The Normansfield Theatre has an impressive architecture and unique performance space. It is far from a standard black box, so any design needs to sit comfortably within the beautiful Victorian entertainment hall.
Both Michael and I found the story revolved around the internal madness of Idomeneo - in modern terms caused by the effect of post-traumatic stress from the 10 year Trojan War.
In early meetings, Michael stressed the importance of metaphor and locating one central, key image that could encapsulate all of the themes inherent within this great work. I settled on the idea of a raised platform, when placed on an already raked stage aims all the energy of the performance down towards the audience and the pit. On one hand the platform represents Idomeneo’s island, the centre of his world, a safe space and his home. On the other, it also functions as a public meeting place, a piazza and most importantly a sacrificial altar. The chorus move around the podium, carefully observing and commenting on the actions of the central characters, with Idomeneo always at the centre of the storm and trying to regain control.