good dog: the elephant in the room
When our audiences walk into the auditorium for good dog the first thing they notice on stage is a massive 3 x 3 black cubic structure. It’s been described as ‘stark‘, ‘deceptively simple‘ and ‘ominously evoking dingy tower blocks‘.
This ominous block is an artistic concept endearingly named ‘The Elephant in the Room’, designed by Amelia Jane Hankin who also worked on our summer 2016 production bricks and pieces. Evoked by tower blocks, charred matches and an array of themes and emotions explored in the play, this set is as multiple as the narratives good dog serves to tell – the Elephant speaks, acts as a cornershop, a train platform, lights up and provides our Boy with a view, a place to reflect, observe and above all, get that lucky feeling.
Amelia has been kind enough to give us a moodboard and a generous slice of her mind so you can get to know what inspired her vision. Scroll a bit further and you’ll see a time-lapse of the set build at Watford Palace Theatre.
The top three images are of our model set.
The concept for the design was inspired by our response to the script in the form of feelings and themes such as frustration, anger, blurred lines, harsh realities, corruption, bottling up, bursting out, deconstruction, repetition, tension, hope, creativity, 80’s London riots and design flaws of council estate e.g. anonymity, merge of public and private space, lack of surveillance and low light.
We knew at the beginning the set wasn’t naturalistic but it needed to frame the actor and allow them to own and be in control of the space rather than vice versa, and that fire/burning/brightness should be represented in some way.
Mood board images include those of shadow, strong shafts of light, burning, charring, nooks, nothing spaces, repetitive lines and pattern in relation to blocks and lines of balconies and cages/bars and similarity of estate design to prison lay out design, closing in, light, suspense, faith spaces and eroding concrete.
good dog is at The Albany for its final stop and will be running until 11 March. Get your tickets.