As the set designer for The Winslow Boy, I have made several decisions to reflect the characters and to create an accurate re-imagination of a early 1900’s household.
Such as: A warm fireplace adjacent to Arthurs chair, to indicate the warmth and heart of the family. The chair will be placed near to show that Arthur is in a position to look after and protect the family. Arthurs chair will be made out of high quality leather as leather is often used to represent solidity and hardness and masculinity, showing that Arthur is quite a masculine and dominant figure. The chair must be clearly a high quality and long lasting piece of furniture. As if we refer back to the text Arthur mentions he still receives a ‘small pension’ from the bank, meaning Arthur used to work in the bank, which shows he has knowledge on the value of money meaning he perhaps bought the chair as it would last long and be an investment in the long run. The high quality will also help explain to the audience that the Winslow family is quite rich and upper class. Directly on top of the fireplace there shall some old fashioned frames with specific photos.
The first, which will be placed on the right, will be of a man, quite old, which is Arthurs father Winslow, to show Arthur and the family have great respect for his father and shows Arthur is a character who strives to be as respected. The second, will be placed in the middle; a large portrait of the 5 members of the Winslow family, Arthur and Catherine on the far right, to emphasize the closeness of Catharine and her father. Then in the centre of the portrait we shall have Grace and Ronnie, the mother and son, too show that these two characters have a close relation and his mother may be doing something motherly like holding Ronnie’s shoulders while he is sat down. And finally in the left hand side, standing in solitude, there’s Dickie. Who will be standing straight smiling confidently to show he is quite an independent and assured character.
Directly next to Arthurs chair there shall be a table with a flower pot, the flowers shall be pink roses to show Graces input into the house and furniture and showing that there is a feminine character within the play as within the text we see grace has a ‘intense femininity’. There will be a table I the centre with Dickies gramophone on it to make it quite awkward and hard for Dickie to pass Arthur and grab his gramophone.
There will be a door leading to the dinning room (which is not visible) for Catherine and Grace as the text it mentions that grace and Catherine hide in the dinning room. There will also be an exit towards the garden to allow Ronnie to run and hide. The area will be very clean and spotless to show the brilliant input from Violet, the families care taker. There will be a ash tray next to Arthurs chair to show that he is a smoker or someone in the family smokes, perhaps even the guests. The floor will be made out of oak as a oak tree represents courage, happiness in marriage, health, prosperity, strength, strong constitution, and wealth. Which is exactly what the Winslow family consists off.
I have also decided to set the play ‘in the round’, as I believe this allows the audience and the actors to relate and interact with each other and create a more real and believable piece of drama.