Designer’s Note

Explore Lewis Murphy’s Belongings in our archive.

Designer’s Note

Laura’s text and Lewis’ music set up some exciting challenges for a designer. They take us to different times and places, which overlap and spill into one another, echoing how trauma and dislocation mess with our sense of time, and how history hovers in the wings while the ordinary details of everyday life carry us through even the most extreme situations. In our staging, Lucy and I wanted the different time periods and locations to feel equally present and immediate, and to find ways for them to overlay, gently blur, or sometimes violently collide. Our set uses the same basic elements to stage these different worlds – sometimes our characters create these worlds themselves, sometimes the world moves around the characters in ways they can’t control – there is a sense of instability, but also of continuity. During our research into both the second world war, and refugee camps in Europe today, we were both struck by the often vivid colours, which we’ve tried to incorporate in the design. Colour seemed to make the past feel present, the distant feel close, emphasising the immediacy and urgency of these stories. History doesn’t happen in black and white or sepia, and bright, vivid life punches out of the darkest places.

Ellan Parry, Designer

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