Research of Love and Information: Style

There are a number of styles of Theatre ranging from Theatre of cruelty to Commedia dell’Arte. There are three different styles in which the three directors wanted to go for. .

The first style is absurdism.


Theatre of the absurd is believed to be originated in the 1940’s and evolved up until the 1960’s.

Here is a quote that I have found that states what Theatre of the absurd is:

         A form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed,              repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that                lack realistic or logical development.

(Farlex, 2003)

This is stating that Absurd Theatre is hard to follow as it has no plot. Scenes may be repeated. Personally, I feel that this is to keep some form of consistency during the performance. I personally feel that this form has a slight sense of surrealism, as it states in the (Posted, 2013) (, no date) quote, it lacks the realistic side of the performance, and has no development with logic.

The idea of Theatre of the Absurd is that the play will dictate the structure of the performance. The language that is used to generally dislocated, full of cliches and puns, which, as I mentioned earlier is repeated throughout the play. This style of Theatre declined in mid 1960’s


Poor Theatre:

Referring to Nicola Mezza’s presentation on prezi, and Britannica online, I have been able to find out and discuss what poor Theatre is and know why it is used.

Poor Theatre began with the Polish playwright Jerzy Grotowski in the 1960’s. He believed that Theatre would never be able to compete with media, so it should never attempt to. Grotowski also wanted the performers and spectators to have a relationship during the performance, as he believed it would be more intimate for all parties. The aim of poor          Theatre is to eliminate the barrier between audience and performers, thus creating communication between the two. The influences that caused this movement in Theatre was, paratheatre and Theatre of transformation.

In this time, spaces dedicated for Theatre were changed for deserted rooms and buildings. The performers of poor Theatre are able to communicate through sound and movement. Poor Theatre is aimed to use the simplest form of staging, lighting, costumes and special effects. Symbolism was the main form of poor Theatre.

  • Image citation:
  • ([CSL STYLE ERROR: reference with no printed form.])
  • (Theatre links, 2016)




I am aware that I spoke of the postmodernist era in the period of the production, however it is the style which I am now going to be talking about. It is believed that postmodernist Theatre is superseded of modernism. It challenges accepted views on the world. The narrative is generally broken and paradoxical.

Postmodern plays would use technology as scenery and use backdrops in the history of times that are being performed which would give the audience a better understanding. Also some smaller Theatres would perform outside. The audience would participate with performers creating an experience together. The majority of the issues tackled in postmodern Theatre are created from history, culture and social issues.It is believed that postmodern Theatre rejects chronological linearity, meaning that what happens at the beginning of a story, is not what essentially happens on stage.





Research of Love and Information: Period

In this section of the portfolio, I am going to show the knowledge I have gained from researching the different elements of the production. This has given me more of an insight into how the process should start as a set designer, instead of going in with a blank state. Here is the research I have come up with in order for me to design the set.


The first element I researched was the period of the production. After meeting with one of the directors, I found out that she wanted to do a post-modern day performance.

Postmodern Theatre emerged from the reaction of modern Theatre. Majority of the postmodernist era, are focused highly on the fallibility of accounted truths, instead engaging the audience into reaching their own understanding of a performance. Substantially, postmodern Theatre raises more question than supplying answers.

As well as looking at the period, I have been able to look at some post modernist designers, in order to gain an insight into their work and see how the work has evolved throughout the years.

The first performance I looked at was Sarah Kane’s 4.48 psychosis. The designer which I looked at for this production, was Chantal Mark, which premiered in 2014. Here are the designs which I have found that shows me the style of postmodern Theatre.

(4.48 Psychosis [2014], no date)


As some of the scenes in ‘Love and Information’ are based on mental illness, this has prepared me to know that anything aesthetically pleasing can be given a feel of foreboding if used correctly. The images which I have provided, has proved to me why a set designer and lighting designer need to have communication at all times.

The second designer I looked at is, Eugene Lee, for the performance of Caryl Churchill’s, ‘Drunk enough to say I love you.’ As ‘Love and Information,’ and ‘Drunk enough to say I love you,’ is written by the same playwright, I thought that is would be a good idea to look at some others plays she has written.


(Brantley, 2008)

From what I have seen from Churchill’s plays, the set has been very simplistic. This one for example is of a sofa. However, props materialise from the set, and the further into the play we get, the sofa moves further away from the audience and gets lifted off of the space, until they are fully overlooking the audience.

Looking at the period has been hard, as when I have researched, nothing is validated into when postmodern Theatre arose. However, finding recent plays and looking at designers for the different performances has shown me that even the simplest sets are very effective if used correctly.


