Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Photo: Pat Redmond

Woyzeck in Winter (2017)
Barbican
Director: Conall Morrison
Set & Costume Design: Jamie Vartan ( Set ) & Joan O'Clery ( Costumes )
Lighting Design: Ben Ormerod
Nominated for: Irish Times Theatre Awards 2018 Best Set Design
“A dazzling design by Jamie Vartan dominates this big show, with a massive installation of wrecked pianos creating a multi-tiered playing space, full of idiosyncratic possibility. There is one functioning piano, and musical director Conor Linehan plays it live throughout.”
Irish Independent  
“Jamie Vartan’s set of a towering mountain of battered and broken pianos is nothing less than inspired.”
Sunday Independent  
“Director Conall Morrison’s new play displays real chutzpah. Not only has Morrison assembled an outstanding cast of actor-singers, but his atmospheric set, designed by Jamie Vartan, is breathtaking: a Dickensian streetscape of more than 100 discarded pianos. The epic musical-theatre style is an intriguing fusion of Die Winterreise, Schubert’s song cycle of 1827, and Woyzeck, an unfinished play written in 1836 by Georg Büchner. The result is surprisingly coherent as the two masterpieces coincide on core points, with the mournful but beautiful score intensifying Büchner’s narrative.”
Sunday Times  
“The anguish and torment of Büchner’s tragedy and Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise combine to brilliant effect in a pioneering piece of music-theatre. I would say that Woyzeck has a jagged, fragmented quality that seems wholly modern while Schubert’s work embodies 19th-century German Romanticism but the juxtaposition is still intellectually and emotionally stimulating. That is evident from the start when Rosaleen Linehan emerges from a stage that is a mountainscape of battered pianos (there are 103 all told) in the character of Hurdy-Gurdy Man. The effect is overwhelmingly moving. Conor Linehan’s musical direction and Jamie Vartan’s design, in which derelict pianos evoke the unstrung nature of the hero, are all of a piece with the concept.”
Guardian  ★★★★
“Against the site-unspecific backdrop of a tumbledown stack of junk artfully designed by Jamie Vartan, the familiar story of the mercilessly bullied squaddie who ends up murdering his common-law wife Marie unfolds with fluent clarity.”
Telegraph  ★★★★
“There isn’t a moment when anything felt contrived, especially when measured against Jamie Vartan’s sensational set, a graveyard of ruined, mute pianos piled randomly into a tottering heap that sums up spiritual desolation. Fragments of songs, often just their accompaniments, and complete settings means that the music is hardly ever silent, and, like a soundtrack, triggers an astonishing range of resonances to pile layers of meaning onto the words of the play.”
Classical Source  ★★★★★
“The work has been lovingly created for Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival with excellence in mind. A cast featuring many of Ireland’s finest combines with pianist Conor Linehan on a set that comprises keyboard instruments in varying stages of symbolic decay, in addition to his immaculately maintained and played Steinway.”
British Theatre Guide