BY JONATHAN LARSON
"Set designer Nathan Stazicker... has done a fantastic job at recreating a Manhattan squat on stage"
OXFORD OPENING NIGHT 18 / 01 / 16
Many productions of Rent stage the musical in a realistic New York street scene, firmly rooting the story in its early-1990s context. I believe that the human issues and situations presented in the play have contemporary currency so I chose to create a more conceptual set design based on the ideas of homelessness and poverty explored in the play.
Constructed predominantly from recycled timber and shipping pallets, the idea was to evoke the temporary, ephemeral and impoverished world which the characters inhabit, as well as drawing comparisons with their real-life counterparts.
The set made use of several raised levels with various access points and a fireman's pole in order to make it as adaptable as possible for the actors. The on-stage band were situated below the highest level. Having a single large set throughout the show allowed greater exploration of the lives of the characters as it could be inhabited by actors at any point - even if they were not called for in the script.