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The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

My Role:

Set and Costume Designer

Realized production of The Book of Dust, set 12 years before the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Context:  "Two young people and their daemons, with everything at stake, find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future. And as the waters rise around them, powerful adversaries conspire for mastery of Dust: salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others."

Vision:  The set and space needed to be versatile to accomodate the fast-paced changes in locations this production required including the repersentation of a catastrophic flood. I created a pop-up book world with a bridge that separates into 4 sections once the flood hits to represent the unpredictable journey they embark on. With Set revealed or brought in to represent the various locations. 


Photography- Kristen McTernan.

Initial Response

Initial meetings between myself and the director established the need of versatile set which acted as a playground, establishing various levels and spaces for play. As this is a well-established world within Philip Pullmans, His Dark Materials universe the starting point of a lot of the research was book based with text analysis, intrinsic response drawings and conversations with the director about their particular vision.

Design Development

My design development involves a combination of rough modelling, SketchUp, Photoshop and ProCreate. Using these methods I refined the layout, set elements and the bridge idea. Meanwhile looking a what set could be either revealed or brought into the space to represent the various locations.

Final Model

I created a realistic accurate 1:25 scale model using a laser cutter and hand cutting. Then rendered using a combination of watercolours, coloured pencils and acrylics. To communicate clearly with the director, construction, scenics, crew and actors.