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Designing Twelfth Night

With less that 2 weeks to go before we open our 41st show, and our 3rd trip to Illyria, here's a little glimpse into the world we're creating.

Set and Costume Designer Neil Irish, along with Director Charlotte Conquest, have located the setting for Twelfth Night to a British seaside resort in the early 1950s. "There is a sweet sadness that lingers throughout" observed Charlotte on the first day of rehearsals. In the early 50s Britain was only just beginning to emerge from the darkness of the Second World War; losses were still being needed to come to terms with, and there were also the shifting dynamics of society and class. Amongst all this, slowly the Victorian resorts were beginning to be brought back to life.

The play demands multiple locations and the designs below give the possibilities of indoors, outdoors, private rooms and public spaces. Replicating the fluid motion of the play's action is essential to realise the escalating tension in the story, especially in the second half as the comic situations become more compounded. There is also a coastal setting that permeates the play, both geographically and metaphorically, throughout.

We hope you enjoy reading this little peek into the design process, and you can read more about it in a special article written in the Souvenir Programme (£3.50), which you can pre-book with your tickets.

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