A few weeks after Jacob Hughes' workshop on model-making, National Theatre Learning offered another workshop on set design, this time for children aged 6-12. It was led by designer Lucy Sierra and I was lucky enough to accompany eight-year-old N. to take part. Lucy began by talking about her role as a designer, showing examples… Continue reading Glue and glitter: model-making
Over two evenings in February, designer Jacob Hughes led a workshop on model-making for 16-21 year olds at the National Theatre. The participants had come from as far as Somerset and Liverpool. Most were already studying theatre design or were hoping to do so. Jake trained at Welsh College of Music and Drama, a school… Continue reading Scalpels, mountboard and glue
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
Les peintres, ces grands bavards, s'en vont, leur journée terminée, au café ou ils recontrent d'autres peintres. Et ce sont les interminables et charmante discussions que l'on sait, et que personne, hélas! ne pense à dérober au vent. [At the end of the working day, painters, those great talkers, go to cafes where they… Continue reading André Lhote
On 22 November 2016, Rae Smith gave the annual Jocelyn Herbert Lecture at the National Theatre. She projected images of her theatre drawings, discussing the different purposes they have. Some drawings record visual research; some are made in the studio and brought in to discuss with the rest of the creative team; others are made in… Continue reading Rae Smith on drawing
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?
On Sunday 30 October, the Association of British Theatre Technicians held a symposium to mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the National Theatre. There were dozens of short presentations, moving from fascinating details of the design process for the National's building and technical set up 40 years ago, to ideas about future and ideal spaces and new… Continue reading A Place for Plays
A celebration of the life and work of Arnold Wesker (1932-2016) at the Royal Court Theatre on Sunday 9 October 2016 opened with a filmed extract from the 1961 production of The Kitchen. The play had first been produced in 1959 as a 'Sunday Night without décor’ production, designed by Jocelyn Herbert. The great thing… Continue reading Wesker’s kitchens