DESIGN FOR LIVING Photographs: Ian Cole

As London’s Tower Theatre Company tackles Coward’s classic “Design for Living” for the first time in its long and distinguished history, Director Barrie Addenbrooke and Designer Jude Chalk discuss their vision for bringing this complex play to the stage.

B.A. “My original concept was based on the triangle, inherent in any play featuring a ménage a trios. Whichever angle one look at this play, you always return to the number 3; 3 acts, 3 cities, 3 main characters, and 3 words in the title!”

J.C. “To a certain extent, the theatre space influences how one can realise the Director’s vision. The Bridewell Theatre was originally a Victorian swimming baths and the balcony, supported by pillars around the edge of the now covered pool, still remains; which creates a striking space visually but is a challenge for a Set Designer”.

B.A. “I made the decision early on to make the production; set and costumes, black and white. The period of the play suggested Art Deco and by uniting these 2 elements, we then had a wide range of source materials to research”.

J.C. “Having worked together before, we both enjoy the challenge of not working within the confines of a “box” set. We actively sought to use the theatre space to give a flavour of the period rather than a present a literal interpretation of a location. Barrie suggested the work of Syrie Maugham, Cecil Beaton and Elsie DeWolfe as starting points and, using Google, I found a range of images illustrating settings, furniture, fabrics, etc. which enabled me to give him the basis for the final design”.

B.A. “Exploring themes from the play, I particularly wanted to develop the theme of Otto being an artist and Gilda his muse. I spoke to artist Tess Walsh about producing 3 portraits of Gilda, which would complement the settings in each of the 3 acts. Additionally, we decided to represent each city by the use of a motif based on travel posters from the relevant era”.

J.C. ”Having found icons that represented the 3 cities, we approached artist Scott Lipscomb to translate these into paintings of images that would conceptualise the locations. These will be mounted onto a triangular prism that will form the backdrop to the play”.

B.A. “ We hope that the combination of dramatic design and use of colour and attention to period detail  will contribute to realising a production that is stylish, thought provoking and entertaining”.

Design for Living runs at The Bridewell Theatre from Tuesday 25th April – Saturday 29th April at 7.45pm with a Matinee on 29th April at 3.00pm.


Design for Living – Afternoon Tea
April 29, 2006

Join us for a fabulous Afternoon Tea experience in the Deli-Restaurant of Crowne Plaza London – The City.
Tea is served from 2:00pm - 6:30pm


Assorted Tea Sandwiches
Smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwiches
Cucumber sandwiches
Cheddar chutney tea sandwiches
Ham & apple preserve sandwiches
Egg & cress sandwiches
Home made mini cakes & tea pastries
Scones & Jam

Twinings Tea Selection



We look forward to creating a perfect end to the perfect day.

“Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar;
never spread it about like marmalade”
Noel Coward

 Afternoon Tea reservations please call:
0207 438 8051

Crowne Plaza London – The City
19, New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6DB


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