Design

Richard III

1957 (made)

Hurry, Leslie

Height: 20.6 cm, Width: 27 cm

S.1814-2014 T&P

Design for a stool created by Leslie Hurry for Act II of the production of Richard III, staged by The Old Vic Company in 1957

Design for a stool created by Leslie Hurry for Act II of the production of Richard III, staged by The Old Vic Company in 1957. The design shows an image of a square black stool, the top of which is divided into four equal quandrants with a circle at the centre.

Design for a stool created by Leslie Hurry for Act II of the production of Richard III, staged by The Old Vic Company in 1957. The Tragedy of King Richard III, adapted from the play by William Shakespeare, was directed by Douglas Seale at the Old Vic, London, and first performed on 29 May 1957. The sets, properties and costumes were designed by Leslie Hurry and Robert Helpmann (for whom Hurry had designed his first production, the ballet Hamlet) took the title role. The scenery was made in the Old Vic workshop under the direction of W. H. Parker and painted by Leslie Woolnough. The ladies costumes were made by Violet Rood and the men's costumes were made in the Old Vic Workshops. The properties were also made in the Old Vic workshop under the direction of Helen Thomas. Photographs by of the production taken by Angus McBean and now held in the core collection of the Theatre & Performance Collections show the set as realised, with the spider's web cloth dominating the stage. Critics were divided in their opinions of the set, The Daily Telegraph on 30 May 1957 declared that ‘Visually, Mr. Searle made a fine sombre spectacle of this production, though Leslie Hurry’s set, which had a thing like a railway culvert on one side and one like an Anderson shelter on the other was not in itself entrancing.’ The Sketch, 9 June 1957, however, described how ‘Douglas Seale has marshalled the great melodrama as well as anyone could wish, on a long, many levelled ramp backed by a spider’s web’.

Given by Caro Rathbone

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website