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His Dark Materials Part 2/O'Reilly Theatre/June 15

Abby Clarke, Set design, Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials, theatre, Feininger, Lyra, Will, Oxford

Designing for this student production of His Dark Materials Part 2 posed many difficulties as the original script for His Dark Materials Part 2 was written specifically for the National Theatre and made extensive use of the drum-revolve. Therefore the challenge to create a design that encompassed a large number of settings and worlds in a relatively small theatre was a difficult one. Drawing upon the artwork of Lionel Feininger the set used angular layers of fabric that could be lit in different colours to correspond with the change in settings. At the centre of the set, four triangular pieces of fabric were painted with the aletheometer motif. Different symbols on the motif were lit to signify the specific world in which that scene was taking place. These central panels were attached to a complex pulley system, enabling them to slide apart to reveal the smoke and inky blackness of the abyss at the climax of the play and symbolically shattering the aletheometer image.

'The flexibility of the set is, in fact, one of the greatest achievements of the production, offering a platform for the imaginative conception of the trilogy’s mysterious universe.’ Cherwell


Director- Laura Cull

Designer- Abby Clarke

Lighting Designer- Katrin Padel


Abby Clarke Theatre and Set Design
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