This week it’s the turn of Theatre Design to attract our attention. And up and coming new star in this world seems to be PAUL WILLS. Over the last few years he has been coming to the fore with a body of work that includes some of the major London and regional theatres – none more so than his current production of See How They Run at the Royal Exchange in Manchester – plus designing their forthcoming production of Macbeth.
He has also recently covered opera (English Touring Opera’s Rusalka), new plays Pornography at Birmingham Rep and The Frontline at The Globe, and a classic revival of Arthur Miller’s The Man Who Had All The Luck at the Donmar Warehouse.
Wills (29) trained at Bretton Hall in Leeds, associate and assistant designing with key figures such as Stephen Brimson Lewis and Christopher Oram before moving on to design his own productions at notable venues including the Young Vic, the Tricycle Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, the Classic Stage Company in New York, The Watermill Theatre, The Menier Chocolate Factory, the Royal Court Upstairs, the Bush, the Gate and the RSC’s The Other Place.
More unusual projects must include a production of The Magic Flute for the National Theatre of Palestine in Bethlehem and Ramallah, directed by Sam West.
Theatre design – particularly in the West End – is often dominated by a handful of grand-dame theatre designers, so it’s promising that young designers are managing to battle through to the foreground and forge a solid reputation.