Theatre Designer/Maker

Set & Costume Designs (1)

Swallows and Amazons (Backstage Theatre)

By Arthur Ransome (adapted by Neil Hannon & Helen Edmundson)
Director: Steve Grihault
Lighting Designer: Adam King

This was a re-telling of the first story in the classic children’s series, in a musical adaptation by Neil Hannon and Helen Edmundson. First published in 1930, “Swallows and Amazons” was the first in a series of 12 books by Arthur Ransome. Set in the Lake District, it tells of the school holiday exploits of the Walker and Blackett children and their sailing dinghies, the “Swallow” and the “Amazon”. Our story began and ended with Titty Walker as an old lady reminiscing about her childhood. The set was comprised of a pile of old furniture and suitcases covered in dust sheets, as if left forgotten in an attic. They were slowly revealed as the story unfurled, and each piece used in different ways to create all the different places around Lake Windermere visited by the children. The boats themselves were also created from this pile of junk, using wheeled crates and pallets to move them around the “lake” of the stage and to create the various islands they visit.

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5/11 (Mountview Theatre)

By Edward Kemp
Director: Hannah Eidinow
Lighting Designer: Seb Blaber

This play was first performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre in August 2005 to mark the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot: England is riven between Catholics and Protestants, and an aristocratic group of young religious fanatics have recruited a mercenary (GuyFawkes) to strike at the heart of the English government. But under the ambivalent rule of the newly crowned King James I, fresh from Scotland, no one can be trusted and their plot is turned against the very people it was meant to save. The set was a series of stark, industrial steps and levels, so that the many different scenes and settings could easily play over each other and cross between each other as the text demanded.

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Trenches/ Parlour Games (Bridewell Theatre)

By Richard Vincent/ James Hartnell
Director: Kirstie Davis (Associate Directors: Denzel Westley-Sanderson/ Emily Aboud)
Lighting Designer: Adam King

Commissioned especially for Mountview, these two one-act plays sat together in a double bill exploring British domesticity and relationships. With one set at a neighbour’s summer barbecue and one during a family Christmas, both new works explored the dynamics of friendship and family.

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Much Ado About Nothing (Karamel Club)

By William Shakespeare
Directors: Stephen Jameson & Denzel Westley-Sanderson
Lighting Designer: Holly Ellis

One of Shakespeare’s most frequently performed comedies, in our version the action took place during a long hot Summer in the 1950s, on the Sicilian estate of a retired Mafia Don. This was one of three Shakespeare shows in the Karamel Club that utilised  a specially designed steel structure around a raised stage that could be dressed in different ways for different shows. The staging and steps could also be re-arranged in different configurations depending on requirements.

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The Comedy of Errors (Karamel Club)

By William Shakespeare
Director: Rachel Bagshaw
Lighting Designer: Holly Ellis

Shakespeare’s earliest comedy, combining mistaken identity, confusion (with not just one but two sets of identical twins), romance and the comedy of human folly. This was the first of the three shows in the Karamel Club that used the same staging as Much Ado About Nothing shown above, but with this show parts of the set gradually got pulled up or ripped down (using flame retardant rice paper to cover all the various different revolving and sliding panels).

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As You Like It (Jacksons Lane & Touring)

By William Shakespeare
Director: Bronagh Lagan
Lighting Designer: Derek Anderson

Our heroine Rosalind has been banished from the court of her uncle, and flees with her cousin Celia to the Forest of Arden to find safety, and eventually love. For this production the court was updated to a modern office environment, and our Forest of Arden in contrast was set in the middle of a summer music festival. The stage transformed from plain grey blocks to a riot of colour and pattern set amongst stylized trees.

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Busters (Bernie Grant Arts Centre)

By Roy Williams
Directors: Stephen Jameson & Tinuke Craig
Lighting Designer: Mark Dymock

It is Summer 1976, the August Bank holiday and one of the hottest days of the year. Across town in Notting Hill the carnival is in full swing, whilst in Tottenham the staff and customers of “Busters Burgers” struggle with the trials and tribulations of everyday life. This play with music was a world premier of acclaimed writer Roy Williams new work.

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Touched (Bernie Grant Arts Centre)

By Stephen Lowe
Director: Paul Ryan Carberry
Lighting Designer: Neill Brinkworth

The play is set from May to August 1945 during the hundred days between VE Day and VJ Day. It focuses on a group of ordinary working class Nottingham women, their sacrifices and suffering coping with the deprivations and heartache wrought by the war. With the coming of peace there is hope for a different kind of future. The set reflected the grey harshness of their world, the “make do and mend” of the war years, whilst also invoking the hardships of the battlefields and bombings endured by those on both sides.

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The Love of the Nightingale (ALRA Theatre)

By Timberlake Wertenbaker
Director: Ewan Marshall
Lighting Designer: Mark Dymock

The basis for this play is an adaptation of the Ancient Greek legend of the rape of Philomele by her brother-in law Tereus. In our production we moved the action of the play from Greece to a hospital environment. Each of the characters became an inmate in the mental institution, no longer fully in control of what happened to and around them.

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Her Naked Skin (Bernie Grant Arts Centre)

By Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Director: Katie Henry
Lighting Designer: Neill Brinkworth
Projection Designer: Dan English

The play is set during the struggle for women’s suffrage in the early 20th century, beginning with the death of Emily Wilding Davison at the 1913 Derby and ending with the outbreak of World War I. The challenge for this production was the need to share the same set with a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”. I designed a set which contained architectural details that would work for both shows, but in each case could be changed significantly with images projected onto it rather than huge scenery changes.

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Playhouse Creatures (ALRA Theatre)

By April de Angelis
Director: Ewan Marshall
Lighting Designer: Prema Mehta

The year is 1669, and theatres have just reopened after seventeen years of Puritan suppression. There is a surge in dramatic writing and the first English actresses appear on stage. Playhouse Creatures focuses on five of the most famous (Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Farley, Rebecca Marshall, Doll Common and Mary Betterton) to provide a moving and often comic account of the precarious lives of Restoration actresses. The set and props were kept very simple, providing a flavour of the theatre of the time with a mainly muted colour palette. The costumes in comparison were lavish with detail and rich fabrics.

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