The set, designed by Catherine Morgan, is simple yet multifunctional, adapting easily to become everything from factory to hospital, nightclub to kebab van. The concealed mirrors are a nice touch too, allowing for an increasing amount of self-examination from the characters as the play goes on.
(Theatre things 2nd july)
The movement, loudness and physical attitude of the women was spot on throughout as they worked their way round Catherine Morgan’s simple but highly versatile and very effective set.
(London Theatre 1st July)
The small space at Theatre503 is well used with a simple set representing the factory floor, nightclubs, flats and a kebab van with the use of a few simple props, clever lighting and background music.
(West End Wilma 1st July 16)
Sarah Meadows’s production conveys the rawness and desperation of the characters, who work and binge on Catherine Morgan’s aptly abstract set, with its attractive silver metal and mirror ambiance, which contrasts nicely with the primary reds and blues of their glad-rags.
(My theatre mates 1st July16)
Designer Catherine Morgan’s set is industrially austere but windows open like an advent calendar to bring in light and mirrors. Reflection is very much a theme here.
(London Pub Theatres 2nd July 16)
The set is succinct, designed by Catherine Morgan, it flips from home to factory to club seamlessly. In fact, I much prefer the simplicity of it, as it allows us to track the characters closely and focus on what they’re saying.
(A Younger Theatre 4th July 16)
Catherine Morgan’s simple set is a remarkable continuous line that forms the landscape Char and Luce barrel through on a day-to-day basis. As soothing to look at as Elroy’s voice is to hear, it’s metallic smoothness is a reminder of the connection between all things in the world. The girls’ behaviour might seem trivial on a small scale, but it deeply effects those closest to them.
(The Play’s the Thing 3rd July)
Sarah Meadows' production does well... in the abstract sweep of Catherine Morgan's design. Emphasising the structural shifts in O'Reilly's writing produces some gorgeous passages of overlapping dialogue that press pause on the overbearing naturalism and Jamie Platt's lighting choices similarly move around a more liminal space than the plotting might lead us to believe. A bolshy, brutal bit of theatre.
(There Ought to be clowns 3rd July)
Catherine Morgan’s set design was sparse and dark, almost embracing the Theatre 503’s studio environment. There was a large silver structure that connected the front and the back of the stage and created two separate workbenches. This structure gave the set an industrial feel that channeled the nature of Luce and Char’s jobs whilst also fitting into the idea that all parts of their lives were linked – every setting they visit and every decision they make is all connected. The flexibility in Morgan’s set design was clever: the symbolic hidden mirrors asked the characters to take a look at themselves whilst also transforming the set instantly into a nightclub; the use of other props that represented a setting – a gyro, a kettle, a box of screws, these elements worked together to create spaces with a minimal effort and intimate feeling. It felt like the audience were watching a close up gritty reveal of the lives that make the headlines but still go unnoticed.
(Live Theatre UK)
RISE AND FALL
Catherine Morgan’s set works really well with so many points the actors can go on and off that at times the cast seemed much bigger than it actually was.
(London Theatre 1 6/11/15)
Nominated for three Off West End Stage Awards
"In the blackest of black boxes in the fabulous Bussey Building, director Anthony Green uses a traverse stage layout that puts every member of the audience within arm's reach of the action."
"Toting security passes and eyeing helicopters through bins, Othello is the victorious general in some unspecified desert campaign."
(Broadway World 29/01/13)
“Anthony Green's seamless direction foregrounds the military setting and interaction between brothers-in-arms; staging it in a former weapons factory, with echoes of the current Afghanistan conflict, brings this 'Othello' bang up to date.”
“The crates and kitbags, folding chairs and beer cans of Catherine Morgan's set convey the testerone-fuelled anxiety of a soldier's life between battles.”
(Remote Goat 02/02/13)
“A sickly atmosphere of pent-up machismo pervades this khaki-clad, unobtrusively modern update. The talented young cast restlessly pace the sparse traverse stage, swigging beer and falling into short, nasty fights.”
"This confident staging of Shakespeare's tale of murderous obsession and sexual intrigue...rarely puts a foot wrong.
(Time Out 31/01/13)
"The director of this production has taken the transaction of marital business as a keynote: not only is Othello here a mercenary, but he is an employee of a 21st century military, security company, professional, khaki clad mussel in the pay off a bunch of morally dubious shiftless white collar money men."
(The Times 30/01/13)
"Green has opted for a traverse configuration and made excellent use of the supporting pillars running across the Bussey Building stage: serving as both set and props, the pillars break up the very long playing area into useful virtual ‘rooms’. "
"A spirited young company in modern dress make the play - arguably the most difficult of all Shakespeare’s tragedies - feel fresh, relevant and far shorter than its 150 minute running time. Helicopters, machine guns and mobile phones root the action firmly in the 21st century."
"Director Anthony Green has placed the audience along both long edges – often a risk since the performers' efforts to include all the audience can seem mannered and artificial, but it pays off here."
"Iago and Roderigo initially speak to Brabantio through his entryphone system, one of those great ideas that seems obvious once someone else has had it."
"The best performance of Shakespeare London has to offer."
(One Stop Arts 29/01/13)
“A dark and dramatic space, and there’s something strangely moving about watching a young company play out Shakespeare’s tragedy in this forsaken industrial environment.”
