Society of British Theatre Designers

I have been a member of the SBTD since 2002 and have proudly contributed to all the quadrennial UK designers exhibitions held since. Under the wonderful curation by Peter Ruthven Hall, Kate Burnett and Fiona Watt, I have sought not to just show my work but explain the design processes through documentary style videos. A selection of the work from the UK exhibit goes out to Prague for the international theatre design exhibition, PQ. This is then extended and goes on to be hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

2019 Changing Places

This was the first digital only exhibition and we were invited to submit up to three works including any elements of our creative practice that wasn’t necessarily theatre design.

Pinocchio – Jasmin Vardimon Company, 2017

Forest Revisited – Bob Cohan for Sadler’s Wells Elixir Festival, 2017

You can hear the documentary here

And watch performances here

Can you see me? – my first collection of experimental work exploring the visibility of me, a peri-menopausal woman in my 50’s.

My intentions are to present the intangible: memory, physical and emotional experiences and to challenge ideals of beauty. I am the lead designer and collaborate with my partner, Greg Brightwell (aka Latenites) to produce soundscapes. Much of the work comes from casts of my body in Jesmonite (an acrylic based plaster) The use of fabric and drapery, and an inclination to create shapes with a sense of movement, directly links with my costume design practice. Including soundscape and, most recently, projection of me ‘dancing’, blurs boundaries between visual art and performance design. In stillness and in movement, it is my performance. 

2015 Make Believe

‘The exhibition title, Make/Believe, indicates the vision, skills and commitment found in the diversity of performance design today. It will feature work that defines the edges of this artform-in-industry – in music festivals, large scale events such as the Olympics, Paralympics, community opera, found space and promenade performance, in digital, landscape, heritage and media contexts, as well as the intimate and highly valued work that designers are currently doing in education, health and various community settings’ Kate Burnett, Curator

To illustrate the very different design processes, Park requiring meticulous character analysis and Riot, a logistical as well as aesthetic challenge due to the huge cast, I showed costume / scene breakdown charts along side production photos. These were accompanied by footage from the 2005 and redesigned 2014 productions of Park and a documentary made about Riot Offspring

ParkJasmin Vardimon Company – an interesting process as it was a re-staging of a 2005 production. It highlighted Jasmin’s nurturing of the dancers individuality as they were encouraged to develop the characters, not just ‘step in to the shoes’ of the previous cast.

Riot Offspring A Sadler’s Well Creative Learning project, Artistic Director Jane Hackett, with a cast of 100 performers between the ages of 9 months and 70 years old. Riot Offspring was selected from the SBTD exhibition to be part of the UK’s special prize winning contribution to the Prague Quadrennial in 2017.

2011 Transformation and Revelation

7734 Jasmin Vardimon Company  In my experience of costuming contemporary dance, set design tends to be quite minimal.  In 7734, the space is inhabited by hundreds of items of clothing, at times covering the entire stage. This created new challenges. 

Photo: Ben Harries

Watch the documentary here

2007 Collaborators

Tavaziva Dance Collaborating with Movement Between 2004 and 2009 I designed the costumes for all the works created by Zimbabwean choreographer Bawren Tavaziva. His rich movement vocabulary, mixing contemporary, ballet and African traditional dance was a perfect vehicle for discussing the integral role of costume as a visual language .

Umdalo Kasisi Photo: Hilary Schedel

Watch the documentary here

2002 2D|3D

The Hobbit Vanessa Ford Productions

This was a huge undertaking, on a tight budget. I was successful in this commission due to my movement based approach to costume design. Although a long way from athletic dancers, it was the range of creatures and races in this well known tale that needed to be distinct, with costumes that both looked different to humans but also aided the actors to move differently in their many guises. This job was great fun because of the numerous materials that were used and had many quick change challenges!

You can see more photos on this page

Watch the documentary here