by Dennis Potter
Theoretical Design, AUB Studio Theatre, 2011
Set & Costume Designer: Eleanor Bull
This set was designed to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as possible; attempting to break the theatrical conventions of the boundary between audience and performer, and its role in complicity.
The text is intimate and highly disturbing, the well-meaning Bates family unwittingly inviting pure evil into their modest living room.
How would the audience feel if they too were simply guests invited into the house? They are forced into conventional silence by the awareness that they are watching a play, but the intimate circumstances causes them to feel more like an immoral voyeur- their silence complicit of Martin's evil acts.
As the audience arrive, they must walk up the front garden path and ring the doorbell. They are then invited into the house, led through the hallway and into the living room.
The audience are sat on old mismatched armchairs and sofas and are served tea and biscuits.