x 6″

They certainly do not need to be totally crush proof, so something like a computer box quality would suit.

A plastic handle would be good.

Plain cardboard which we can paint.

The GWP design approach

Lynnette started the project by looking into styles of suitcases as she wanted it to appear as a suitcase and not just an oblong box with a handle. She therefore decided to use a design that featured an old fashioned trim.

With the appearance decided on, the structure was looked at next as it had to survive 10 performances as well as rehearsals. It needed to be robust and crush proof, so the main case was created in BC flute – a strong material grade. The box was designed so that it folded in on itself, doubled over on the sides and glued together. A plastic handle with a backing plate was added before the gluing.

Following this, a trim for all the edges and corners was created in E flute, which was both to improve the appearance of the case and to also cover the flute edges of the BC and provide a good overall finish.

Corrugated suitcase design

The end result was a case that looked great and was perfect for the production.

Mark Sweet, of the South Cerney Players, commented;

The actors and director are delighted with the cases – they are throwing them about with great abandon! Again many thanks.

Home made theatre prop
The previous attempts at creating a cardboard suitcase - using an old box and baling twine!

Murder at Checkmate Manor

Written by David McGillivry and Walter Zerin Jnr, starring a cast of Jane Smith, Hannah Beard, Tina Outlaw, Belinnda Ogle-Skan and Ian Stuart, plus a large team behind the scenes, the show has been entertaining audiences at the South Cerney Village Hall between 15th and 18th May.

Put on by the South Cerney Players, the group are possibly the longest standing amateur dramatics organisation in the area.

Their history extends back to 1936, sometime after the conversion of a barn in School Lane into a village hall for the benefit of the community. 2011 was the 75th anniversary of the first production by the group!

The South Cerney Players are always looking for new stars, volunteers and help with their productions. If you are interested in helping, in any capacity, then please contact them by visiting their website below.

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About the Author

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 9 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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