Box of Delights

“What is the point of a box of delights if you can’t open it ?” so says one of the children in this fantastic adaptation of the classic children’s story by John Masefield adapted by Piers Today.  A gem to design in the faded splendour of Wilton’s, with a lovely ensemble creative team with Justin Audibert at the helm. The books pre date  C.S Lewis  and Rowling, but are obvious source materials for later twentieth century fantasy children writing, with a box that has magical powers , can make you small as mouse or travel as swift as a falcon, and transport you through time and space if you enter into it (sounds familiar !) . There was a BBC adaptation in the 80s which i missed, too busy doing my own student drama, so i knew we had a loyal fan base who who have the images of a six part mini drama in their heads.

The approach had to be inventive, imaginative and non naturalistic. I worked closely with Sam Wyer to create puppets (solutions to the scale problem) and Video designer Nina Dunn and Lighting Anna Watson to evoke location without being too literal. The set ended up as a towering stack of cupboards through which characters entered, disappeared or were transformed. A deliberately conscious nod to Lewis and the endless fascination of hide and seek and dressing up in clothes found in wardrobes. A great cast led by Matthew kelly, who played both evil and good wizards, and  Josephina Gabrielle  brought the characters to life brilliantly.

Guardian review

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