Though Interiors and The Destroyed Room ran this year in a double bill at the Edinburgh International Festival, they were not designed together. Interiors was put together in 2009 and The Destroyed Room was mounted for this year. So as design projects they are completely independent.
But both have an element of voyeurism running through them. The voyeurism is much stronger in Interiors. The piece is inspired by a play by Maurice Maeterlinck called Interior and it is a story of a man who is having a conversation with someone outside a family's house. He has been sent to tell the family that their daughter has drowned. In our piece you can see the family through a hole cut in a wall in the middle of the stage, but you can't hear them.
Part of the brief was that the room had to be entirely naturalistic so nothing should break the audience's zooming into the world or feeling that it is a real living space. So all I did was a cut away into the front wall from which you can look into the scene.
Vanishing Point shows develop over a long period and they often change during rehearsals and sometimes when they are actually on. With this one we had committed ourselves [early on] and it was really important to have the sound and staging right in rehearsals. It couldn't have been a design that we just put on stage for the dress rehearsal.
In The Destroyed Room you watch a conversation between two people. But you are always aware that you are in a theatre. We had to make a space that was a domestic environment and a conversation starts to take place, which is also being filmed. There are two camera operators onstage and you see the action being filmed and the filmed action as well. You can switch between them.
I never want to be too descriptive with my design, but the cameras are about how we react, how we draw things from what we see on TV or social media or any other electronic devices.
I've taken a very different approach in both The Destroyed Room and Interiors with how much of the world is suggested onstage and how much of the world is imagined. That's a big thing in my work in general. I think there is always space left in the audience's head for imagining.
By Kai Fischer
Watch a clip of Interiors
- Edinburgh Festival
- Edinburgh International Festival
- Maurice Maeterlinck
- Vanishing Point
- Let's Talk About Sets
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