Shackleton (2016)
  • The Factory, Sligo
  • Director: Niall Henry
  • Set & Costume Design: Jamie Vartan
  • Lighting Design: Barry McKinney
  • Winner of: Irish Times Theatre Awards, Best Set Design 2016
“In staging these events, director Niall Henry’s most daring move is to take this epic saga and make it small. Telling the story with miniature boats, some of which are animated by rod-puppetry, he finds a scale that — far from diminishing the experience of Shackleton and his cohorts — actually magnifies it in all its raw intensity.To this purpose, the miniatures and puppetry are wonderfully complemented by the use of light, sound, and a spare, but brilliantly shape-shifting, set.It does so by salvaging and staging various images and gestures: the silhouette of men at contemplation in a tent; the brittle human movements of a hike through freezing winds; the exhilarating swirls of a small boat in treacherous waters.”
Irish Examiner  ★★★★
“Sligo’s Blue Raincoat Theatre Company have created a visually stunning show. Jamie Vartan’s design conjures icebergs and pack ice from sheets of white cloth. Barry McKinney’s lighting is superb. Joe Hunt’s sound and video creations are even better still. Puppet boats skim the water, buffeted by storms. Icy mountains are made out of sheets. Effective play with shadow imagery depicts Shackleton with his pipe and his gramophone. The vision rivals the skill behind big shows like War Horse or The Lion King; the scale is smaller, but the inventiveness is equally audacious.”
Irish Independent