24.1.11

Wagner's 'Pocket Ring Cycle' for the Cochrane Theatre Designed by 'Performance: Design and Practise' students from Central Saint Martins Four Operas
One Ring
Nine Designers
Six Singers
Seventeen Roles
Once again, the Performance: Design and Practise students from Central Saint Martins took over the Cochrane Theatre in Holborn and collaborated with EPOC (The English Pocket Opera Company) to design an imaginative re-interpretation of a notorious piece of Wagnerian Opera. Faithful readers may remember a time just over a year ago (!) when I embarked on a similar brief designing for Purcell's A Midsummer Night's Dream, chosing to stage my scene in the orchestra pit: This time, roles were reversed and I was in the slightly less stressful position of being an intrepid audience member. It was a fascinating chance to see how others handle the limitations of the spaces on offer. The picture below is of the orchestra pit scenes from this play - the use of giant reflective mirrors gave the impression of greater depth (these scenes were set in the River Rhine!) Individual scenes and locations throughout the Cochrane Theatre were once again alloted to each designer in the promenade style. I was not familiar with the 'Pocket Ring Cycle' so the whole experience was dizzying to say the least. I snapped away whilst being swept along for the ride - it was probably the barmiest bit of theatre I've ever experienced. Highlights for me included:

#The dragon (and its destruction!) #The early scenes in the workshop space (a-mazing costume and set design here) and probably the strangest moment of all: #Watching one of the characters get shot by hunters, loaded into the back of an estate car, and then having to follow it, turning us into a funeral procession! It was made even stranger by us all getting stuck behind a lorry trying to get out of the Cochrane car park at the same time! Barmy! Amazing! I miss it!

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