ROUNDABOUT BLOG

Old Times: Designer Statements

Constance Hoffman - Costume Designer

In reading and listening to the play, I have responded to the way experience and memory refract and resonate among the characters. The past and the present merge, and each of the characters' memories of events feels both true and mutable -- shifting, improvised in the present -- their various selves living and dead in each of their views of the past. In approaching the design for the clothes, we wanted to locate the play in the time in which it was first produced, in large part because of the text references to the post-war London of the characters' shared youth, but also because the 1970s was a decade that used nostalgia and memory consciously in the way people dressed. The 1920s, 30s and 40s were all revisited in both streetwear and high fashion in the 1970s, I think as a way of recapturing the glamor and the romance of a time which seemed simpler and more idealistic than the weary 1970s did. The decade blurs time, at the same time that it distills the past into icons, which serves our feeling that these three characters, while very human, are like beautiful gods on plinths.

Costume Inspiration for Kate in OLD TIMES.

Costume Inspiration for Kate in OLD TIMES.

Costume Inspiration for Anna in OLD TIMES.

Costume Inspiration for Anna in OLD TIMES.

Costume Inspiration for Deeley in OLD TIMES.

Costume Inspiration for Deeley in OLD TIMES.


Clive Goodwin - Sound Designer

Pinter once said: “The past is what you remember, imagine you remember, convince yourself you remember, or pretend you remember.” The challenge of designing sound for a Pinter play with a score by Thom Yorke was irresistible. The aim became to ensure that the intriguingly surreal and compelling otherworldliness of both is delivered to the audience in a way that steals into the mind, underpinning where needed and impacting where necessary. All while playing into the subconscious of the audience as if hearing their own dreams, memories, and thoughts. Witness to the events unfolding in front of them or perhaps recollecting past experiences of their own. As we explore the entangled threads of the characters’ lives and move through the soundscapes of their memories, we discover that reality is mutable and not the predictable framework that we hoped it would be. In the same way the sound must be both immediate and alternately subliminal in its presence, accompanying us on our visit to this eternal dimension where Deeley, Kate, and Anna are forever experiencing a single part of their lives.


Director Douglas Hodge on collaborating with Set Designer Christine Jones:

“Christine took all the imagery I gave her and went further with it. The stage will constantly revolve, so imperceptibly that the audience won’t see it. And after about ten to fifteen minutes, they might think, gosh, those people are now standing in a different place, and that stage is clearly moving. Christine is an extremely architectural designer. I suggested unhelpful things, such as the walls are made of ice, and she took it and ran with it in her own way.”

Christine Jones' set model for OLD TIMES.

Christine Jones' set model for OLD TIMES.


Director Douglas Hodge on the use of music in Old Times:

“I’ve asked Thom Yorke from Radiohead to write the music. I just felt that we should have wonderful music at the beginning and the end, and as the play transitions from Act 1 into Act 2. I emailed Thom and said, ‘Would you be up for it?’ and he read the play, fell in love with it, and immediately came back with some music that was all played backwards. He’s written three or four pieces that we’ll definitely use.”


Old Times is currently running at the American Airlines Theatre through November 29. To purchase tickets, please visit our website.



Related Categories:
2015-2016 Season, Old Times, Upstage


1 Comment
  1. kelly Reilly Fans

    October 28, 2015

    Being a bit geeky here, but where was the back drop sky night time lapse shot taken?

    Reply


LEAVE A REPLY

Thank you for your comment. Please note that our comments are moderated and do not appear immediately.