adjective "piecemeal" (about stage props)

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Russian - Russia
Hi everybody,

I'm struggling with an American article on a certain theatre production. There's a word I can't understand, could anybody help me? It seems not to be used in its ordinary meaning.

"Indeed, the set, by Maria Tregubova, works its own defiant treachery: it’s made up of part trompe l’oeil deception, part functional props. Nowhere is its sleight-of-hand more beguiling than in a piecemeal car—only one door actually opens—into which [the actors] hop and circle the stage on a turntable track."

So my question is: what does "piecemeal" mean here? What does it refer to?

I have checked other articles on this theatre production and found out that the car was in fact a giant photo of a taxi, with a cut-out "window" through which you could see the actors' heads. On the other side of this flat "taxi" was a giant postcard. But what does the word "piecemeal" have to do with it?

Many, many thanks in advance.

/source of the article: /
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Piecemeal usually means "created in separate parts, rather than as a single whole". For example: The character of the village is being altered by unplanned piecemeal development.

    Here it is being used in a slightly different way to mean "created in two separate styles, one of them as a flat photographic image and the other as a truly functional opening door".
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