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Dinomania


by James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney.

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Dinomania


by James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney.

Dinomania- by Kandinsky Theatre at The New Diorama Theatre //Co-Writers:James Yeatman & Lauren Mooney//Direction: James Yeatman//Performer/Devisers: Janet Etuk, Hamish MacDougall, Sophie Steer & Harriet Webb//Co-Design: Naomi Kuyck-Cohen & Joshua Gadsby//Music Composition and performance: Zac Gvirtzman// Stage Manager on book: Hanne Schulpé //Dramaturgy: Al Smith//Associate Designer: Lizzy Leech//Consultant Production Manager: Heather Doole//Scenic Art: Amy Pitt//Production Photography:The Other Richard.

 

165 million years ago, an iguanodon is killed in the heart of a rainforest. Time passes, the rainforest becomes the South Downs, and every part of the iguanodon degrades and disappears - except one tooth.

197 years ago, in safe, affluent 1820s Sussex, a country doctor finds the tooth. But where does it fit in the story of an earth created by God just 6,000 years ago?

Dinomania is a story of scientific endeavour, bitter rivalry and terrible lizards.
 


Inspired by a question of what the landed gentry might look like today,
we set out on a journey to create a space as gentile and gaudy at that of the
first victorian geologists and palaeontologists.

Inspired by the tacky homes of the mega-rich and beguiled by the odd calmness
of funeral homes and crematoriums—we were interested in creating a playful space
to hold an epic story of humanity trying to come to terms with their place in a world
millions of years old.

 
Wildly inventive theatre company Kandinsky return with a head-spinningly smart show about Victorian fossil hunters...

...a playful, exhilarating and bloody interesting 85 minutes of skits, sketches and scenes – the imagination of their content matched by the imagination of their staging. Fossils are represented by stiff, starchy scraps of fabric. The remorseless scythe of scientific history by a plastic gun....


....No one else makes theatre quite like this.
— ★★★★★ TimeOut
Consistently smart and inventive...
— ★★★★ The Stage
 
Brilliant comic timing... I have rarely seen such an electric cast
— ★★★★ A Younger Theatre
 
 
Operatic cries of ‘Deus Omnibus’ (‘God in all things’) initiate a melodramatic tone that’s nicely paralleled in Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen’s design – a room encircled by cream damask curtains with the piano upstage centre. The operatic register continues throughout and hilariously colours the absurd arguments about science and religion, and a small plinth at the centre of the stage evokes both a museum setting as well as a lecture hall...

... For Kandinsky, this is yet another nuanced, reflective, and highly creative approach to theatre-making. Original and perceptive, this is storytelling at its best.
— Exeunt Magazine
Kandinsky’s Dinomania takes place in a theatre—the New Diorama—but in Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen’s design it also looks as if it might be taking place in a particularly tasteful funeral parlour complete with a pianist (Zac Gvirtzman) performing throughout.
The effect is of watching a silent movie with words.

The funeral parlour is appropriate for this story about old bones, dust and the early Victorian palaeontologist Gideon Mantell who, years before Darwin published the Origin of the Species, was already stirring up controversy with his discovery of a 165-million-year old tooth on the South Downs and his belief in evolution, or as he called it ‘progression’.

This is such intelligent work from a seriously talented company...You leave the theatre reminded that progress has to be fought for over and over again, and we are mere specks of dust caught in time’s sharp teeth.
— Lyn Gardener for StageDoor
 
 
In the brilliant custard-draped design by Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen, organic matter is represented by clothing – a lovely, homely reminder that these debates are all, really, about us, our sense of comfort and feeling at home in the vast sweep of history. Gideon’s patients (mostly in the throes of childbirth or cholera) are jumpers and trousers stuffed like cushions. The fossils he finds in his spare hours look like the same garments but oddly flattened and freeze-dried – life with the life sucked out of it.
— David Jays, in his 'Performance Monkey' blog.
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A Kettle of Fish


by Brad Birch. 

A Kettle of Fish


by Brad Birch. 

