|Stunning sets are a feature of National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) productions and Colin Richmond's design for Men Should Weep is no exception. An enormous metal container stretches the breadth of the proscenium arch stage. By its side and on its top a couple of "hoodies" squat. This could be "the wrong side of the tracks" in almost any city in today's world. House lights fade; the lads slide back the container's metal front. Inside is a damp, dingy, overcrowded 1920s bedroom-and-kitchen.
The Guardian (Men Should Weep, National Theatre Of Scotland)
If there's a rule to be broken about family-centred theatre, playwright Chris Hannan breaks it. His brilliant version of the Alexandre Dumas stories is rude, anarchic, witty, intelligent, irreligious and coarse – the more so in Dominic Hill's production, designed by Colin Richmond to look like a scene of plague-ridden theatrical dilapidation in sore need of a good revolution.
for anyone else, though – anyone with a heart, a sense of humour and a feeling for the great seasonal tradition of rebellious misrule – this is a great Christmas show, superbly directed by Dominic Hill for English Touring Theatre and the Belgrade, Coventry, with the Traverse as co-producer, and magnificently designed by Colin Richmond on a series of stylishly wrecked and grubby sets, from the woods of Gascony to the sewers of Paris.
Colin Richmond's triumphant set design—all muted colours and fairground apparatus—is bewitching.
With a stunning set designed by Colin Richmond and lighting designed by Guy Hoare, we are transported instantly to a bygone era, with its sepia tones and moody atmospheric lighting Futureproof is a wondrous sight to behold.
Visually, this is a stunning show, and director Dominic Hill makes the most of Colin Richmond's design, and its mixture of the gaudy and the tawdry, particularly in a scene of spinetingling, murderous magic.
Futureproof is a visual feast. The set is lush and full, as one would expect from a production designed by Colin Richmond. The centre piece is a full-sized replica of a circus cart, which is implied to be one of many by its various transformations into an office, a bedroom and a storage container.
Designer Colin Richmond places the action in and around a set of shipping containers, avoiding the usual cliches of 19th-century London – this is a dirty, industrial city of unhygienic back-street cafes and back-of-the-lorry salesmen; a place where the rich wield power over a disenfranchised poor.
From the first sight of designer Colin Richmond's crooked Donegal cottage, complete with its soggy peat and billowing smoke stack, it is clear that this faithful version will be a magical two hours of theatre.
In terms of the look of the thing, designer Colin Richmond has striven for period authenticity – from the oppressive patterned wallpaper and carpet that crowd out the Fishers’ living room through to the naff wooden side-cabinet in which miscreant Billy absurdly stashes piles of calendars purloined from his undertaker employers.
Colin Richmond's design wittily sets the action in kitschly naturalistic downstairs rooms encased in a box set where supposedly parallel lines are skewed to collide at a point just out of sight beyond a kitchen sink.
Colin Richmond's design has a chilly, gothic glamour,, the guardian 2010
Colin Richmond's design — with its circular wooden structure, like an abandoned bandstand or merry-go-round — is more suggestive of the run-down English seaside. Yet, with its broken struts and tangle of drunken fairy lights, the design is wonderfully moody, speaking achingly of the dereliction of the heart.
Hansel & Gretel is one of the most charming, high-quality family shows I've seen this year. It's created by a talented young team, under director Paul King who is best known for his work with the Perrier Award-winner Garth Marenghi. Two or three scenes could be pared, but the whole ensemble is gently entertaining and, now and then, flamboyantly yucky and scary.
King's designer, Colin Richmond, and the puppeteer Steve Tiplady, have been playfully imaginative. Hansel & Gretel's house is a fantastic pepper-pot shack, expressionistically skewed and tapering away to a point. In its minuscule attic, you can see two beds. Then Matt Green's farcically dim Hansel and Elizabeth Bower's clever Gretel appear, tucking up for the night: sticking their full-size heads out between dwarf pillows and blankets, and operating tiny gesticulating hands under their chins as they discuss their beastly stepmother ("How did they get so little?" exclaimed the child in the row behind me).
