David Mamet’s Edmond marked Kenneth Branagh’s return to the stage after a long absence. The play is about one man’s journey into an urban and moral hell. The design delivered each episode in Edmond’s decent to him in the centre of the space. Staging this fast moving play on the Olivier’s open stage presented a challenge in focusing the central character and keeping the dramatic energy high. The design extended the brutal architecture of the Olivier’s auditorium to ’embrace’ the space closest to the audience whilst also creating a fictional space beyond and above.
Scenic and lighting storyboard from the scale model
Each scenic element had concealed lighting within it – for example, neon up lighters in the bar, lights edging doorways, and objects internally lit. The negative space in between objects was as crucial to the composition, as the position of the objects themselves, leaving shadowy gaps in the picture from which Edmond’s next torment might spring.