Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Design for TENET @ the Gate Theatre, London

Set Design for Tenet

Symmetry... perfection... some OCD characters... an obsession about Truth and telling the Truth...
messing around with the audience's perception of space.

Our get-in at the Theatre yesterday went well: thorough measuring and tracing work.
I think we all have lines, dots and numbers in our eyes this morning.

Here is a sneak peek
Morning measuring and tracing the space

There are a lot more Design surprises.
Come and join us!

Monday, 16 April 2012

An insight into the Design for Captain Crow

This is an interview I did for the Unicorn Theatre on the Design process and where the ideas came from.
Whether you had a chance to see the show or not, I hope you enjoy reading this.


1st sketch for the stage design of Captain Crow

‘Let’s do this show in total darkness! with torches, lots of torches! Let’s leave the imagination of the kids run wild. And... one question we should both think about: when do we reveal the monster?’

These are my own words but they are very close to the brief I received from director Matt Lenton on our first meeting in the Unicorn cafe, surrounded by a hundred enthusiastic school children who had just come out of the theatre.

Total darkness... How exciting!
But, wait! What am I supposed to design if we cannot see anything?

In this instance, costumes and details became extremely important.
What the beam of a lamp torch across the space reveals becomes the primary focus.
Any detail lit in the architecture of the space or on the characters and what they wear becomes highly significant.

My intentions for the stage design of Captain Crow as a whole was to personify ‘darkness’ through textures by creating a maze of black netting and knits to densify and physically layer darkness onstage.

References of wool knits used to create the netting of the ‘porthole’

A material that is both nurturing (wool knit) but also reminds us of the ominous presence of the seaside environment (fishing nets).

Architecturally, I wanted to create a space that is both epic in scale and at times very intimate.
It was important for the cast to be able to move organically from the world of Will’s family at the seaside, to the ghostly and imaginary world of Captain Crow’s pirates.

Set Design


There are 2 different worlds in the costumes:
- Will and his family,
- Captain Crow and his crew of pirates.

The costumes of Will and his brothers are all modern dress, Spring/ Summer 2012 High Street Fashion.

The pirates costumes were all made from scratch and more abstract, an overcross of references between pirates and the palette and textures of crows (the bird).

Costumes made by Gyo Kim, Rachael Lee & Mily Choi.

Crow's Coat

Crow’s headpiece in working progress

Pirate Boots

Gold & iridescent blue sprayed patterns onto Lady Pirate’s leathers.

The palette of the Show:
Blacks, silvers, iridescent blues and golds.

‘Where is that cabin boy?!’

Sunday, 15 April 2012

It’s a moment of change. It’s a moment for people to meet in darkened rooms and whisper dangerous ideas.

The Legend Of Captain Crow's Teeth finishes today @ the Unicorn Theatre, sadly.

Now, I'm diving back into the exciting mathematics of our next show with Greyscale: TENET.

The Quintin equation... 
An obsession with symmetry and our perception of space...

We are already in week 2 of rehearsals and the show will open on May 1st @ the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, London.

Gate Theatre and Greyscale present
A True Story About the Revolutionary Politics of Telling the Truth About Truth as Edited by Someone Who is Not Julian Assange in Any Literal Sense
by Lorne Campbell and Sandy Grierson

It’s a moment of change.
It’s a moment for people to meet in darkened rooms and whisper dangerous ideas.
Meet Evariste: he is a brilliant mathematician and a very angry young man. 
Meet Julian: he makes people very cross, he’s here to help. If Evariste can keep it together and Julian can keep out of the way then the two of them might be able to explain everything from polynomial equations (easy) to how to change the world (a bit harder) before someone dies at dawn.
TENET brings together two of Europe’s most notorious radicals – the 19th Century mathematician Evariste Galois and the 21st Century’s very own Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange – in a witty, surprising show about about thinking outside the box, radical politics, maths, tea and biscuits.

TENET was developed with support from ALMEIDA THEATRE.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

More reviews...

'But it is Garance Marneur’s atmospheric designs that steal the show'

There is a superb set by Garance Marneur with brilliantly varied lighting from James Mackenzie that stretches the height and depth of the space to create an intriguing world beyond the stage.

Don't miss it, it's not too late!


It is Easter Break and you still have a week to take your children to The Legend Of Captain Crow's Teeth @ the Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge.

 'The production is strongly atmospheric and has a nicely developed sense of fun'
'Captain Crow looms like a bogeyman of the imagination. Fun, but check under the bed before you put out the light.'

'Matthew Lenton’s production whips up a nicely eerie atmosphere and is particularly fine at capturing a world of childhood fears, showing how we latch onto one thing and let it grow in our minds until it blocks out all else.'


'Garance Marneur’s set is darkly lit which provides ample room for atmospheric creepiness and the odd unexpected shock.'
'Altogether, lots of shiver-me-timber-tastic fun for children of any ages.'

'At only an hour in length it makes for the perfect Easter treat for the family: a high-quality, well-executed performance for young audiences.'

'The opening play in Purni Morell’s first Unicorn season as artistic director is a compellingly atmospheric piece with the stage dominated by the huge porthole in Garance Marneur’s set and dark, spooky lighting from James Mackenzie. It’s a promising beginning.'

'a simple story simply told, well-paced and well-played with Garance Marneur's design and James Mackenzie's lighting making it extra spooky'

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Don't miss the latest show I designed. 
The Legend of Captain Crow's Teeth is now up and running for 2 weeks at the Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge.

It's big and it's dark!

Follow this link to book tickets: