The Jocelyn Herbert Archive

Jocelyn Herbert (1917-2003) was one of Britain’s leading theatre designers. She transformed earlier assumptions about the relationships between designers, directors and writers, and had a huge influence on younger designers. Her career began with the English Stage Company at the Royal Court, where she designed the first British production of Ionesco's The Chairs (1958). She collaborated closely over… Continue reading The Jocelyn Herbert Archive

Listening to the scenography

There was an unexpected and moving demonstration of the power of Jocelyn Herbert’s scenography as part of Oliver Taplin’s contribution to the recent conference New Light on Tony Harrison. After speaking about his collaborations and long friendship with Harrison, and how the experience of live performance had changed scholars’ ideas about classical drama, Taplin said… Continue reading Listening to the scenography

Travels in the archive: how a mermaid led to Poland, Italy and Berlin… (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I spotted this programme on a shelf in the Research Room of the National Theatre Archive. Jennie, the Archive Assistant, explained that a former Trustee of the Theatre Royal, Norwich had donated her personal collection of theatre programmes from the 1980s - relating to shows at the National and at… Continue reading Travels in the archive: how a mermaid led to Poland, Italy and Berlin… (Part 1)

The Right Light

In Nick Moran's new book The Right Light: Interviews with Contemporary Lighting Designers he talks to lighting designers who work in very different contexts, from West End shows to site-specific performance. The chapters draw out different aspects of the process, and Moran provides a helpful commentary to illuminate the context for readers unfamiliar with the structures or technology of lighting. Most… Continue reading The Right Light

Why does the tactile matter?

As part of the 'Crossing Borders' season of talks at Siobhan Davies Studios, Independent Dance invited Abbie Garrington to talk about her work, in particular her exploration of the importance of touch in modernism (Haptic Modernism, 2013). She suggested that touch was particularly emphasised in the early 20th century, citing James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and… Continue reading Why does the tactile matter?