Monday, 26 June 2017

Lauren from Year 12 at Ecclesbourne School joined us last week on work experience to design a set and costumes for The Tempest. This is her daily blog.

DAY 5 : Friday 23 June 2017

Lauren 02

Today was my last day of work experience. I added the final touches to my board and tried to make my plasticine models more detailed. I did this by using a thin stick to mark in lines and expressions.

I then designed and made a box for Ben who is going to do a workshop at Sheffield Hallam University as part of a conference about how are the arts can engage people with dementia. This involves various activities revolving around Lear and his memory box.

Lauren 01

After, I presented my designs and ideas to various people who I have met over the week. This allowed me to talk about my ideas which really helped finalise them. The feedback and encouragement on my work has really shown me the progress I have made through the week.

Over the past week I have learnt a lot about theatre design which has really helped me decide on what I’d like to pursue in the future. Thank you for checking out my blog and - in the words of Prospero himself - “let your indulgence set me free.”

DAY 4 : Thursday 22 June 2017

set and figures

I started today by gathering together all my ideas so far and putting them on my board. I did this so I could see the development of my ideas from the start of the week. 

Then I finished the set model by adding to the structure of it and putting it on a base. I then put a support under the bridge so that it could stay up well with the plasticine figures on. 

After talking with Ben about the set and stage space, I really connected with the idea of a production based on The Tempest that focuses solely on Prospero’s development and therefore cutting out certain scenes and characters from Shakespeare's script.


This really helped mould my ideas of how I would want my adaptation of The Tempest to be like. Caliban will be Prospero's id and Ariel his ego, both dramatically struggling to entice him to their way of thinking. 

I plan to talk about these ideas and share the designs in my presentation tomorrow afternoon. 

For the rest of the afternoon, I watched a documentary about theatre design as recommended by Michael and Tom at QUAD.

DAY 3 : Wednesday 21 June 2017


Today, I added to my mood board by adding some more of my previous set ideas and designs on and annotated them to show why I chose the designs. I used my mood board to create a model of my set.

To help me construct my set model, I visited David Neat’s website for some tips and guidance when measuring and constructing. When I met theatre designer Eleanor Field on Monday, she suggested that I take a look at the website and it has been very helpful.


I decided to keep the set quite minimal with a bridge in the middle of the stage. I then decided that I wanted to keep the set white for part of the production but then have projections of brain neural networks combined with lightning at some points. I did this by creating a layer that I could place over my base model to show the two ideas.

Then I created some plasticine figures of Prospero, Caliban and Ariel as a scale for the size of the bridge and stage and then constructed the bridge. When making the figures of the characters, I kept the colour scheme of their costumes in mind and tried to create the same kind of pattern.

This helped me develop my ideas for the costumes which I aim to finish designing tomorrow.

DAY 2 : Tuesday 20 June 2017

lauren 21After a great first day yesterday, I began bringing together my ideas about the set so I could start planning my model. I decided I wanted to make this production of The Tempest a more psychological play by focusing on Prospero's mental states throughout the play.

To show this, I am designing this for a production in the round to portray that Prospero is trapped in his own mind. This further emphasised as the audience are surrounding him. Therefore, developing an intimate connection with Prospero and his journey from anger to forgiveness.

I put together some images of neural networks in the brain combined with lightning bolts as an idea for projections on the stage. I also decided that across the stage I would have a low wooden bridge with wires hanging off in the style of a neural network.

lauren 23I began sketching these ideas and created a basic, miniature model of the set, and how the set would revolve around the bridge which Prospero would be on for the majority of the production.

To put all of my ideas together, I made a mood board which I put some of my ideas about costume and the developments of the set on. I did this so I am prepared for tomorrow, when I begin creating a model of the set.

DAY 1 : Monday 19th June 2017

lauren 2Today was my first day of work experience with 1623 Theatre Company.

I started my day with an introduction to 1623 and a great chat about Shakespeare with Ben [Spiller, 1623 artistic director]. We began discussing different ways in which Shakespeare’s work can be applied and recreated for our modern world and the different messages it can deliver. This helped me come up with some ideas for ways in which I could design a production of The Tempest.

lauren 11For example, I thought that revolving the production around a tempest in Prospero’s mind and his journey from anger to forgiveness through interaction with Ariel could really link with recent world events and how humanity can be restored from terrible events through understanding and forgiving.

After lunch, Ben and I met with Eleanor Field, a costume and set designer to chat about various aspects of design and to look through her recent work. From this, I got some great tips on colour palettes, modelling a set and how to get my own ideas down on paper.

After talking about the ways in which Eleanor creates and translates her designs, I began sketching and creating a few colour schemes which I believe would work well for costumes for Ariel and Caliban. 

lauren 3I finished the day by sketching a few ideas for a possible staircase that could be used on the set to create the sense of a shipwreck and also a good base for Prospero’s cell. This gave me a good starting point to start planning for designing the set which I start tomorrow.


Support 1623

Support 1623Join our Friends for only £5 a month and receive free tickets and a regular newsletter!

Support 1623Become a Supporter from just £10 a month and get free tickets and invitations to exclusive events!