There is an indefinite modern setting here – a period production of Othello would have seemed slightly wrong in this space – but not much is made of it. It feels subtle and unobtrusive.”
“The production feels like something really special.”
(Exeunt Magazine 30/01/13)
"In a contemporary war setting the staging is intimate, the audience and actors are positioned on the same level, making the action feel closer.....The performance, like Shakespeare’s language, is so decadent that the audience might as well be one of Iago’s playthings – being passed around and mesmerised by the tale."
" With such an intimate setting and beautifully executed lighting, the audience is thoroughly taken in. If you see one retelling of a Shakespearean classic this year, make sure it’s this one .
(The Upcoming 31/01/13)
“Iago, who is excellently played by Jack Johns, stalks through the minimalist traverse stage in order to direct his soliloquies to individual audience members. The audience are complicit in Iago’s plans as he revels in his decision to ‘pour this pestilence’ into the ears of Othello.”
An honest and confrontational version of a Shakespeare play which excels."
(The Stage 31/01/13)
“Anthony Green uses the space to such great effect, it wouldn't be inconceivable if he said he had chosen the venue specifically with his version of Othello in mind.”
“It was a delight to … gaze across at the other side and observe how enthralled the other spectators were in the up-close-and-personal action. For this is a deeply engaging production.”
“It was a smart choice to dress Emilia and Desdemona in trousers initially, before having them wear more feminine garb, to emphasise that despite their subservient role in society, they are both strong characters.”
(View from the Gods 29/01/13)
Catherine Morgan’s traverse staging immediately created an intimate feel, with three pillars lining the corridor of performance space, giving the impression of an entrance to a grand building.
Secret Arts Critic 21/02/13)
"An interesting production which gives new perspectives on relationships between characters."
(British Theatre Guide)
The modernization of this production of Othello makes the verse and story clearer and more comprehensible in its relevancy to current affairs.
(Everything Theatre 08/2/13)
The sparse set is effective.
RING OF ENVY
"Ring Of Envy is a version of Othello which has been brilliantly updated both seriously and playfully. It takes place in a boxing gym, which has been literally laid out in the performance space at Intermission"
(Plays to See 04/11/12)
"The house is divided on either side of a boxing ring, the set wrapping around the seating to create an immersive environment, Frank’s gym, where the hopes and dreams of an urban youth community are nurtured, mirroring the community of IYT itself."
(The Upcoming 27/10/12)
"Intermission have staged Othello in a boxing ring and with the help of a detailed set, including working lockers and water cooler, we find ourselves in a fitting reimagining of the play."
(The Good Review 28/10/12)
"Set in a boxing ring with gym lockers, changing benches and red and blue corners, Ring of Envy, a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s Othello, puts combat and character conflict at the productions’ heart. It is a neat metaphor."
(Extra Extra 28/10/12)
"The excellent set - a realistic boxing ring, side benches and lockers - was designed and built by Catherine Morgan.
(One Stop Arts 27/10/12)
"Eisteddfod is beautifully crafted theatre"
(What's on Stage 12/07/12)
"Its spirits undampened by the onslaught of rain that arrived during the performance, Barnes work somehow found a sympathetic home amid the trees"
"It was performed in an enormous teepee decorated with coloured ribbons and lights, a really beautiful place which immediately created an atmosphere and an intimate relationship between actors and audience. It was completely different from sitting down in a theatre, you were entirely surrounded and the stage was so close that I almost felt like part of the action. From the time the show began I genuinely forgot that there was an outside world beyond us."
"I was incredibly impressed by the company’s ability to present this story as it incorporated so many different elements – including puppetry, Bollywood dance and classical theatre. It was clear that serious thought and skills had been put into this show and it had not simply been translated from the screen to the stage.
(One Stop Arts 26/04/12)
"It’s testament to the superb imagination of Tower’s creative team that, despite the British weather trying its hardest to upset proceedings, the audience couldn’t help but immerse itself in the searing heat under a scorching Indian sun. Hats and indeed turbans off to Chris Davies’ original authentic musical compositions and Catherine Morgan’s design for realising their director’s vision."
(Sardines Magazine 22/04/12)
“Catherine Morgan's set is excellent”
(Remote Goat 12/10/10)
FIT FOR PURPOSE
“As the lights dim, I am struck by the stark gloominess of the set of Catherine O’Shea’s new play Fit for Purpose: a row of chairs and a frame of prison bars, indicative of the cold, sterile environment of the Immigration Removal Centre where much of the action is based.”
(Open Democracy 27/07/11)
“With a simple set, mostly consisting of a few chairs, it powerfully portrays the issues.”
(Scots Gay 14/08/11)
“The stage is virtually bare, but with props carried on and off for much of the evening, it only needs a modicum of imagination to go with the action.”
(The Stage 4/2/10)
“Designer Catherine Morgan created a simple staging of towering pallets and canvas, the scene changing only with the makeshift tables and collapsible chairs of an army away on campaign"
“Hearty congratulations to Alice Lacey and her team for a gripping, interesting and well thought out Macbeth.”
(Sardines Magazine 25/01/10)
“As his wife, the scheming Lady Macbeth, Helen Millar is a slender figure in a diaphanous white dress who drifts across the gloomy bare stage like a ghost from a Tamara de Lempicka painting.”
(Bromley Times 10/02/10)
"Macbeth is a slick, professional production which defies its size without trying too hard or feeling superfluous."
(News Shopper (1/02/10)