Set design is really just a process of making one decision after another and then responding to the fall-out and happy accidents that come from those decisions.
It was pretty clear for LOVEWRIGHT that the chair was the thing. It was the first thing we bought, from a lady called Bim in Dover – she had a pair of identical Parker Knoll armchairs in perfect condition and upholstered in pink velour and there was no doubt in my mind that this was a good decision. The presence of two chairs was a happy accident that led us to thing about the idea of two spaces existing simultaneously – a ‘real’ space and a dream/memory space.
We used scaffolding to sketch out the space – almost like a full scale 3D diagram, thinking that it was a useful and transformable tool for R&D, but it has ended up becoming pretty integral to the aesthetic of the piece and led us to explore the idea of bigger and more intricate structures for the next stage of the process. I’m no minimalist, but I enjoy creating space around familiar objects so the audience can do a bit of ‘colouring in’ with the own imaginations. For the next stage we’ll be taking this further, creating a multi-level structure like a cats play tower that will give loads more opportunity for circus and narrative exploration.
Quarterhouse is a wonderfully flexible space for this kind of process, with a floor that can be configured in almost any way you can think of. The whole process has been supported brilliantly by the Folkestone community too, with gym mats on loan from Folkestone Fringe and Brockhill School, accommodation with local artists, feedback and input from children, teachers and parents at 4 local schools, a HE group and a community group (through Block 67)… not to mention copious supplies of coffee and food from Steep Street, Beanos, Sister Seitan, Folkestone Wholefoods and Lubens!
This project is supported by: