Alison is a scenographer working in theatre, dance, installation, and site specific environments. She uses scenography to form deep connections between people, place, and story, and to give the audience agency within the work and beyond. Her work includes a mix of text based, devised, and self-led projects, with a focus on landscape and environment.
Since winning an ACE Developing Creative Practice award she has been exploring Participatory Scenography- a design-led practice that aims to deepen connections with audiences and communities through socially engaged co-building of scenographic adventures in public places.
Alison trained as a designer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She is a resident at Pervasive Media Studio where she is collaborating with technologists to explore new ways of meeting and engaging audiences locally and internationally. She is also co-founder of Bread & Goose, a theatre company who make site based and touring performances and installations. Alison is Associate Lecturer in Scenography at Central St Martins and regularly teaches at Rose Bruford College.
Part Quest, part Performance, Beacons took place across a whole month leading up to the full moon before the winter solstice, inviting audiences to seek out adventures and new encounters, before culminating in a co-built display of light and sound that could only work if the audience played their part.
“The Sea Gooseberries come and go with the tides, ancient messengers washing ashore in times of need. But since the balance between humans and the rest of ecosystem has been upset, their song is fading and they need us to work together to restore their magic”
In November 2021 the Sea Gooseberries arrived in Folkestone, seeking refuge in local businesses, public spaces, and the surrounding countryside. They waited for us to find them by following clues using interactive online and paper maps, uncovering boxes filled with community-gathered wisdoms and fragments of the Song of the Sea Gooseberries. Audiences then hosted the Sea Gooseberries in their homes, until it was time to reunite them on a misty beach as part of a magical participatory light installation woven with live acapella song that harked back to ancient community rituals and celebrated our connections to each other and the natural world.
Beacons was an experiment in participatory scenography, using game-like processes and tactile invitations to welcome new audiences to participate in creative activity and more deeply discover their local environment. The two year site responsive process was supported by a network of local Guardians and Hosts who co-built the story on a grassroots level.
Creative Folkestone & SparkedEcho
The Curtain was a community project inspired by the themes of communication and being an outsider. We devised the work with local people who had experience of arriving in the UK from somewhere else and spoke languages other than English, or who had experienced stroke and related challenges in communicating.
The set had to be designed before the devising process and the script were completed, so I wanted to create a space that offered many possibilities and formed a framework for words and movement to evolve. Rachel’s provocation to me was to encourage interesting movement and interaction from a non-professional cast, and my response was an organic, water filled space that could be both ominous and inviting, offering texture, playfulness, and the transformative properties of light. Ladders providing spaces of sanctuary and isolation, and the audience sat inches away, sharing the proximity to the water and the performers stories.