Wednesday, 27 June 2012

From Ghost to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Projection Designer, Jon Driscoll

The future of set design is here, with the likes of Jon Driscoll, a leading projection designer for London shows. At the National Theatre, he has designed projection for the new release The Last of the Haussmans, and his projection designs are currently lighting up the West End in The Wizard of Oz, and Ghost the Musical.
Ghost, already a hit in Broadway, will be moving to Melbourne, Australia in 2013.  It is a spectacular feat in colourful, jazzy projection, throwing you into the heart of  downtown New York, from the ghostly metro to the tall corporate tower blocks. Driscoll creates such depth in his projections, that they open up the stage to the actors beyond its physical confines, appropriate when the main character, Sam Wheat, is a ghost.  It met critical acclaim in New York particularly for this techno-spectacle, and the dynamic set was nominated this month for the Tony awards in the states, and in the summer for the Olivier awards.
What will Driscoll turn his hand to next?  Well, it has just been announced that one of his future projects will be on the forthcoming Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical.  It will be showing in the Piccadilly Theatre where Ghost will be closing in October.  Ghost proved the power of technology in modern, city productions.
The imaginary land of Wonka’s factory is perhaps a return to the land of Oz, rather than NY city, for Driscoll.  We can expect edible grass and a chocolate river, a great glass elevator and oompa-loompas.  The bright colours of Tim Burton’s film (see the photos on IMDB) give us some idea of where this can go.  Driscoll may draw on his superb work in the Wizard of Oz in designing this children’s tale. 
The primary colours of The Wizard of Oz design might be echoed by the colourful design of the Wonka factory.

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