When working on a devised piece it is useful for all involved to get the set into rehearsals as early as possible. This is also true for highly physical shows, it will mean Caitlin and Mel can have the maximum amount of time to experiment with the space and use the design to its full potential. Getting the set built early on also has the advantage of freeing up my time during the rehearsal period to assist Caitlin creatively, adapt the design elements of the show as needed and concentrate on the finer details of the production design, my favorite part of every show.
Designing for a devised piece is a little different to working with a ready-made script. The creative team worked enthusiastically together to discuss themes and moments of action which Caitlin and Mel then storyboarded together to create a rough outline of the play. I incorporated these same ideas into my design. Working through these ideas in rehearsal the Director can decide whether they have a place in the final production or they might lead on to something even better.
Projection is an important part of this production and I have to make sure the set is a suitable canvas for Lubin Lone’s illustrations. Projecting straight onto the range of textures and angled surfaces will create a further fantastical dimension to the set. The style of illustration will be the main impact on the progression of the design throughout the play but I have made sure to incorporate further surprises along the way.
Visually the set resembles a bathroom but it also needs to be structurally very strong. Hidden re-enforcing will allow the actor to interact with the bathroom suite in unusual ways, for example doing a headstand in the toilet bowl. It is going to be a very physically demanding show, not just for Mel but for the set too and it needs to last throughout the fringe and beyond.
Alice Wilson – Set and Costume design.