Benjamin Thapa MA Professional Theatre Design

Benjamin Thapa

Benjamin Thapa

MA Professional Theatre Design

Originally trained in graphic design and visual communication, Benjamin has developed a multidisciplinary approach to creative thinking and storytelling. Movement, dance and devised design are themes that feature heavily in his work. Benjamin is particularly passionate about the value of costume design and work that puts the performer at the heart of the production. His design credits include; costume design for To Provide All People (Bristol Arts Channel), set, prop and AV design for Her Naked Skin (Circomedia, Bristol) and performance design for Blink (BOVTS Digital) and Buzzing (BOVTS Digital). Benjamin has assisted designer Ti Green on Cyrano (Bristol Old Vic) and Bartholomew Fair (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) as well as Kevin Jenkins on What We Wished For (The Crucible Theatre). He also has a range of experience in teaching, engagement and facilitating workshops with young people.

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TERINKA / THE VIXEN, PRÍHODY LIŠKY BYSTROUŠKY (The Cunning Little Vixen) PERFORMANCE DESIGN

Costume designs for Príhody Lišky Bystroušky composed by Leoš Janácek, a concept design for The Royal Opera House.

Produced in collaboration with director Daniel Slater, Benjamin’s design responds to Janácek’s dynamic storytelling through the incorporation of a mixture of contemporary dance and ballet throughout the action on stage. Beginning in a single archway of a basement tavern, the audience is slowly exposed to a recursive ‘forest’ of archways inhabited by creatures conjured from the forester’s subconscious.

‘FINAL MOMENT’ HER NAKED SKIN SET & PROJECTION DESIGN

Set & projection design for Her Naked Skin written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and directed by Sarah Bedi. A site responsive design performed at Circomedia, Bristol.

Responding to the verticality of the venue (formally an 18th Century church) Benjamin designed a set involving the installation of a 30ft lightbox frame, which exposed the audience with white light during key sequences. Four seating banks were designed in a traverse formation, creating a claustrophobic and combative play space, magnifying the extremity of significant scenes and challenged the audience to feel implicit in the action. Projection was used to highlight key moments in women’s suffrage history, later joined by contemporary voices of the LGBTQ+ / feminist movements.

‘THE SWARM’ BUZZING PERFORMANCE DESIGN

Performance design for Buzzing written by Anita Kelly and directed by Toby Hulse. Performed in isolation as part of the BOVTS digital season.

In collaboration with director Toby Hulse, Benjamin helped to devise a digital adaptation of Buzzing, inspired by elements for the original stage design. In keeping with the narrative themes of young people, mental health and social media, the performance utilised a combination of live performance, pre-recorded content, social media feeds and phone screens to create a ‘meta-theatre’ experience for the audience.

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Working relationships made at BOVTS often extend beyond the course, design commission rates are excellent, it’s fantastic to see the graduates embracing successful and rewarding careers as Performance Designers in a professional environment. Angela Davies, Head of Performance Design