Rachael Jacks is a freelance Theatre Designer and maker within the theatre, film and events industries, working on our next production Tony’s Last Tape. Graduating in 2014 from Nottingham Trent university, achieving a first in BA(hons) Theatre Design. Rachael was also awarded the Nottingham Playhouse award for stage design 2014. She gets in the hot seat this week to spill on her current project.
OMNIBUS THEATRE: Where did you find your inspiration from to create Tony Benn’s study?
RACHAEL JACKS: I viewed some documentaries about Tony which showed some glimpses into his study and gathered visuals to help begin the design process. I was interested in more than just his study and thought it was important to see other areas of Tony’s home to get a sense of the spaces he had and how he might have placed items, what items he held onto, knick knacks laying around, how he treated paperwork. So it is accurate in a sense but it is ultimately a theatrical representation of his study.
OT: What were the major challenges?
RJ: Making a small space with a minimal set feel full, busy and worn from years of work. It’s also one man and his desk so I needed to keep the audience interested, like how many ways could this small space be interacted with.
OT: Have you had to source anything particularly unusual?
RJ: I’d say the props are quite quirky! A vintage Boilette kettle, a seat case, the pipe. Also, I’ve been told from Tony’s very closest it seems, that the dressing gown is in particular. Apparently, he had one just like it. I had a feeling for it and it turned out to be unnervingly accurate.
OT: What was the most memorable aspect of this project?
RJ: It may be cliché but I love my work and seeing ideas develop from paper to real life and become a functioning theatre show is always memorable to me.
Tony’s Last Tape runs from 2-20 April at Omnibus Theatre – get your tickets HERE→