A Kettle of Fish- by Brad Birch at The Yard//Direction: Caitlin McLeod//Design: Ingrid Hu//Composition and Sound: Max Pappenhiem//Video: Tegid Cartwright//Stage Manager on book: Devika Ramcharan//ASM:Isobel Eagle-Wilsher//Production Manager: Seb Cannings//Production Electrician: Alex Ramesden//Production Photography: Helen Murray.

 

She’s on a plane. She’s 30,000 feet in the air. And on the ground, back home, an emergency is unfolding.

Lisa is on her way to a new country for her work. She has spent months learning. She’s read the books, she’s watched the YouTube videos. She knows this business.

But something has happened thousands of feet below, hundreds of miles away. A disaster. A tragedy. Something that prompts her to question what is more important to her; where she has come from? Or where she is going?
 

Have a look at the process of designing A Kettle of Fish on my blog.
Where you can also look at some of the reference imagery from this production.

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Trap Street


by James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney.

 

Trap Street


by James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney.

 

Trap Street - Kandisnsky at The New Diorama then Schaubühne/Direction: James Yeatman//Co Designers: Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen//Composition: Zac Gvirtzman//Devised With The Company: Amelda Brown, Danusia Samal, Hamish MacDougall//Stage Manager: Elenor Dear//Producer: Lauren Mooney//Photography: Richard Davenport.

 

It’s 1961 and the concrete’s just been poured for a brand new housing estate. It’s beautiful, not because of the clean lines, indoor toilets and wide windows, but because the idea behind it is beautiful. This is the future, and it’s for everyone. It’s 2018 and the last tower of the estate is about to come down. The dream that saw it built has long since died and now the estate has to follow suit to make way for new buildings, based on new ideas. This is the future, whether you like it or not. 
 

In our second co-design, Naomi and I set out on a journey of creating some sort of monolithic monument to brutalism without succumbing to the sexy and visually overwhelming world of concrete-loving. Carving out a space to tell an intergenerational story of working class desire, hope, dreaming, and failure in relation to where we choose to call home. 

 
This is a timely critique of both the flawed utopianism of the Sixties and the chimera of ‘affordable housing’. Angry yet humane, it’s intended not as a definitive statement about the fraying of urban communities, but as a spur for further debate.
— ★★★★ Evening Standard
 
So intricate and subtle, not to mention enjoyable, that it takes a while before you realise your blood pressure has been rising because the housing system is so utterly fucked. The huge amount of research that has clearly gone into the show is made human, as it looks at the (im)possibility of sustaining a sense of community in close-quarters living.
— ★★★★ - TimeOut
Trap Street slips between these two time-periods seamlessly throughout, slotting in documentary snippets and small skits around the edges, and somehow managing to squeeze the entire history of post-war housing into one show. In the tale of a collapsing tower block, Kandinsky find a potent symbol for the fraying fabric of our society. This compelling, compact show is not overtly political.
— ★★★★ The Stage
 
That’s where Trap Street is most successful and most moving. Dreams mothers have for their children, visions of modernity, hopes for upward mobility and aspirations for community are all explored. It examines not just the act of dreaming, but the difficulty in reconciling our dreams with reality, including their shortcomings and enduring effects. Regardless of whether they are true or realized, dreams are like trap streets, etched into existence. Right up to its Jane Austen allusions, there in the background all along, Trap Street effectively maps the process of British dreaming, and how that process is permanently written into the landscape itself.
— Exeunt Magazine
Designers Joshua Gadsby and Naomi Kuyck-Cohen provide a plain white angular space for the modernist home that Andrea ultimately chooses to fight for, placed in front of an ironic backcloth showing a palatial mansion in rolling hills. Does it just pick up on the reference to the Pemberley House of Austen’s Pride And Prejudice or is it saying that good housing has always been the preserve of those that can afford it.

It makes for a smart and witty backdrop to a wonderfully subtle, un-preachy but inherently political play that ultimately tells us we have the housing crisis we have brought down on our own heads. And it’s time we did something about it.
— British Theatre Guide
 
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Returning To Haifa


by Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace, based on the novella by Ghassan Kanafani.

Returning To Haifa


by Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace, based on the novella by Ghassan Kanafani.

