the run at Vienna's English Theatre the production transferred to the
English Theatre in Frankfurt for a further run of eight weeks. Frankfurt's
theatre is far larger and purpose built and presented some difficulties
for the transfer of the set.
Following a certain amount of misunderstanding and a growing sense of
uncertainty from several quarters as far as the false proscenium photographic
concerned, as well as the yellow line that linked all the stage elements
together, it was also felt that there wasn't a need for me to go to Frankfurt
for the technical week, once I'd submitted additional design elements
for both main settings. Act One had two corner pieces designed to establish
the limits of the room with column pieces (from existing stock items)
to emphasise the relative grandeur of the prime ministerial suite. For
Act Two I designed a simple extension to the flattage to add a second
wall of the room with a suggestion of the doorway into the more modest
room in the same hotel.
Young realised that, in reality, the
4.5 metre high panels
were not substantial (high) enough to sustain the metaphor we'd established
in Vienna (of a sense of the world outside the play of working people
going about their daily tasks) and cut them. They were dwarfed by the
theatre. As the managers of both theatres were resistant to the panels
in the first place I didn't ever attempt to broach the possibility of
vertical extensions to the panels which would naturally have incurred
significant extra cost. The yellow line went pretty soon after, I gather,
which I was slightly disappointed by, as I feel the set lost a certain
degree of its assurance as a consequence and became rather 'ordinary'.
However, Phil tells me he was more than pleased with the outcome, the
show was well received and, after all that IS what matters in the end
rather than petty design conceits?