The audience can touch and interact with everything in the space, so the usual theatre trickery doesn’t work in this model. Instead, Ferguson embraced existing textures such as brickwork, electrical wiring and concrete floors to create authenticity.
It was a similar challenge for interior set designers Marg Horwell and Matilda Woodroofe, who were given the task of dressing a set that’s not just for actors to use, but for the audience too.
“It has changed how we’d approach trying to find authentically vintage things, or printing newspaper that feels like newspaper, not just photocopied things… and really trying to create a narrative through props that are interrogated in a much more rigorous way,” explains Horwell.
Much of Horwell’s design concepts came from her “COVID binge-watching”, she laughs, citing ’90s cult series Twin Peaks as a big inspiration; while the retro video game vibe of Netflix series Stranger Things also informed their take on the creative space.
“Because the audience are encouraged to explore, there’s not a guarantee that everyone will see all the spaces and some of them are really kind of tricky to find, so hopefully people feel emboldened to seek those spaces out,” Horwell says.
“There’s something very unexpected about the way you navigate the space – it feels like you’re being plunged into other worlds.”
More in Melbourne this month
Bringing more than one hundred artists together, the second thought-provoking Triennial (occurring every three years) explores how digital and emerging technologies are transforming cultural production and industry.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Rib-aching belly laughs will be restored! After last year’s COVID cancellation, Melbourne’s trademark Comedy Fest is offering a balm for anyone hankering for a hoot.
Pull out your picnic rug to catch a new release or classic film you know and love on the lush lawns of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
Discover Melbourne’s best events at whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/FOMO