A couple of weeks back, I popped into the NTW office...I can't remember why but it might be to make good use of the flowing supply of tea and biscuits.
While I was there Dev said I should go to a design workshop by Punchdrunk, and so a I did!
The workshop was held by Livi Vaughan and Beatrice Minns who designed Punchdrunk and National Theatre's latest show 'The Drowned Man'.
If you're not familiar with Punchdrunk, you should check them out. They create site-specific promenade shows on a MASSIVE scale, and they usually take place in disused warehouses across London.
'The Drowned Man' was in a building next door to Paddington Station. Looking outside the building onto the busy rivers of commuters going in and out of the station, you'd never think what was behind that small wooden door for the warehouse. They completely transformed the warehouse into some sort of apocalyptic-American-dream landscape with a dark undercurrent. One floor had a fake 'studio-village', a forest and a caravan sight!
This really was an amazing opportunity to learn the process of how to design and realise a show of this scale. Often, the audience are purely spectator of the design, but when it comes to promenade the audience are inside the set. Every sense is teased- sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. No detail can be un missed as you allow the audience to interact and interrogate these worlds you create. It was refreshing to see a company who invest so much into the design of their productions, and rely of these worlds the designers create. (I couldn't help but wonder how much this production cost for the whole time though!)
If you have a chance to get yourself to London, and a few bob (£55!!), you should definitely check this show out. They've extended their run to end of April, and I imagine it's the sort of show that will most definitely stay with you for a long time and influence a whole new generation of similar work.
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