Performance Design exhibition at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

As the East London curators of the Society of British Theatre Designers’ national exhibition of UK design for performance, ‘Hello Stranger’ (2019-2023), David Shearing and Khadija Raza are thrilled to announce that an exhibition is currently on display in the foyer of Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch until 26 March.

Featuring a curated selection of regional talent, the exhibition celebrates the work of theatre designers and highlights the critical role that design plays in the success of a production. Design for the stage involves more than just set design and costume design, but also sound and lighting design, which create a multisensory experience for the audience.

Design for performance is a constantly evolving process, and there is an unfinished, messy, and white card aspect to it. David and Khadija wanted to bring these aspects into the exhibition. As designers, they are constantly learning, growing, and refining their craft, and are not afraid to make mistakes or take risks. Design is a collaborative process, and it involves communication and collaboration with the rest of the creative team, including directors, actors, producers, and technicians.

As a result, the design process can be complex, challenging, and unpredictable. Through this exhibition, David and Khadija hope to showcase the dynamic and exciting world of theatre design between process and outcome.

The challenges of the pandemic also presented new obstacles for theatre designers, and this exhibition is a testament to their resilience and creativity. Despite the limitations on in-person performances and reduced budgets, designers have found innovative ways to adapt to the new circumstances and continue to create impactful and immersive productions.

As part of the exhibition, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch are excited to host an artistin-conversation talk with Khadija Raza and David Shearing, on Saturday 18 March, from 5pm to 6pm in the Learning Space. During the talk, they will delve into the intricacies of the design process and explore the creative decisions that brought the theatre’s current production, The Flood to life. Audiences are offered a rare opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration and collaboration that shaped the design of this emotive new show. The event is free to attend, but booking is required. Click here to book.

David and Khadija, East London Curators of ‘Hello Stranger’, said “We are grateful to Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch for providing us with the platform to bring these important behind-the-scenes crafts front of house, and we hope that audiences will join us for this unique opportunity to gain an insight into the design process and celebrate the role of design in contemporary theatre. We encourage everyone to visit the exhibition in the foyer until 26 March, and to take a closer look at the artistry and creativity that goes into the design of a theatre production.”

An exhibition catalogue is available to purchase from the box office, which celebrates over 100 UK designers.

For more information about the national celebration of design visit:

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