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UAL Research Online


Burrows, David (2007) Collaborators. [Show/Exhibition]

Type of Research: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Burrows, David

This quadrennial exhibition, funded by The National Lottery through Arts Council England, was organised by the Society of British Theatre Designers. The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue celebrated work made by 152 British theatre designers between 2003 and 2007 and explored the importance of collaboration within theatre design.

Burrows was invited to include his work for the productions of ‘Feelgood', (Writer, Alistair Beaton, Director, Phil Young, 2005), 'The Dinner' (Writer, Leah Vitali, Director, Alkis Kritikos, 2003) and ‘The Tunnel of Obsession' (Writer, Ernesto Sabato, Director, David Graham-Young 2003, 2004). All these productions reflect the dynamics of Burrows’ longstanding collaborative relationship as a designer with these directors.

For ‘Feelgood’ the application of low cost wireless video transmission designed for domestic security was tested by Burrows in production as an alternative to more expensive video solutions. In ‘The Tunnel’ Burrows explored the ways in which a multi-locational setting could be achieved through lighting and electronic effects. Burrows worked closely with Kritikos on the ‘The Dinner’ to achieve a visual and aural framework that supported the play’s themes of social disintegration and violence. Burrows experimented with a musical score by Steve Reich to underpin the action.

The performers, in a constrained costume schema of monochrome and rhinestones, sat round an internally illuminated glass table on black serpent tailed dining chairs. These were set against a background dominated by a fractured coloured glass window which all served to underscore the play’s escalating tensions.

Other Contributors:
Other (Writer)Beaton, Alistair
DirectorYoung, Phil
Other (Writer)Vitali, Leah
DirectorKritikos, Alkis
Other (Writer)Sabato, Ernesto
DirectorGraham-Young, David
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Research Interests
All aspects of theatre design and visual aspects of performance practice from the latter half of the twentieth century onwards especially.

David Burrows is a theatre designer who has worked extensively in the UK and Europe. Alongside his professional practice as a designer he has worked in higher education for more than thirty years and is now Head of the Theatre School at Wimbledon College of Art.

Current Research
'The Life and Work of Richard Negri' is a project to acquire key information and perspectives on the development of post-war theatre design, from the ideas and teaching methods developed at the Old Vic Theatre School under Michel Saint-Denis, where Negri studied after serving in the Royal Navy during the second world war, to Negri's design and building of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in 1977. The study also examines the dilemma in teaching and learning between the infallible guru (the Negri model) at one extreme, and the current student-centred norm at the other.

Long-term collaborators
Phil Young has worked with many designers in the course of his work in the UK and Europe (especially Germany) over the last thirty years, and has sustained his professional relationship with Burrows for twenty-two of these. They have collaborated on seven productions, from 'Crystal Clear' (Wyndhams, 1983) to Alistair Beaton's 'Feelgood' (The English Theatres in Vienna and Frankfurt) in 2005.
Alkis Kritikos is a Greek actor/director who has worked mainly in the UK, where he trained in the late 1970s. Burrows has collaborated on 10 of Kritikos' productions from 'Miss Julie' by Strindberg in 1981 (Sir Richard Steele, London) to 'Roast Beef' by Leah Vitali at Riverside Studios in 2004.

David Graham-Young is a more recent collaborator. A distinguished translator of contemporary play texts, particularly from Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish, he is artistic director and founder of Contemporary Stage Company for which Burrows has designed the last five productions.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: collaboration, theatre, design, lighting
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 10 January 2007
Funders: The National Lottery
Related Websites: http://www.davidburrows.com, http://www.contemporarystage.co.uk, http://www.richardnegri.co.uk
Related Websites:
Event Location: Nottingham Trent University
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2009 16:22
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2010 14:41
Item ID: 1926
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1926

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