chapter  39
Modern British theatre design
UK design for performance since 1975
ByKate Burnett
Pages 25

This chapter considers the training/education of theatre designers in the UK and the creation of new performance spaces alongside professional practice as these are intertwined. Many directors and designers of the post-war period cite the influence of Berliner Ensemble's visits to London in 1956 and again in 1965. They particularly noted the work of Brecht's designers Caspar Neher, Karl von Appen, and Teo Otto. Stage and costume design were identified as a discrete training in Britain in the early twentieth century and taught in art school contexts. The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)'s period of development of new thrust theatre spaces from 2005–2010 was driven by the Artistic Director Michael Boyd and his Head of Design Tom Piper. The 1990s were a time of rebuilding for the Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD) and for the arts and higher education in general, attempting to re-group after the destruction in Thatcher years of what had been built up in the postwar era.