To rekindle the local arts scene in Carlisle post-lockdown with a modern adaptation of Twelfth Night that reflects strong LGBT+ themes and the spirit of the BLM and #MeToo movements.
Once theatres were able to reopen post-lockdown, Whistling Crew Productions and WordForWord Arts CIC took the initiative to kickstart the theatre scene in Carlisle by staging a contemporary rendition of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. As a graphic designer, I was privileged to be involved in creating various visual assets for the production.
- Script and Handbook: I began by designing the script and handbook presented to the actors and crew involved in the production. The layout and typography were carefully crafted to ensure clarity and ease of reference, allowing the team to navigate the script smoothly.
- Poster and Logo Designs: Given the play’s strong LGBT+ themes and its reflection of the attitudes and atmospheres of the BLM and #MeToo movements, I created vibrant and unconventional poster and logo designs that aimed to evoke feelings of rebelliousness. By deliberately breaking traditional rules of colour and design layout, I sought to capture the essence of the production’s unconventional spirit. Additionally, I subtly capitalised the letters L, G, B, T, I, and + in the logo to emphasise the inclusivity and diversity celebrated in the play.
- Artwork Collaboration: To further enhance the visual experience, we collaborated with local artist Elisha Wharton, who created captivating artwork displayed in the arch windows on the posters. The artwork added an additional layer of creativity and intrigue, capturing the essence of the production and captivating the audience even before they entered the theatre.
The combination of bold poster designs, an inclusive logo, and captivating artwork created a buzz within the local community and beyond. The production successfully attracted a diverse audience, including those who may have previously felt excluded from the theatre scene. By addressing important social issues and promoting inclusivity through visually striking designs, the play ignited conversations and left a lasting impact on both the audience and the local arts scene in Carlisle.
This project exemplified the power of graphic design in effectively conveying the spirit and themes of a theatrical production. Through carefully crafted visuals, we not only captured attention but also sparked dialogue and created a sense of inclusion within the community. Collaborating with local artists further strengthened the connection between the production and its audience. It was a privilege to contribute to reviving the local arts scene and promoting social change through design.