Bondagers (2014)

by Sue Glover

Company: Royal Lyceum Theatre Company
Venue: Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Director: Lu Kemp
Designer: Jamie Vartan

Photo: Drew Farrell

Bondagers won Best Design at the 2015 CATS (Scottish Critics Awards)


Press Quotes

“a deeply moving, richly textured piece of theatre that gains great power from Jamie Vartan’s impressionistic set of wood, soil and smoke, superb lighting by Simon Wilkinson and the strong sense of community evoked by the cast”

Allan Radcliffe, The Times

“This sense of space distinguishes Lu Kemp’s painterly staging. From the moment the cast appear in silhouette at the back of Jamie Vartan’s elemental set, Kemp treats the stage like it had the full dimensions of a field. Thanks to Simon Wilkinson’s superb lighting, those dimensions are always uncertain. As the colour temperature increases from cold monochrome to chilly sepia, the landscape is always bigger than those who tread on it”

Mark Fisher - The Guardian

“The production benefits greatly from Simon Wilkinson’s painterly abilities as a lighting designer”

Bill Dunlop, Edinburgh Guide

“There are moments of powerful beauty in the production, with Simon Wilkinson’s lighting creating a range of moods and tones on what might otherwise feel like a barren set.”

Gareth Davies - The Public Reviews

“It’s the brilliant design that strikes you first in the Lyceum’s production of Bondagers. Floating mist and a long stretch of tilled earth dimly lit like a faded photograph greet the audience.  [...]Kemp’s work with designer Jamie Vartan and lighting designer Simon Wilkinson results in a visual tapestry: cold, desolate but also strikingly beautiful.”

Michael Cox - Across the Arts

“Kemp’s production is lifted by some fine, misty lighting from Simon Wilkinson”

Joyce McMillan - The Scotsman

“The opening scene, in which the bondagers work a field, making their way, slowly, towards us through a glowering darkness, dust billowing through shafts of light, is as brilliantly hellish an evocation of modern slave labour as I have ever witnessed in a theatre. This is as much a testament to the talents of stage designer Jamie Vartan and lighting designer Simon Wilkinson as it is to Kemp's accomplished directing.”

Mark Brown - The Sunday Herald

“Subtly lit by Simon Wilkinson”

Thom Dibdin - The Stage

“A mind-blowing evening at the theatre. The production is a delight of soil, light and scent [ … ] set off by an ethereal lighting design from Simon Wilkinson”

Mihaela Bodlovic - The Edinburgh Journal

“There are moments which will linger long in the memory – the ghostly figures of the women emerging from the gloom as they work their backbreaking way up the dreels and the row of lights moving high above the stage which represent the coming threat of mechanisation are but two”

Irene Brownlee - East Coast FM