First Look: Researching and Imagining 'Tollington'

First Look: Researching and Imagining 'Tollington'

24 January 2017

Anita and Me is set in the fictional mining village of Tollington. Designer Bob Bailey is tasked with bringing it to life on stage. Explore the research material that guided his imagination.   

Last week, we took a colourful look at Bob Bailey's set design (if you missed it, check it out here), now we're taking a look at some of his research material that helped guide his decisions. Bob explains "A production design develops, in part, using a designer's imagination and is often influenced by a designer's research. Without being able to refer back to historical photographs and books, museums, maps, costume and architectural reference libraries, DVDs, etc - the production design might not feel believable or might not serve the actors and script as much as it needs to."

"A production design develops, in part, using a designer's imagination and is often influenced by a designer's research"

Research photograph from the 1970s showing children and mothers around an ice cream vanThe ice-cream van visits Hulme, July 1965. 'Women and Children; and Loitering Men'  by Shirley Baker/courtesy the Shirley Baker Estate

Photograph from the 1970s showing an asian mother with her son

Manchester, 1976. 'The North' John BulmerResearch photograph showing a cheeky street scene as a woman splashes a lad with a hosepipe

Mozart Street, Liverpool 1975. 'Like You've Never Been Away' by Paul Trevor

A mother hangs washing on a line over a cobbled street

A washing line strung across the street in Halifax, West Yorkshire, 1964. 'Like You've Never Been Away' by Paul Trevor

Two mill girls walk down a Yorkshire street with rollers and scarvesMill girls in Elland, Yorkshire, 1965 . 'Like You've Never Been Away' by Paul Trevor

A large group of children playing on a swing rope


Meeting Meera Syal

"Being able to talk with, and learn first hand, from Meera Syal about her childhood growing up in the Midlands and seeing some of her family photographs was priceless – a very rare privilege." 

Meera Syal shows family albums to members of the company

Meera Syal talks to members of the company

 


Anita and Me opens at Wolverhampton Grand theatre, where it plays from 14 to 18 February 2017. It then tours to Cheltenham, Blackpool, Nottingham, Bradford and Edinburgh.

Get tickets for this show by visiting our tour page