This was a fun set to work on and made good use of the overhead projector for recreating the images accurately on to the flats.
This was a beautifully simple yet atmospheric set designed by Anna Kelsey comprising layers of individually dyed muslin hung in gradations of colour and size, with a simple splattered floor in silvers and greys.
This was a beautiful set to create, with intricate mouldings, silver leaf covering the entire thing and two way mirror. What's not to like? We developed a method to treat the entire set using layers of of colour, silver leaf and FEVs to give the space an etherial, aged look that lit beautifully.
"Its rich palette of swirling romanticism laced with the pervading sadness of encroaching middle age...David Woodhead’s design manages to conjure multiple locations, from acting digs and a theatrical stage to a grand country house, with the deftest of touches." The Stage
This set was built for Magdalen College School and performed at Oxford Playhouse. It comprised two static "brick" walls up-stage left and right with a flown wall up-stage centre that raised and lowered at various points during the performance to create different scenes. There were also trucks that appeared as scrap heaps and various piles of junk. The whole set was painted in monochrome although there were subtle touches of blues and ochres in the brick walls.
Our second set for The Watermill Theatre. The play, an Alan Ayckbourn farce, was performed inside for the first act and outside in the beautiful gardens for Act II. The interior was based on a large house that had to fit neatly into the Watermill auditorium. The outside elements pictured the preparations for the village fete.
"The set for Nesting has gone down very well – thank you all." - Lawrence T Doyle, the production manager at the Watermill.
This set was for a production of Ann Veronica at the Watermill Theatre in April 2017 by their Senior Youth Theatre It was designed by Libby Todd and the production shots were taken by Phillip Tull.
This set was commissioned by The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe for their production of My Fair Lady. We were given an image of a proposed design created by a Canadian design student who posted her designs in her blog "among the bobbins and thread". Our task was to design the arched structure so that it would be stable (no flying wires) on a revolve. It also needed panels to hang in the archways to create the various scenes that could be lifted easily by school students. We built double sided canvas flats with windows for the conservatory scene painted on one side and bookshelves for Professor Higgins' library on the other.
These cloths, designed by Alex, were painted in February 2017 to replace the original kitchen and castle garden cloths in our Beauty and the Beast set.
These cloths were designed and painted by DSH for the Redcar Pantomime Company. The brief was to supply "Disney" style cloths that could be used for a number of different productions.
This was a beautiful Peter Pan show Gauze commissioned by Imagine Theatre Productions for their 2016 pantomime season.
We were commissioned to design and build a set for the Mark Jermin Stage School's production of Legally Blonde which opened at The Grand Theatre in Swansea. Alex McPherson worked miracles with his design which was produced without a script! Here are some pictures of the model box. Unfortunately we were unable to take photographs of the set on stage due to the fit -up schedule.
This set was commissioned by The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds for their 2015 production of Cinderella. It was designed by Rebecca Lee. The photographs show elements of the set in our workshops.
Our brief was to design and engineer a stair case wide enough for 4 people to walk down side by side. It needed a break in the stairs and should be of the scale of old time musical numbers. Actors also needed to pass underneath easily from SR to SL. This is what we came up for Bradfield College's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in June 2016. The venue is the college's Greek style amphitheatre. They were very pleased with the result. A bonus was the school kitchen supplied our crew with a fantastic lunch on the day of the fit-up!
Every three years Cambridge Arts Theatre hosts productions for the ancient Greek Society. 2016 saw it producing a double bill with Sophlocles and then Lysistrata designed by Neil Irish. DSH have been building the sets for these productions for nearly 20 years.
Every three years a production of ancient Greek drama is staged in Cambridge, in the original language with English subtitles. The show has professional direction and design, and student actors and crew. In 2010, Agamemnon received high acclaim.
"I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for the beautiful job you did on the set for Twelfth Night. I really appreciate you putting so much work into it - the final paint finish was stunning. The set received much praise and I'm aware that a great deal of that was down to the finish of the build and your beautiful execution of my design."
"As the safety curtain rose on Act One murmurs could be heard throughout the auditorium coming from an audience who were in awe of a phenomenal set design. Thomas Roger's design is that of a mental institution, run down and neglected but for the odd patient roaming it! Broken windows, rusty old pipes and up-turned chairs, the set is exquisite in its detail." as quoted from the Cambridge Student newspaper
We have had a long association with The Arts Theatre in Cambridge that spans more than 20 years. Unfortunately, we were not very diligent at taking photographs as often the sets weren't clear of ladders,lights,crew etc on the day of the fit-ups and production shots, although promised, are not necessarily forthcoming. Nevertheless we are very proud of our long connection with the Arts Theatre and hope that it will last for a few more years to come.
Back in the days of true rep theatre, David and Sarah worked on a number of Peter Hall seasons at The Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead, where they had to produce sets for West End heading productions with a turn around of three weeks between each opening night. Working with eminent designers such as the late Carl Toms and Gerald Scarfe they managed both the new set builds and the set transfers simultaneously.
We were tasked to build a community theatre space in 2010 for the Childrens' International Arts Organisation (CIAO) that could be erected out doors, be safe for the general public to tour inside and on top of and dismantle easily to tour to different venues. The design was an Ark. We took the original concept and with our structural engineers, built a sectional steel framework that broke down into manageable sections to enable it to tour.
The National Trust property Polesden Lacey in Surrey has a beautiful purpose built open air theatre and for several years DSH supplied their season of three productions in consecutive weeks during June and July. This season has now been much reduced and productions by the Shakespeare Society on the open air stage are now limited to a few nights each June.