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Art, Comedy, Opinion, Performance, Theatre

Importance versus time in set design

The other day I went to see a play, a comedy. While it was very good and enjoyable, all throughout  I had a feeling that something was just not right, but I couldn’t pinpoint what was it. The acting was great, the story was  funny and the set seemed fantastic. When I went home I replayed it several times in my head and then I realized that the thing bothering me was actually the arrangement of the set itself.

The majority of the action happened inside a country house but the most hilarious and important actions happened in/around a garden toilet. It probably seemed a right decision then from the set designer to put the toilet right in the middle of the stage. But the house situated on the far left side of the stage and that’s where the problem lied. In a bigger theatre it wouldn’t pose any problems but the inside of the theatre hall is arranged in a way that those sitting on the right side need to turn their heads and avert their gaze toward the sides if they want to see what happens on the far ends of the stage. This is quite unconfortable for long periods of time./Though most people probably don’t even consider it a problem, it’s still not the best way to arrange a set./

In my opinion time overrides importance in cases like this one. It’s better to put those constructions/props in the centre that will have the most action inside/around them. The exceptions to this rule may be those cases where isolation is a key to the story or it’s important to note the unusualness of the place ( like a prison cell or a room in a mental hospital).

So as much as I understand the designer’s decision to put the garden toilet in the middle which was both funny and showed the importance of it in the story I would have tried to find  another solution.


About Flypaperpaint

Fantasy illustrations, comics, character design & children's book illustrations.


3 thoughts on “Importance versus time in set design

  1. Stage design can really make or break a show. I wonder if it was easier somehow for the actors or lighting design to work with what they had.

    Posted by mistylayne | June 6, 2012, 12:49 am
  2. That is truly sad making. 😦

    Posted by mistylayne | June 6, 2012, 10:42 pm

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June 2012
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