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Posted 22.07.19

Costume students meet internationally-acclaimed theatre designer Paul Farnsworth

By Phillip Buchan

Theatre Designer Paul Farnsworth, who has worked on international shows including Wicked, Jesus Christ Superstar, Lend Me A Tenor, and the European premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion, spent a day with BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts students discussing his experience and the skills that he has picked up across his career.

Paul, who has won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Set Designer and Green Room Award for Best Set & Costume Design, trained in theatre design at Wimbledon School of Art and has designed extensively in the West End, around the UK and internationally.

Sharing tips and insights with students, Paul talked about some of his recent stage designs, which include A Pack of Lies and Barnum (Menier Chocolate Factory), Annie Get Your Gun, Jekyll and Hyde and Anything Goes (Det Ny Teater, Copenhagen) and West Side Story (Kilworth House).

Third-year BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts student Lottie Tarrant said: "We were all really impressed with Paul’s lecture. We got a lot out of seeing him demonstrate firsthand the skills that he uses as a professional designer.

Paul's other credits include touring productions across Europe, the US and Australia. He has worked on designs in the West End for Follies, Shall We Dance with Adam Cooper, She Loves Me, Candide, Charley’s Aunt, Smash, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Afraid of the Dark, Scrooge, Whistle Down the Wind, Darker Shores, Berlin Hanover Express, Sleuth and Fallen Angels, The Cherry Orchard, Moby Dick, What a Performance, Ghosts, Lady be Good, The Boyfriend, The Music Man, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Kiss Me, Kate, The Fantasticks, Paint Your Wagon, Troilus and Cressida, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Third-year student, Abby Rogers, said: "Everyone came away from Paul's visit inspired, with so much enthusiasm. He told us that there's a high demand for tailoring within the theatre industry, which I know will help to give some students on this programme the confidence to pursue a specialism in this area."