Returning to Haifa - At The Finborough Theatre

Direction:Caitlin McLeod
Design:Rosie Elnile
Light:Joshua Gadsby
Sound: David Gregory
Movement Direction: Lanre Malaolu

Producer: Lynne McConway
Production Manager: Ben Karakashian
Photography: Scott Rylander

 

“You haven’t asked, but yes, you both may stay in our house for the time being. And use our things. 
I figure it’ll take a war to settle it all.”

In 1948, Palestinian couple Said and Safiyya fled their home during the Nakba.
Now, in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, the borders are open for the first time in twenty years,
and the couple dare to return back to their home in Haifa. They are prepared – of course – to find someone else living where they once did.
Yet nothing could prepare Said and Safyya for the encounter they both desire and dread: the son they had to leave behind,
and what he has now become…

Amongst Rosie Elnile’s open spacial proposition light provides a democratic and un-assuming space for the journey to unfold.  

★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ WhatsOnStage
★★★★ The Upcoming

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dreamplay


by Sarah Bedi after Strindberg.
 

dreamplay


by Sarah Bedi after Strindberg.
 

 

 

Dreamplay - Baz Productions at The Vaults
by Sarah Bedi and The Company, after Strindberg. 

 Direction: Sarah Bedi
Dramturgy: Emma Luffingham
Scenographers: Naomi Kuyck-Cohen & Joshua Gadsby
Music: Laura Moody
Choreography: Ffion Cox-Davies

The Company:
Colin Hurley
Michelle Luther
Laura Moody
Jade Ogugua
 

Stage Manager: Libby Spencer
Producer: Georgina Bednar
Associate Producers: Liz Counsell & Catherine Baliey
Production Electricians: Dom Cook,  Jack Berry, Phil Burke, Lara Davison & Robbie Butler
Design Assistants: Alice Cousins, Jessica Skyes, Sasha Tanvi Marni, Alex Purvis & Rebecca Hallen
Costume Supervisors: Rosemary Maltezos & Lia Webber
Construction: Felix Gillies-Creasey, Grace Craven, Harley Kuyck-Cohen & Sebastian Cannings


Photography: Cesare De Giglio

 

Strindberg's epic play 'A Dream Play' is reimagined in a new contemporary devised production. I co-designed this production with
Naomi Kuyck-Cohen, in an attempt to explore what happens when you remove the boundaries in design roles. 

We enjoyed a long process of interrogation with director Sarah Bedi before the production was taken into rehearsals. It was imperative for us that the visual design of Dreamplay didn't distract too far from the extremely vibrant talents of the playful and energetic cast.
Working to embrace the cavernous, characterful and sometimes absurd Vaults we set about a language of directness and simplicity.

A special thanks to: Sparks, Hampstead Theatre & Arcola Theatre. 


Head over to my blog to hear more about the process of designing this production.  
Naomi Kuyck-Cohen lays out some fantastic visual documentation from our process here.

Naomi Kuyck-Cohen and Joshua Gadsby’s set is phenomenal, almost art rather than a set, and they use The Vaults to it’s full potential. The diversity of the set and the way it was tailored to each scene was the very foundation of the show.
— West End Wilma
dreamplay’s sequence of disjointed scenarios is abstruse yet provocatively familiar, at times mischievously amusing, at others deeply discomforting.
— The Stage
This reimagining feels like a presentation of the original fever dream as might have been experienced by Strindberg himself. Here the audience becomes Agnes as they descend into the depths of The Vaults.
— The Upcoming
Crammed with memorable snippets, this ambitious adaptation is free enough to pin down the theme precisely. And if it’s deep meaningful questions you like, these are packed in with forceful proficiency.
— Once A Week Theatre
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1972: The Future of Sex


by The Wardrobe Ensemble.

1972: The Future of Sex


by The Wardrobe Ensemble.

1972: The Future of Sex -ArtsEd//Direction: Liz Bacon//Design: Georgia De Grey//Sound: Phil Bell//DSM: Ella Stewart.

 

THIS IS IT! 1972! Sex is rampant and around every corner and the kids are saying yes! Yes! Yes! The contraceptive pill is available, David Bowie is on Top of the Pops and women’s rights are having a moment. The young know what it means to be alive and everyone is groovy… Except for Brian. In 1972, Brian is confused. Christine is watching Deep Throat, and Anna is falling for a woman. And Anton? Anton struggles to leave his bedroom.
 

