Knives in Hens (2018)
by David Harrower
Venue: Perth Theatre
Company: Horsecross Arts
Director: Lu Kemp
Designer: Jamie Vartan
Photos: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
Knives in Hens was nominated for Best Design, Best Production, and Best Director at the 2018 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland.
On Jamie Vartan’s beautiful circular set – like the inner core of the mill – Simon Wilkinson’s lighting design offers a blue glow suddenly split by streams of gold, like an image of enlightenment
Joyce MacMillan, The Scotsman
This production is visually powerful, with Jamie Vartan’s lovely, millstone-inspired set lent multiple dimensions by Simon Wilkinson’s multifaceted lighting. The three characters appear to melt in and out of focus without ever leaving the stage. Smoke rises in clouds from the heavy flour bags stationed around the edges and the actors’ clothing, to swirl above their heads, caught in narrow shafts of light
Allan Radcliffe, The Times
Gorgeously lit by Simon Wilkinson, Jamie Vartan's set suggests a chasm at the edge of the world, where Young Woman is caught between labour and liberation
Lorna Irvine, The List
Jamie Vartan’s bleak set transforms the stage into the inside of a concrete corn silo. Simon Wilkinson’s cold, misty lighting creates a haze of dust. The set is lit from above when in the mill, and from the side when the action ventures into William’s stable, casting shadows up the rear wall.
This is a profound, breathtaking production.
Thom Dibdin, The Stage
The perfect poise of Kemp’s production is reflected gorgeously in Jamie Vartan’s impressive set. Semi-abstract and dominated by a huge aperture in the shape of a millstone, it is illuminated with dramatic nuance by lighting designer Simon Wilkinson
Mark Brown, Sunday Herald
Jamie Vartan’s brutal set – grey, stone-like, with a central performance area matched by a circular hole of darkness overhead – is impressive enough, but Simon Wilkinson’s subtle lighting – switching smoothly between a misty hoar, near darkness, and the golden hues of a beautiful sunrise – makes its strong geometric shapes even more memorable. This is a thoughtful, starkly beautiful production
Paul F Cockburn, Broadway Baby