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Staging Places Display 2019 - V&A

Ian McNeil: Angels in America. Photo credit: Frank Herholdt.

Exhibition preview

AFTER representing the UK at The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space in June, The Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD) brings Staging Places, with additional new material, to the V&A – until January 5, 2020.

The display will show both the final designs and the various processes and activities to reach them, including a model box from Angels in America (Designer: Ian MacNeil) at the National Theatre, a case full of orange balloons from Misty at the Bush Theatre and Trafalgar Studios (Designer: Rajha Shakiry) and individual elements from the huge AV wall in The Assassination of Katie Hopkins (Designers: Lucy Osborne and Nina Dunn).

Designers on display include Soutra Gilmour with Pinter at the Pinter, Shizuku Hairu for Dystopian Dream at Sadler’s Wells and David Farley with Flood as part of Hull City of Culture.

Staging Places aims to form an extensive online database of UK designers, displaying their work and promoting them nationally and internationally. Alongside the display SBTD is engaging with nurturing regional design talent across the UK via a series of events to forge connections with producing theatres. Events with practicing designers will be held regularly throughout the show (see SBTD’s social media channels for more information).

Fiona Watt, Honorary Secretary for SBTD and the project curator said:

Staging Places celebrates the work of performance designers and makers based in the UK. Performance Designers are 21st century polymaths with a global reach, we invent imaginary worlds and extraordinary environments in the staging places we call theatres and in the ones we don’t. Our work exists on your blog, in your Twitter feed, your Instagram, your Facebook, your Tumblr, your Flickr, your You Tube channel and your livestream.

Staging Places aims to celebrate the diversity of performance design and making practices today and to inspire young people to invent it for the future. In a diverse, multi-cultural visual age, we are the storytellers now.”

The Society of British Theatre Designers is an organisation for designers, run by designers. Founded in 1975, they represent UK designers nationally and internationally by mounting displays, promoting awareness of theatre and performance design, contributing to design education opportunities and acting as a hub for the sharing of information and communication between members. They are the first point of communication in the UK for the international scenographic community, and for International companies seeking professional designers.

SBTD have 3.1k members to their Facebook group and full society members include the multi Olivier award-winning Bunny Christie. This year is set to be an important one for SBTD as they continue their Value of Design campaign. Alongside the Association of Lighting Designers, Equity and BECTU they are working to promote increased understanding of the design process, better working practices and employment structures, and improved credit and visibility for stage design work in the media as part of the renegotiations of the UK Theatre and SOLT collective agreements.

Image: Ian MacNeil: Angels in America. Photo credit: Frank Herholdt.

Admission: Free and unticketed.

Time: Daily from 10am – 5.30pm.

The V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL