Prowse, Philip (18 of 27)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2005-11-01, 2005-11-09, 2005-11-16, 2005-11-23, 2005-12-07, 2005-12-14, 2005-12-21

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Chelsea

  • Interviewees

    Prowse, Philip 1937- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    O'Ryan, Lydia (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 18: PP describes time at Slade; application for Stanbury Scholarship; his teachers, including William Coldstream [WC], Robert Medley [RM]; mentions Ian Tregarthen Jenkin (school secretary). Remarks on RM's founding of the Group Theatre with Rupert Doone who worked with W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Benjamin Britten. Refers to Nicholas Georgiadis and Peter Snow [PS] . Details of theatre design department, mentions Vladimir Polunin and notion of fine artists' role in theatre design. Refers to PS working with Joan Littlewood, Frederick Ashton, Peter Hall. PP refers to projects done under guidance of John Piper, George Devine [ GD ] Minos Volonakis, Peter Williams. Talks about drawing from the antique and ' finding one's own voice'. Recalls teaching methods at Slade; details of dealing with issue of scale and space in design. Comments on working on design project for Jean Genet's ' The Balcony'; recalls GD's production of Wycherley's ' The Country Wife' at The Royal Court, designed by the Motleys; cast included Joan Plowright, Laurence Harvey, Esmé Percy , Alan Bates. Mentions Brechtian style of theatre in context of GD design. Brief comparison of JH and the Motleys design aesthetic with that of Lesley Harry, Oliver Messel, Cecil Beaton, Loudon Sainthill, James Bailey. Remarks on effect of working with Zeffirelli.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Philip Prowse (1937-), theatre designer.

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