Design and designer in contemporary British theatre production.
The thesis is an interrogation of both process and reception of contemporary
scenography. The definition 'contemporary' embraces professional public
performance since 1980. Theatre design is now more accurately described as
scenography, but as theatre designers in. Britain rarely describe themselves as
scenographers, both terms are adopted.
The thesis is divided into two sections followed by. an appendix.
Diagrammatically, we may see the performance product as central. The first section of
the thesis - chapters one to four - reflects the process of image reception as a journey,
situating the spectator as reader. In chapter one I examine the influence of preproduction
visual material and the architectural context of the performance. Chapter
two deconstructs the theory of intention as applicable to image. The aim of the third
chapter is to point up the deficiencies and limitations of scenographic interpretation
in published criticism. This leads, in chapter four, to the provision of an alternative
methodology for accurate detailing of both process and intended effect by applying
the terminology of classical rhetoric.
The perspective changes in the second half with designer as protagonist. Chapters
five and six form a debate centred on material from the Appendix interviews. I
examine contemporary scenographic theory as offered up by designers as practitioners
and investigate the role and function of the theatre designer within the collaborative process of theatre production