'The Mystery of the Rose Bouquet'

by Manuel Puig

Directed by David Graham-Young
Set designed by David Burrows

Costumes designed by Chrystine Bennett

Lighting designed by Marie Le Saux

with Susan Franklyn
and Valerie Sarruf

at The Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington, London

October 15th to November 2nd 2002





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Set in an exclusive nursing home, a rich cantankerous old lady is already on her fourth nurse of the week. But this one is not all she appears to be, which leads to some elaborate games and cruel deceptions. The two women act out their dreams and fantasies in which episodes from their past lives echo and inform the present, revealing frustrated ambitions and buried memories. This is a touching and uplifting play full of penetrating insights, scenes of gripping suspense and mischievous humour.

This was my fourth collaboration with David Graham-Young for Contemporary Stage Company at the Old Red Lion. I designed the setting for this second British production of the play by Argentinian playwright Manuel Puig, best known in this country for his 'Kiss of the Spider Woman'. This was also my third collaboration with Chrystine Bennett who designed the costumes. Marie Le Saux, a final year student at Wimbledon School of Art, made an impressive debut as lighting designer.

The set design was extremely straightforward and built at great speed - during the week before the show opened. The lateness of scenic construction meant that the exact dimensions of the space and the interrelationship of furniture could be established and refined well into the rehearsal period.

Conveniently, in terms of the limited budget, I was able to re-use the sofa I'd found for Mr Paul a year ago, polished up and re-covered.

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