As rehearsals get underway for Box of Tricks’ new production, Under Three Moons, the play’s set designer Katie Scott gives us an insight into the creative process and how she went about bringing this exciting new play to life.
What drew you to Under Three Moons?
I think it’s quite beguiling and intriguing to see Male friendship written like this. It’s two slightly awkward lads trying to work out what to say to support each other as they experience each new decade of life. You don’t often hear that conversation!
How does the play fit in with your previous work?
This will be the 5th play I have designed for Box Of Tricks, and they always find a piece of new writing that tells me a story I don’t know or have any experience of, which I think is super important! It’s good to be sharing stories that come from places and people we wouldn’t maybe hear from in our day to day lives.
What do you hope audiences will get from watching the play?
I hope they will enjoy the sense of scale, and the smallness of being human in the wider universe but also what it means to feel too big in an uncomfortably tight environment. I hope the design reflects the push/pull of friendships and bonding with another human.
Describe your creating process.
I start with the script and read it at full pace so I get an idea of the story as a whole, then I usually re read a couple of times before meeting the director. I tend to keep this meeting fairly untouched by me in that I like to have notebook and a sense of what I think about the text, but largely its just a conversation starter. Then we move to images, and within a month or so we usually have a Preliminary Design meeting. From this we cost and then move forward to a Final design meeting. Working with Box Of Tricks means I have a fresh new text to play with and it gives us no pre conceived notions of what this play will physically look like; so my creative process is very open and exploratory with the wider creative team.
What was the best bit of advice you were given when you started out?
“You’ve to earn your right to be on stage, be you a plant pot or an actor.” – Liz Ascroft. What wisdom. I think I have cut many many little unnecessary extras because of this conversation and I swear every design is the better for it.
Why should people come and see the play?
Because this is a wonderfully intriguing look through the magnifying glass at the complexity of male friendships. I hope it encourages people to open up the way they communicate with each other.
What is next for you?
Currently I am designing “SEAGULLS” at Bolton Octagon and “CINDERELLA” at the Dukes Theatre! So a real mixed bag of projects which is great for my creative soul.
Under Three Moons opens at The Lowry on 24 September before touring to Huddersfield, Liverpool, Crewe, Hull, Leeds, Ormskirk, York, Newcastle, Mold and Whitehaven.