Love and Information: Analysis

Analysing a Script
Scene Character Direction Setting Mood Props
1 Secret Whispers Mental Institution? Pleading; Commited; Dedicated
Census Mental Institution? Paranoid; Repent; Unworthy
Fan Devotion; Love; Lust; Obsession
Torture Police Station Depression; Bribe; Desperation
Lab Science Lab; Breeding Farm Intellegent Conversation;
Sleep Bed Depression; Insomniac; Reasoning
Remote x2 Bedsit Confrontation; Happiness; Reasoning
2 Irrational Maths/Science Classroom Confrontation; Irrationality
Affair x2 Coffee Shop Scared; Dedication; Commitment
Mother x2 Living Room Abusive; Life Changing; Scared
Fired x2 Business Office Anger; Frustration
Message x2 Councilling Office Lost; Suicidal; Terror; Scared
Grass x2 Field Anger; Scarred; Resentfulness; Defending
Terminal x2 Doctors Office Scared; Thankful; Informative; Emotional
3 Schizophrenic In a car Paranoid; Unreasonable; Informative; Secretive
Spies x2 Pub Angry; Informative; Paranoid
Dream x2 Sat in Garden Adultry; Guilt; Lust
Recluse x3 Two Inside – One Outside; Go outside Living Room Scared; Aggitated
God’s Voice Confession Religious; Defending; Confrontational
The Child Who Didn’t Know Fear One Person Tells A Story To Another Bed Brave; StoryTelling
Star Intellectual; Informative
4 Wedding Video Several People Living Room Happiness; Enjoyment; Curiosity; Jokingly;
Savant Councillers Room Mental Disability; Genious; Helpful
EX Cafe Happiness; Relisation; Contemptment; Remanising
Memory House Eldery Couple? Dementure; Sadness; Confusing
Dinner Three People; Sits; Plays Piano;
Jennifer Singing; Get up
Rehearsal Room Apprehension; Enjoyment; Passion
Flashback Bed Panic Attack; Hopeful; Helplessness;

Design Brief

For this section of the set portfolio/blog, I have taken it upon myself to create a design brief in order to complete and comply with what the directors want for the performances set.

After a number of meetings and two set presentations, the set was finalised and was ready to start build. The final design left us with three boxes, one clinical, one similar to a shack, and the final box with an optical illusion, all of different size. As I am designing the clinical, and similar to shack, I am not going to talk about the optical illusion box.

The shack like box is to be made out of panelling from disused pallets. The two entrances for this box is to be through a window and a human cat flap which will swing both forwards and back. It will be decorated with three scaffolding poles, foliage, polystyrene and tarpaulin for the window.

For the clinical box, it will have four flats on the back and two flats either side. These are to be at an angle so the audience have sight lines, so the they can see what is happening at all times. The flats are to have a base coat of white and then fully covered in white emulsion to give a clean feeling. There is to be a window where performers can enter and exit with the use of Lycra attached to the door. There is to be three large areas of the three remaining flats which are to be made out of Lycra with slits in. This is so the performers can put their limbs through the Lycra and also so they can put limbs in the material and make shapes.

Both of the sets are to be conjoined and blend into one and other when they meet.

What is love and information about?

For this production, I have been asked to work on the Acting show, ‘Love and Information.’

This performance is about subliminal messaging between a number of characters. It is about the way we communicate with each other in a variety of situations, as well as showing the consequences of our actions. It is a fast moving kaleidoscope, with more than 100 characters trying to make sense of what they know. It shows that we live in a world where bombardment of information is in jeopardy of leading to atrophy of memory, abrasion of privacy and decay of feeling. It shows how some people in the world don’t know how to cope with information available.

Fixture Mechanics

Although lighting design is classed as an art form within itself, it is vital that the designer must know a great amount about the tools used within lighting. The first principles that need to be learnt are:how a lantern will perform at any designated distance  These refer to:

  • Size
  • Illumination
  • Quality
  • Form


Luminaire refers to lanterns, fixtures; units. There are five major luminaires that are used within Theatre:

  • Profile
  • Fresnel
  • PC (Plano Convex)
  • PAR
  • Flood

These shall be discussed in detail later in the portfolio

Luminaire Beams

It is vital that the designer understands beam angles as it will allow you to assign lanterns to cover the area of stage you desire.

Beam Spread:

A beam angle refers to the two planes of light where the intensity is generally at 50% of the maximum intensity. This angle will show how wide or narrow will be, and will not vary on distance. Stage luminaires have a range of beam angles that vary from 5 – 150. There will be a manufacturer’s data sheet available for any typical fixture.

Field Angle:

The field angle is the beam spread angle where the intensity of the angle has dropped by 10% of the central beam intensity. The field angle is also referred to the 1/10 peak angle.


This is the brightest point of the luminaire which can be adjusted with the full luminaire. There are many ways in which you can point out the hotspot, but I tend to make a fist and put it in front lens and adjust accordingly. This is measured in lumens (known as foot candles)

Focus Point:

The focus point should be positioned on the head of the performer. This is because the face will show emotion, whereas in a dance, the focal point would be on the full body.