Head over to my blog to see reference imagery for this production.   

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The Three Sisters


by Anton Chekov in a translation by Mike Alfreds. 

The Three Sisters


by Anton Chekov in a translation by Mike Alfreds. 

The Three Sisters  for Royal Central School of Speech & Drama//Direction: Mike Alfreds//Design: Max Dorey//Sound: Lex Kosanke////Stage Manager:Dougie Wilson//Deputy Stage Manager:Emma Ryan//Photography: Patrick Baldwin.

 

Chekhov’s tragi-comedy The Three Sisters, is set at the turn of the last century in an unspecified provincial town, possibly Perm in the Urals, some thousand miles east of Moscow.

Over a period of about four years the play deals with the complicated relationships between a household and some soldiers from an artillery brigade based in the town.

In the characters’ search for a purpose in life and a place to belong, they are constantly buffeted by the changing circumstances of their existence.
 

This production presented another opportunity to really push the boundaries of how we might tell a story with light. Set on an almost entirely bare stage the company use a range of rehearsal props to inhabit the story in the now. It was exciting to get back to form which acknowledged the act of creating a performance--as such light had to be able to fit a rehearsal aesthetic whilst also providing pace and spacial dynamic. My personal enquiry was concerned with how once might create naturalism without any architectural assistance.

Head over to my blog to see reference imagery for this production.   

 
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The Laramie Project


by Moises Kaufman and The Tectonic Theatre Group.

The Laramie Project


by Moises Kaufman and The Tectonic Theatre Group.

1972: The Future of Sex -ArtsEd//Direction: Holly Race Roughan//Design: Georgia De Grey//Sound: Phil Bell//DSM: Ella Stewart.

 

n October 6th of 1998, Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence in the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. He died 6 days later. His torture and murder became a watershed historical moment in America that highlighted many of the fault lines in our culture.
A month after the murder, the members of Tectonic Theater Project travelled to Laramie and conducted interviews with the people of the town. From these interviews they wrote the play The Laramie Project.
 
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Still Ill


by Al Smith, Lauren Mooney and James Yeatman.

 

Still Ill


by Al Smith, Lauren Mooney and James Yeatman.

 

Still Ill - Kandisnsky at The New Diorama

 Direction: James Yeatman
Lighting Design: Joshua Gadsby

Video Design: Harry Yeatman
Composition: Zac Gvi


Devised With The Company:
Sophie Steer
Hamish MacDougall
Harriet Webb

Stage Manager: Maia Alvarez Stratford
Producer: Lauren Mooney

Photography: David Monteith - Hodge

How does it feel to be told there is nothing physically wrong with you, when your brain tells you you're sick?
Still Ill Explores FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) a condition that is as common on
neurology wards as MS. 


Playful, funny, eloquent and emotionally devastating. It's the closest I've ever got to my pipe dream
of work that plays with form and theatricality and still allows room
for heart-clenching emotional honesty.

 

An intricately-layered, exquisitely detailed piece from rising stars Kandinsky
— ★★★★ - TimeOut
Fascinating, layered, intelligent
— ★★★★ The Stage
A sophisticated, intriguing and enlightening production
— ★★★★ London Theatre1
Brilliantly crafted, exacting, and endlessly inventive, Still Ill is a complex and meticulous journey into the world of undiagnosis
— Exeunt Magazine
Breathtaking stuff… an enormously affecting bit of theatre
— ★★★★★ London City Nights
Still Ill doesn’t attempt explanations—there are none—but shows just what it’s like.....Kandinsky show how it feels. Still Ill demands our tolerance and understanding.
— British Theatre Guide
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The Devils


by John Whiting, from a book by Aldous Huxley

 

The Devils


by John Whiting, from a book by Aldous Huxley

 

The Devils  for Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.//Direction: JBen Naylor and Anna Healy// Designer: Max Dorey//Lighting:Joshua Gadsby//Sound: Dan Balfour///Photography: Patrick Baldwin.

