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Royal Exchange Theatre Sightline Study

This was part of my process designing for Beginning at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. A combination of factors necessitated a detailed study of the sightlines of my design for the show. These included the nature of the show and its blocking and the design of the venue.


The show was a two-hander that had one actor or the other staying in one spot for extended periods of time. The in-the-round venue was special even by in-the-round standards for the steepness of its sightlines from the gallery levels. Finally, there were low-level banquette seatings in the front row on the ground level, which amplified the impact anything of height would have on the experience of these audience members.

Elements such as the kitchen counter, sofa, and two standing lampposts acquired unexpected weight and impact. These had to be represented accurately in some form to assure the director and producers that it would not affect the quality of the show.

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