White Teeth

Playing catch up at the moment after a week with 4 openings in , this has been a very busy autumn full of a fantastic variety of projects! So White Teeth has been in gestation for many years now with Stephen Sharkey and Indhu Rubasingham working in close collaboration with composer Paul Englishby to adapt this iconic novel for the stage. I have been to numerous workshops and the design has evolved as the script and structure of the piece developed. Stephen has framed the narrative through the medium of a coma , in which Mad Mary reveals the secrets of Rosie’s parentage to her. The scenes collide , rewind and burst onto the stage, so the space had to very fluid and allow everything on wheels to be whizzed in.

The redevelopment of the Kiln has been fantastic, with the stage lowered to make it fully accessible and a catwalk grid created above. The removal of the scaffolding arrangement of the previous seating block has allowed the opening to the stage to expand and the whole space feels wider and more generous . Designs are able to breath now in the new space.What we haven’t got is any more actual width to walls of the room or depth , so my design had to consider the offstage world of storage as much as the onstage for all the needs of the multiple locations.I have used old photographs of the Kilburn High road to create a 3d perspective set in which the black and white photos seem to become real solid texture down stage, and fade into flat monochrome at the back. Slots at the sides allow all the props to arrive, without using any actual doors.Then the characters pop out in colour inspired by the fashions of the 80s and 90s, great fun to source with Natasha ward and the costume team.


White teeth by Stephen Sharkey, Kiln Theatre 2018. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, Designed by Tom Piper, Lighting by Olli Fenwick . Tony Jayawardena as Samud

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