Behind The Scenes
With Tim Hatley, Set & Costume Designer

As a Theatre Designer, it's always a challenge to design a stage show that is based on a well known book or film. Theatre has a visual language that is very different to film, and it's my job to create and develop visual ideas, make them specific and take advantage of a live theatrical environment.

A good design should be like another member of the company and not pull focus or get in the way of telling the story. With THE BODYGUARD I have tried to keep the story moving forward with simplicity, economy and impose our own invented language. It's a design that has been inspired by the film but reinvented for the stage.

I began working on THE BODYGUARD 18 months ago. The journey started with reading the script, listening to the music, re-watching the film and listening carefully to the thoughts of Thea Sharock, the director. I always work very closely with the director early on in the design process and communicate my thoughts through drawings, models and detailed storyboards illustrating the narrative of my design ideas.

Each show presents its own unique challenges. The script of THE BODYGUARD is well paced with a cinematic style, and the locations are many and varied. There is little time for locations to change, or actors to change costumes from one scene to another. Therefore my challenge is to move locations swiftly and elegantly, without stopping the action. This often means that actors do not have time to leave the stage so I have developed a world that enables the environment to change around the actors.

Once ideas are decided on I then begin to collaborate and share the work with a huge team of people from different departments: choreography, lighting, projection, sound, music, costume, props, engineers, builders, painters, as well as the head of production, actors and all the stage management, to ensure that we are all working towards the same goal. The design is indebted to the hundreds of talented colleagues involved in getting ideas from the page to the stage.