Calculating a beam angle:

To calculate a beam angle, you will need to know the luminaire distance and the desired beam width. The beam width is divided by the distance and then multiplied by 0.018. This will then give you your beam angle. All that is left to do is select the luminaire with the nearest beam angle to the answer.

Calculating the beam width:

To calculate the beam width, you need to know the distance and angle. The calculation to get the beam width is as follows:

Angle x 0.018 x distance = beam width

All that is left to do was knowing the beam width is to select the luminaire with the beam width closest to this.


Illuminance is important for a designer to know, It is impediment to know that this is not the wattage. It is the amount of light that falls onto a surface. Generally,Illuminance is measured in foot candles and/or lux.

Foot candles are what is mainly used in America. It is the illuminance cast on a surface by a candela source one foot away. Lux is the standard unit measurement of illuminance within the UK. 1 foot candle is equivalent to 10.7239 Lux. Remember that luminaires with the same wattage can produce different lux.

Colour Theory

What is colour?

Colour has the ability to be perceived through the sense of sight. For example, the only reason we know red is red, is because we have been trained throughout the years to know what colour is what. These colour names are referred to as hues which is the general description or the name that is given to that specific colour. It is a psychological process that will precipitate a physical stimulus, more known as a colour stimulus. There are three different types of photo receptor cells in our retinas of the human eye that are delicate to the rays in which different wavebands are passed through. These are cones. Alongside these, there are other receptors known as rods which is responsible for the sensitivity to brightness. (Keller and Szabó, 2006)


There are functions of three factors that we see, that will change the way in which we see colour. Any change of these factors will make us perceive colour in a different way. The three factors which are mentioned in Scene Design and Stage Lighting – page 30 (Pilbrow, 2008) are:


  • The colour of light itself
  • The colour of the objectives being observed
  • The ability of the optical sensor i.e. an eye which will distinguish between colours


The mass amount of range in a electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye is known as the visible spectrum. Some of the colours that are observable by humans are not within the visible spectrum. These types of colours are made by mixing two or more different wavelengths together. Colours that have only one wavelength are known as a pure colour. The purity of the colour is known as saturation, or less commonly named chroma.

The colours on the spectrum are the same as the ones in the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue; Violet. Because of the fact that light travels in waves, it has both a frequency and wavelength. (Frequency being the number of waves being passed through a given point and wavelength is the distance between two analogous points of waves.

Frequency and Wavelengths


(Stage lighting for students, no date)

The visible wavelengths on a electromagnetic spectrum provide the colour and light. Each colour this is made will have its own spectral wavelength. These wavelengths are measured in nanometers. This measures so that 1 nanometer is equivalent to one-billionth of a metre. The visible portion on the spectrum is small section with wavelengths roughly 380 – 750 nanometres. Anything less than 380 nanometres are classed as ultra violets and anything longer than 750 nanometres are classed as infrared.


CIE Chromaticity Chart:

.The colour chart shown next to this piece of text, was created by the International Commission on Illumination to stipulate visually relationships that colours have with each other. It quite clearly shows the colour mixing, categorically how a number of  colours are derived from the mixing of the three primary colours.


Enter a caption

(Parker et al., 2008)

The saturated colours are located near the perimeter and become less saturated the further in the chart they go, as they are being mixed with different wavelengths. This will carry on until all the colours mix in the middle which will create white. The curved black line (known as the ‘black body locus) will indicate the exact colour emitted by a light source at any given colour temperature.


Colour Interaction:

Colour within light and pigment may be changed through mixing. When different lights of a different colour hit a white surface, the result will conclude in a admixture of all those colours. If the surface itself is coloured, mixing will still take place but the surface of the colour will participate to produce a reflected colour. This is known as colour modification.


The colour triangle:

A very good way to illustrate colour mixing, is through the use of a colour triangle. The primary colours are at the three points of the triangle. The colour within the centre should represent all three colours mixed together making white.

(Jul — ROM hacking: Forest Temple in GoldenEye, no date)

Secondary Hues:

If two of the primary colours are mixed together along the edge of the triangle, it will create a secondary hue. Mixing green and blue together will give you the result of cyan. Red and green will conclude in yellow and red and blue will make magenta. Similar to the primary hues, if the secondary hues are mixed together they will also create white.

Complementary Hues:

Within the triangle, straight across from one of the colours, will be that hues complementary hue. As the triangle indicates, mixing a colour with its complement creates white.

Colour Mixing:

Mixing coloured lighting is a common practise within Theatre. Overlapping the different rays, fills in shadows which create rich and vibrant colours which help enliven a scene.

Primary and secondary colours which are in lighter tints, are generally used for front lighting the performer. However, if using complementary hues, these can create a white hue which is more vibrant than a unfiltered lantern.