I might be designing a show that I have already designed before. Why would a designer do this? You would think that designing it once would be enough, why twice? Many reasons can occur, larger budget, more builders and in this case I just really like this show.
This show is an epic piece, Les Miserables. The hardest part about designing a show this well known is that everyone will be expecting the large and expensive West End or Broadway look. A great example would be the classic film The Wizard of Oz. Would anyone expect to see the silver slippers worn by a twelve year old as written about? No they wouldn't. They want to see a copy cat version in the 1939 film. It makes them feel comfortable.
I am anxious to see the Dallas Theatre Center production of this in the summer. This theatre always has tons-o-money to build the sets and make the costumes with. But the bigger question is how are they going to design this show and still keep the integrity of the design that patrons are expecting? Will they completely change it up. Or is the script so specific that they must in fact do what has been done before. I can tell you when I designed this show, in a really odd, little theatre, I changed up the design. The production ended up getting a great review from Broadwayworld.com! Success!
Watch the video below and note Mr. Mackintosh's (original West End Producer) feel of relief when explaining this all new production and how the audience embraced it. Because if they didn't it would have bombed and the million put into it would have been lost.
Click here to the pictures of this show the first time I designed it.
Enjoy reading my encounters in and around theatre set design.