A theatre design student from Nottingham Trent University will create a set for Nottingham Playhouse’s Christmas production of The Little Mermaid after winning a design competition.
Third year Chloe Smith, 22, took part in the Nottingham Playhouse Prize for Theatre Design 2009, which required students to design a set for ‘Nathan the Wise’ by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. The play is set during the time of the third crusade in twelfth century Palestine and is about understanding between the region’s three religions : Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Chloe’s winning set reflects the notion that places of religious significance become appropriated over time by various religions. It features a broken up Islamic tiled floor disappearing into the sand, the remains of a large dome above and a Christian painting whitewashed over. Scaffolding also provides a platform for performances.
Chloe said: “I carried out a very long research process with this set. I wanted to reflect how the conflict between these three religions has affected Jerusalem.”
For her prize Chloe will work with the director of Roundabout and Education at Nottingham Playhouse, Andrew Breakwell, to design the set for children’s production, The Little Mermaid.
Andrew Breakwell said: “It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with students on the ‘Nathan the Wise’ set and the standard of entries was very high. Chloe’s design was excellent and we’re all looking forward to working with her. I hope the process was a useful and enjoyable introduction to what that goes on when designer and director work together to create a production.”
Chloe added: “This is a great culmination of my time at Nottingham Trent University and a fantastic start to my career. It’s a chance for me to take what I’ve learnt and apply the artistic process to the world of work. Winning has given me a confidence boost and I’m very excited about having the opportunity to sit down with professionals to discuss my ideas.”
Nottingham Playhouse Prize for Theatre Design
This is the second year that Nottingham Trent University has collaborated with the Nottingham Playhouse on the Nottingham Playhouse Prize for Theatre Design. Last year’s winning student Parveen Ghir has since designed two schools productions with the Playhouse’s theatre-in-education department, Roundabout, and is currently working on a production of The Island adapted by Laura Lomas and to be directed by Susanah Tresilion. She will also design the Norwegian language version produced by Det Norske Teatret in Oslo part of a much bigger EC Project called ‘Young Europe’.