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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Video Designer

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

JULY 2019

Directors- CJ Mitchell and Jules Black

Lighting and Set Designer- Declan Randall

Sound Designer- Paul Wyse

Leatherhead Theatre

FEBRUARY 2020

Directors- Suki Poutney

Lighting Designer- Robert Henderson

For my third design job I moved into the Yvonne Arnaud main space where I worked on their Youth Theatre production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The previous year, I had worked as video programmer alongside designer Declan Randall on their Youth Theatre production of Bugsy Malone, so this put me in a good position for my first video design outside of a university setting. Declan returned as the LX and set designer, so really helped when it came to fleshing out my video design to have him there as a guiding hand. 

 

Together we came up with a ‘storybook’ concept with me utilising page turn transitions to move from scene to scene. I also used a watercolour-esque effect on all of the content. This is the first time I felt I was acting as a designer, with a clear visual language and style, rather than just fulfilling simple requests from directors. This is where I first discovered my love for bringing movement to a stage through projection in an otherwise static scene. My favourite content where I achieved this was a scene located by the beavers dam where I created a rushing river in the background. I have a video of the director telling the young actors on stage to turn around and see what I had designed, followed by lots of gasps of amazement from the cast. As a young designer those kind of moments are so memorable and affirming. 

 

 

This was the project where I realised video design was definitely the path I was going to follow. I was at the end of my second year at university and had been planning to become a stage manager, hence the double role during Mack and Mabel. During tech I had Liza Cheal, the venue technical manager come up and say how brilliant she thought the design was. I had gone through the whole process a bit tentatively as I didn’t have much self confidence, but enjoying myself nonetheless. This comment really showed me video design was both something that brought me joy and I was quite good at. At the beginning of my final year at university I left stage management behind and told my course leader I was no longer a stage manager and was going down the video route.This caused much confusion as this was not actually something the course offered…. But, I carved out a pathway for myself, including completing a 6 week work placement at the National Theatre and accompanying Declan to China to programme video for Pride and Prejudice. 

 

I got a phone call the next year from Leatherhead Youth Theatre, asking me to video design their staging of the production with their young performers after seeing my work at the Arnaud, hence the secondary credit. It was a great challenge to alter my original content to work in a different space and, of course, with a different Lighting Designer.

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