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Simon Kenny

SBTD Designer

Simon Kenny

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Biography

Professional

Trained at Central School of Speech & Drama. Recent theatre includes Noughts & Crosses, National tour; Pilot, Cabaret, English Theatre Frankfurt; the multi award-winning ‘pie shop’ Sweeney Todd, (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Set Design of a Musical) West End and Off-Broadway; The Selfish Giant, a new folk opera by Guy Chambers, West End; Macbeth, Stafford Castle; Holes, Nottingham Playhouse; Black Men Walking, national tour; Eclipse; Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass,Watford Palace; Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare’s Globe; and The Wind In The Willows, Sherman.

Opera includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Le Nozze Di Figaro, Nevill Holt; the world premiere of Stephen McNeff’s Vivienne, Linbury Studio, ROH; The Cunning Little Vixen, Háry János, Orlando, Ryedale Festival.

Other designs include Babette’s Feast, Print Room; Driving Miss Daisy, Saturday Night Fever, Theatre Royal Bath, UK tour; Rose, HOME Manchester; Ghosts, Theatr Clwyd; In The Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Ustinov; Island, National Theatre; and Border Force, an immersive installation/performance/club event for Duckie.


BLACK MEN WALKING

 
  IMAGE CREDIT: TRISTRAM KENTON
 
   
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Role:
Set and Costume Designer
Year:
2018
Venue:
Royal Exchange Studio and UK tour
Company:
Eclipse

Inspired by a real-life walking group, this piece delved into 2000 years of Black British history and toured widely to studio venues around the country.

Fusing music, dialogue and spoken word poetry, it celebrated the hidden histories of Black Britain, recognised the need to connect with others, questioned what it means to be British and urged that we know our history in order to move forward.

The design was a simplified abstraction of the Peak District – a contoured floor with reference to the Roman roads, and a backdrop of geological strata. A large black one-way mirror became a portal across time, conjuring characters and always reflecting ghosts in the landscape.

Inspired by the archaeological discovery in York of the Ivory Bangle Lady – 4th Century remains of likely North African descent – we created a small incidental museum space in the foyer of each venue with select props and costumes from the show presented as historical artifacts of the future.

“THE DESIGN WAS A SIMPLIFIED ABSTRACTION OF THE PEAK DISTRICT – A CONTOURED FLOOR WITH REFERENCE TO THE ROMAN ROADS, AND A BACKDROP OF GEOLOGICAL STRATA. A LARGE BLACK ONE-WAY MIRROR BECAME A PORTAL ACROSS TIME, CONJURING CHARACTERS AND ALWAYS REFLECTING GHOSTS IN THE LANDSCAPE.”

Credits:

Director:
Dawn Walton
Writer:
Testament
Costume Supervision:
Royal Exchange Theatre
Lighting Designer:
Lee Curran
Sound Designer:
Adrienne Quartly
Movement Director:
Steve Medlin
Scenic Construction:
Royal Exchange Theatre


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