The Society of British Theatre Designers

The Value of Design

J William Davis

Duchess of Malfi - Charing Cross Theatre

Duchess of Malfi - Charing Cross Theatre
  • Production: Duchess of Malfi
  • Venue: Charing Cross Theatre
  • Year: 2012
  • Author: John Webster
  • Directed by: Dan Horrigan
  • Composer : Martin White
  • Lighting Design by: Phil Hunter Spencer
  • Costume Design by: J William Davis
  • Set designed by: J William Davis
  • Scenography by: J William Davis
Set in a depression era circus, acrobats fly through the air hovering over the ever crumbling world of the Duchess as her brothers enact revenge upon her, her lover and her children. The set begins with a bare backstage. Piles of luggage, trunks and crates, clothes rails, dressing screens, performing platforms, ladders and location signage begin to clutter this space. From a large prominent column, at the rear of the stage, red and blue scrim translucent fabric banners stretch out over the audience suggesting a circus tent. The clothes are based on 1930s circus costumes. The Duchess’ world is in shades of blue; the Cardinal’s world is in shades of red.