As Britain’s longest-serving theatre critic, Michael Billington is uniquely placed to reflect on the changes he has witnessed in design on stage, which range from Pictorialism via post-Brechtian clarity to our own eclectic era of multimedia sophistication. This passionate arts commentator looks back on a lifetime of watching the creative arts at work.
This is one of a series of ten annual lectures, organised with University of the Arts London and supported by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation. The series is named after the seminal British designer Jocelyn Herbert, whose approach altered the way directors and audiences came to view stage design, and contributed to a fundamental shift in the relationship between writer, director and designer. She was a member of the Building Committee for Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre, and went on to mount productions in all three auditoriums, being particularly renowned for her collaborations with the director, John Dexter, and with the poet, playwright and director, Tony Harrison. Her archive of over 6,000 drawings, note and sketchbooks, correspondence, masks, photographs, posters and programmes, research materials, diaries and ground plans now lives at the National Theatre’s Archive, and is open to all by appointment: nationaltheatre.org.uk/archive; [email protected]; 020 7452 3135.
Photograph by Daniel Farmer.
Tickets £7 (concessions £5)