Tamburlaine at TFANA

Another epic project in what is becoming an epic year. The two parts of Tamburlaine the Great by Marlowe to be performed as a  single evening in Theatre for a New Audience’s new theatre in Brooklyn, New York . Directed by Michael Boyd ,with whom I think I have now done over thirty productions , which is a bit alarming! We know each other’s taste very well and there is a short hand to our working. Especially for work from the Renaissance canon, which was written for bare stages with little scenery and a very strong relationship between the players and the audience, we have passionately espoused the advantages of working in a thrust theatre, we even built two in Stratford upon Avon! We tend to create a single environment within which the actors can tell their story, so the ‘set’ does not illustrate location in a direct way, instead we allow the poetry to tell us where we are and work with costume to give a sense of place. I believe in the strong power of objects within an empty space to trigger the imagination of the audience to tell them where they are and allow the mind’s eye to fill in the rest, something I learned working for Peter Brook in the Bouffes du Nord in Paris on his production of the Tempest. As Theseus says in Midsummer Night’s Dream ‘“truth and tongue tied simplicity speak most to my capacity”, i.e. less is more!
A familiar theme in working with Michael, is the way he has plotted the through line of the actors parts very carefully, so that we see a cyclical pattern in the foes of Tamburlaine who rise and fall to be reborn as a new character, often in view by using a new top coat to suggest their next character. We want the audience to keep with them the memory of that actor’s past characters and there is no attempt to add a wig or disguise, rather celebrate the story telling with the simplest of costume changes.The colours or silhouettes remaining the same as the actor is reborn in a new role. Great review in NY times

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Tamburlaine Theatre for a new Audience Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Matthew Richards

Comments

  1. Janice Saunders says:

    If you are Tom who lived on the riverside at Hammersmith Bridge I had the pleasure of working as help for your Mother whilst my boys were at playgroup in Barnes. I loved cleaning in the beautiful house full of fascinating things. You were very young at that time. Congratulations on your Award.

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