 

Originally commissioned for the RSC’s first season in 1961, John Whiting’s dramatisation of Aldous Huxley’s historical novel The Devils of Loudun was itself later adapted by Ken Russell into one of the most shocking and controversial films of the 1970s.
 

In 'The Devils' an epic hour and forty five minutes relentlessly unfolded in to form a horrific painting of the depths of human depravity. Endlessly shifting and moving, me aimed to constantly reframe the sparce empty space. 

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Alligators


by Andrew Keatley.

Alligators


by Andrew Keatley.

 

 

Alligators - Hampstead Theatre, Downstairs
by Andrew Keatley


 Direction: Simon Evans
Set Design: 
Polly Sullivan
Sound Design and Composition: Ed Lewis

Photography: Robert Day

 

Secondary schoolteacher Daniel Turner has been accused of the historical sexual abuse of a student. In Andrew Keatley's  thriller, audiences are  shown the impact of criminal allegations on a small family. But the question remains...did he do it? 

In Polly Sullivan's traverse staged living room - cum - jury stand the hyper realism guides and misleads the audience.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream


by William Shakespere

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream


by William Shakespere

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream - For Royal Central, MA Acting Classical at The Webber Douglas

 Direction: Stephen Hudson
Scenography: Andreas Skourtis
Lighting Design: Joshua Gadsby
Sound Design: Joe Dines
Movement Director Ingrid Mackinnon
Associate Director: Tricia Hitchcock
Assistant Designer: Vivianna Chiotini


Production Manager: Vivienne Clavering
SM: Fiona Kennedy
DSM: Louise Brown


Production Photography: Robert Day
Documentary Photography: Andreas Skourtis 

Athens – defined by its relationship to law, war and the patriarchy that rules it.
Four lovers flee the city in order to find what they believe will bring them happiness and become lost in a forest:
a place where inhibition and convention are shredded and where nothing is what it appears to be;
a place where they discover that living outside of the society that has moulded them can bring more than they bargained for.

Head over to my blog to see reference imagery for this production.  

 

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The Sound & The Fury


Devised and performed by students from BA (Hons) Acting Collaborative and Devised Theatre with students from BA (Hons) Theatre Practice from the novel by William Faulkner

The Sound & The Fury


Devised and performed by students from BA (Hons) Acting Collaborative and Devised Theatre with students from BA (Hons) Theatre Practice from the novel by William Faulkner

The Sound & The Fury  for Royal Central School of Speech & Drama - ACTING CDT at The Pleasance Theatre.
Direction: Sasha Milivic Davies//Design: Delphine Jaquess//Sound: Vili Chaushev////Stage Manager:Gemma Davies-Starr//Deputy Stage Manager:Kathryn Sanders//Assistant Stage Managers:Millie Mack, Charlotte Owen//Co-Production Sound Engineers: Sam Aimson, Beth Duke, Will Thompson//Production Manager:Jack Boissieux//Cheif Electrician: Tom Courtier//Photography:Patrick Baldwin.

 

This classic novel set in Mississippi in the first quarter of the of the 20th century traces the decline of the once aristocratic Compson family. The tale is narrated by the three Compson brothers: an idiot, an academic and an embezzler and the family servant, Dilsey Gibson.

This is a story for our times about frustrated identity and the power struggle between men and women. William Faulkner’s richly textured writing weaves together luscious fragments of imagery and compelling characters, inspiring this subtle and beautiful theatrical portrait of a decaying family.
 

 

The inquiry behind this design was to try and stage the anarchy and discord of frantic, messy youth cultures. ‘The Sound & The Fury’ is a fragmented crazed storytelling experience. It’s form is fluid and through a non-chronological timeline you come to understand. This journey of piecing together was of great importance for me. I was inspired by the fragmentary nature of the storytelling experience—This paired with the influences of the white trash America of Harmony Korine’s work, and the flatness of light and stage images in much of eastern European theatre, led to the perusal of a lighting language that dared to be ugly and rough around the edges. The telling of this story felt like a little bit of a rebellion, so therefore I too had to rebel against the revived wisdom is self indulgent clean high contrast theatrical lighting. 

Head over to my blog to see reference imagery for this production.