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Theatre Design students present Aesop's Fables

A group of Year Two Theatre Design students have recently worked with local children from Mellers Primary School, to devise their own version of Aesop's Fables.

Our Year Two Theatre Design students have recently worked on a project, exploring design for alternative performance spaces and considering work for a range of 'non-theatre' audiences.

The optional project challenged the students to devise and design a realised piece of interactive theatre for young children.

Twelve students chose the project, and worked together to devise their own version of Aesop’s Fables. The students' interpretation was inspired by a script by leading playwright Mike Kenny, who came and talked about his work, together with the original production designer, Nettie Scriven.

The team split into four smaller groups to devise different stories from the fables, but worked together throughout to develop a design and performance concept for the piece as a whole.

Part of the research and devising process was to work with children and teachers from our partner primary school, Mellers, and for students to see how the children’s creativity could influence their own work design work. The children then came to see the show in Waverley Theatre at NTU at the end of the project, and took part in creative workshops as well.

Most of the student team wouldn't consider themselves to be performers, but through ensemble work (led by award winning writer / director Peter Rumney,  who is also their Year Two tutor, with master puppeteer Sean Myatt and mask maker Stephen Jon) they all built confidence to perform the piece in public. NTU lighting technician Adam Davies helped the students light the show, supported by a masterclass by Lighting Designer Alex Stafford.

The students had to communicate their design ideas though model box and AutoCad, budget the show, and support it with a creative workshop for the audience. This way of learning about 'design through performance' made the group’s design work real and purposeful.

Year Two student Rowan Szulek, who was a co-designer on the fable of The Mouse and the Lion, told us: "We knew we wanted to make the performance immersive and interactive, so we decided to make the play by using the imagination, and making objects come to life. We wanted to show the audience that theatre is about creativity and play, and to show the children that theatre design and other creative subjects are a career option for them in their futures too."

Watch a video of our students' performances of Aesop's Fables on YouTube.


Theatre Design students present Aesop's Fables

Published on 2 March 2015
  • Category: School of Art & Design

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