Goold's production appalls as it amuses, relentlessly confronting us with our willingness to laugh at cruelty when it is packaged as a social norm and silkily beribboned with elegant language and manners. Colin Richmond's design, with its absurd wigs and deathly make-up, and Oliver Fenwick's shadowy lighting give the performers a nightmarish, monstrous aspect; and the acting absorbingly makes the transition from queasy comedy to horror. The play has an inescapable didacticism, but Goold teaches its lesson with passion and flair. Frighteningly relevant; frighteningly good.
Director Douglas Rintoul and designer Colin Richmond have put together a slick, sleek production in which benches, timetables and screens are slid around efficiently. The actors add to the unsettling sense of a world in transit by sitting at the sides of the stage when not required. There are some other Brecht-lite tricks, with projected captions providing titles for scenes. Yet the effect is the opposite of alienation.
Designer Colin Richmond musters beautiful background "departure board" visuals and scatters the mainly bare stage with autumn leaves. Without ever being explicit, the evening blows shaming memories of Bosnia's dead and discarded back in our faces.
The opulent design of grotesque characters and gothic, twisted proportioned set pieces by Colin Richmond can not help but evoke the masterful work of cinematic legend Tim Burton. It is in Richmond’s imaginatively stunning design that the magic of the production lies, it becomes remarkable that a tale we know so well somehow become unpredictable; always wanting to know how the next event will happen, even though we know what will happen.
Boxed inside Colin Richmond’s set on which furniture is flung around and doors slammed, the full claustrophobia of such a crowded household rings equally true.
Expertly directed by Maggie Norris, sleekly designed by Colin Richmond and beautifully sung.
Colin Richmond’s design cleverly makes the anti-prison point, setting preposterous colourful action (including a riot of a riot) against black-and-white footage of a Victorian prison, the walkways stalked by female shadows.
Colin Richmond’s set is wonderfully versatile and its sombre, sinister greys and browns somehow manage to dazzle. The bleached, bony Lord Mandeville, meanwhile, is a Tim Burton-esque marvel that's both horrific and pathetic, his long blood-stained fingers reaching out for companionship as much as young bones on which to lunch.
The designs of Colin Richmond are worthy of an award. Everything works with style, be it drawing deserved attention to musical director George Dyer’s band or conveying the austere, shambolic conditions of the New York City Municipal Orphanage and the contrasting splendour of billionaire industrialist Warbucks’ mansion.
A revolve stage that spins round to reveal itself to be a subway train is a stunning sleight of hand, and Richmond’s costume designs – 140 of them, apparently – are sharp and witty and suitably scruffy for the children.
Colin Richmond's set is fabulous and would rival any West End stage, with creative interpretations of New York streets, cinemas and billionaire homes.
Foster and his team use the full width, height and depth of the cavernous Quarry Theatre space to inspired effect, whether for full scale production numbers or more intimate happenings.
The show also offers an outstanding technical achievement with a set designed by one of the talents from Doctor Who. The constantly evolving set is highly textured and wholly immersive, with immense Art Deco pillars that unfold and transport the audience from the poverty of the subways to the opulence of a billionaire’s mansion in a matter of seconds. Peppered throughout the stage are hundreds of pin-lights, flashing on command to quickly transform the realistic and rustic settings to a dazzling arena of Broadway extravagance and dancing illumination. The entire design style, from set to luminaries, embraces and capitalises on 1930s show styles and industrial art deco, whilst also relishing the flapping, Broadway glitz of that bygone era. The sense of scale and attention to detail is immense, enveloping and a visual feast which leaves an indelible impression long after the final blackout.
Entertainment-focus (Annie, West Yorkshire Playhouse)
Brilliant design and choreography —
***** The Guardian — 5 stars
A visually thundering set.