directing: anything goes (2006)
In 2006 I directed and designed Anything Goes at the Gregorian Theatre, Downside. A huge project with a large cast, 15-piece jazz orchestra and an intricate set.
I wanted the audience to feel transported to the real SS American, so the set was designed to conjure the stern of the liner. Scaffolding is hugely versatile for creating interesting spaces for performance, as well as many different levels. This allowed me and the company to be really free with entrances and exits and indeed where the action took place. The floor of a stage is a massive canvas that can be ignored, I painted it to mimic planks with lines of perspective that moved closer together upstage, drawing the eye towards the mast at the centre.
I positioned the band onstage rather than in a pit. I wanted the band to be part of the story of the show, and part of the action. The characters interacted directly with the band throughout. During underscored scene changes, having a visible band made those moments interesting rather than blank. There was something of an inverse sinking Titanic string quarter to having them in the middle of it all.
My lighting scheme was designed to around three times of day, midday, dusk and night. I sought to shape the action on stage through artistic lighting, attempting to give a cinematic depth to scenes.
Click the images below for a closer look