MA in Performance Design
Olivia is a Performance Designer working interdisciplinary in both set and costume design. She has a particular interest in storytelling through the use of installation and sculpture within her practice. Prior to studying MA Performance Design at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Olivia graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature and History of Art. She also attended Glasgow School of Art as a postgraduate student. Olivia’s credentials include Pride and Prejudice (The Mount Without), How My Light is Spent (The Wardrobe Theatre) and Loam (Bristol Old Vic).
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, my reimagined design of The Tempest responds to themes of isolation, power dynamics and colonialism, envisioned through a magical, environmental lens. Created in collaboration with director Ellie Stevens, Prospero’s patriarchal tree domineers the space, opposed to the marshy reeds which Caliban inhabits. Initially, the island is insular to the imposing eco crisis, yet gradually, the outside world is lapping at their shores; rubbish washed ashore and the sea is saturated in oil.
Society’s relationship to the ever-present climate emergency provided inspiration when designing the visual language of the eco-comedy Loam. Working in close collaboration with director Marcus Romer and costume designer Hazel Mcintosh, we created a cohesive world of sleek, linear, sharp shapes in juxtaposition with the looming green drops; a metaphor for the clinical, corporate world, out of touch with nature, and consequently ourselves. Parallel to this was creating a playground for projection design; to signify the insular nature that we interact with fellow humans – connected yet disconnected.
Created in collaboration with director Jack Furness, a haunting reimagining of Benjamin Britten’s operatic masterpiece, Peter Grimes. Taking visual inspiration from the German Expressionist movement, I explored themes of the individual versus the collective, loss of innocence and the chaotic upheaval of a close-knit community, retold as a ghost story. I’ve appropriated the imagery of upturned chairs, to portray the precarious, fractious turmoil which pervades the fictional fishing village, The Borough.