Before seeing a performance (or watching a filmed version), take a look at images of the set and costume, and answer the following questions. If design drawings are available, use these. But photographs of the live production or screen grabs from a film are also suitable.
- What is your first impression of the set?
- What elements or features of the set design stand out?
- What mood do you think the designer is trying to create with this set?
- How do you think a director might tell the story of Henry IV on this set? Choose one section of the story and write your thoughts on how you might stage it using the design.
- Describe the textures and features of the design in model box form.
- Think about the world of Henry IV. How do you think the set design might be symbolic of the play?
- What other design elements will be added to the production in addition to the set design? How do you think these elements may be used with this set?
- Looking at the designs, list all the elements of a costume that designers must take into account.
- For each of the characters in the designs:
- Describe the character making reference to social status, personality traits, personal relationships, their role in the story, and any other important aspects.
- Analyse the costume design for each character. How do you think the character’s costume will communicate these aspects.
- What skills do actors use to transform into a character? Describe as many as you can think of.
- How would you expect the actors performing as the characters in the designs to embody their characters, using these skills?
- What do you think the Director’s interpretation of the characters might be, based on the costume designs show?
After seeing a performance have a go at Inside the Designer's Mind (Part 2).