Long Days Journey

After the whirling challenge of the multi locational Great Wave at the NT it was refreshing to take on the singular challenge of creating the Tyrone household for O’Neill’s great play at the Citizens. The clue is in the title , a long journey through one day in one location. There are plenty of naturalistic details to realise, but at its heart Dominic Hill and I agreed that it was more of a purgatorial space in which all the characters act out a seemingly endless agonising spiral into the depths of their addictions. A world from which they could see no way of escape, bound by love guilt and familial hate. The design developed rapidly into a stripping away of the skin of the house to reveal its bleached bones. During a design meeting Dominic happened to notice some polythene i had up in a room i was repainting and liked that evocative misty quality, so we decided to skin the rooms in plastic. This allowed many parallel scenes to take place, the journeys upstairs, mary playing on the piano could all been seen through the skin and bones of the room, all visible through an abstract fog.

The space was dominated by a double flight of stairs topped by a mannequin clothed in Mary’s Wedding dress , which she eventually ascends to retrieve , a symbol of lost happiness and love, beautifully lit by Ben Ormerod.

the Guardian

directed by Dominic Hill, designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Ben Ormerod

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