"Every detail of this magical world has been conjured to life with such dedication by the team and the cast, and I think it has truly imbued House with the warmth and care that is at the heart of the story."
We sat down with Charlotte Lane to find out more about HOUSE and being a Designer...
Describe your job as a Set and Costume Designer
My role is to tell the story visually, by designing and creating the physical world of the play. I develop the production concept with the director and creative team, deciding how the set, props and costumes look and function, integrating them into the rehearsal process with the cast, and collaborating with the technical production teams to realise the design and bring our ideas to life.
What ideas or images inspired you when designing the actual house for HOUSE?
House leapt from the script as a magical character in itself. We explored every description, clue and detail, taking reference from thousands of images that we collected; cubby houses, pillow forts, treehouses, flying machines, chaotic kitchens, architectural features from old ramshackle houses, memories from our own childhoods, biscuits…
Do you have a favourite part of the HOUSE set?
My favourite part of House is the way it communicates – how it visually transforms, with puppetry, sound and lights integrated harmoniously (or sometimes cantankerously!) to give House a language.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when designing the set and costumes for HOUSE?
There were many challenging conceptual questions we explored through the development such as ‘how does House appear in the storm?’, ‘how does House fly?’, ‘how does House communicate?’, however it was the technical and logistical aspects that were particularly challenging. The set is designed to look old and wonky but it needs to be strong and functional and support lots of integrated contraptions, making it a complex design to build, especially as it needs to break into pieces for touring.
For some school students this will be their first time at the theatre. What do you remember about your first time at the theatre?
I saw a production of ‘The Adventures of SnugglePot and Cuddle Pie’ by The Australian Ballet School when I was maybe four or five years old. I remember the feeling of excitement when the lights dimmed, and I was pulled into a magical world.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I have always taken great delight in making things. Growing up, I was interested in all areas of the arts - fine arts, design, literature, music, history, philosophy and the performing arts. I wanted to develop a craft as an artist, but I also loved working collaboratively with a team. Set and costume design is a wonderful fusion of all these interests and has taken me on adventures beyond my imagination.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I love that I have the opportunity to tell stories through creating imaginary worlds and inhabitant characters. I am very fortunate to collaborate with a diverse mix of brilliant creatives and artists, and to make work for a wide range of audiences.
What do you think is special about HOUSE?
There is so much love in this story, in House and the wonderful characters who bring us along on their journey. Every detail of this magical world has been conjured to life with such dedication by the team and the cast, and I think it has truly imbued House with the warmth and care that is at the heart of the story.
I hope that House continues to welcome in, surprise and delight audiences on its adventures!