UK Design for Performance
(Waverly Building, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus)
This theatre design exhibition emphasised the collaborative processes behind performance: how the ideas of designers interact with performers, artists and technicians and are transformed into three-dimensional spaces and structures, costumes, light and sound. Brought together in association with Trent’s design department and the Society of British Theatre Designers, it comprised a vast array of recent work by 150+ UK designers.
Despite the high profile of the collaborators and their work, it was a shame to see how little attention this showcase received. So, why was the expedition into Trent territory worthwhile? There was a great deal of variety on show, from authentic reproductions of Shakespearean costume (from the Globe) to bizarre installations that might stretch your definitions of theatre. One of the most striking aspects of the exhibition was its meticulous attention to detail. This was particularly prominent in the many scale model sets; at the same time as telling you a lot about the design process, they were highly enjoyable in their own right as aesthetic objects. But the quality on display shouldn’t be surprising; professionals whose work is about exhibition are inevitably going to excel at exhibiting it.
A selection of the exhibits will be travelling to Prague, and anyone travelling there would be advised to check it out as a break from the cheap booze and strip clubs.