Jocelyn Herbert is the archetypal theatre designer: intelligent, imaginative and unassuming. All too often the work of the designer (who makes such a massive impact on how we experience, understand and enjoy theatre) is overlooked, so it is heartening to see such a lavish and fitting tribute to one of British theatre’s most interesting and accomplished designers. Supplemented with comment and stories from people who have worked with her, this beautifully illustrated production by production examination of Herbert’s work is fascinating. The passages that deal with her work with Samuel Beckett are particularly intriguing and provide an insight into how a genuinely creative partnership between actor, director, author and designer can have immensely illuminating results. Jocelyn Herbert worked as a designer on some of the most important theatrical events in our recent history (Hall’s Oresteia, Beckett’s monologues for Billy Whitelaw) and this is a wonderful book that will interest not only those with an interest in the work of the theatre designer, but also how the theatrical process is developed and executed.

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Edited by: Cathy Courtney | Published by: Art Books International | 243 pages

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Jocelyn Herbert Sketch Books

Published by the Royal Academy¬†for the first time, Herbert’s sketchbooks provide an intimate picture of her life and work. Ideas for sets and costumes share pages with recipes and reminders: drafts of letters follow delicate line drawings of friends and family. Stephen Farthing considers the creative and personal uses to which Herbert put her sketchbooks, whilst Richard Eyre, a close friend and collaborator, discusses the woman and her vocation. Illustrated with production shots from key projects and commentaries from the people involved, this book brings to life a golden age of British theatre through one of its pre-eminent figures.

Cloth hardback, 29.5 x 21cm, 122 pages, 75 illustrations.

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