RALPH KOLTAI:DESIGNER, SCENOGRAPHER, & SCULPTOR Cam M. Roberts
“Whatever talent I may have,it lies in recognizing the accident when it happens.”
“The play isn’t about a door,it is about somebody coming on stage.”
Ralph Koltai Ralph Koltaistage design workshop under the stage designer Ralph Koltai.
Biographic NoteRalph Koltai: born Berlin 1924; came to England 1939; served in British Army after the war; Central School student 1948-51, then Head of Theatre Design 1965-72; Associate Designer with RSC 1963-5 and again from 1976 to the present. Lives in London. He is the recipient of many awards, including the CBE in 1983, and the subject of several retrospective exhibitions.
As You Like It“The Forest of Arden is real to those who dream it.” The Old Vic 1967 p. 16 – 21
As You Like It 1967 Set ModelPerspex, acetate, paint, plastic, and wood.
Back to Methuselah The Old Vic 1968/1969 “A cosmic prologue,transformation into the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge.” p. 100 – 101
The TempestChichester Theatre Festival 1968/1978 “And island of the mind.” p. 63
The Tempest Costume Design Royal Shakespeare Theatre David Suchet as Caliban,Richard Griffiths as Trinculo Paul Moriarty as Stephano 1978
The Ring Cycle Barbican Theatre 1970/1974“A world in cosmic space. Coincide with the first Apollo landing on the moon.” p. 42 – 45
Cyrano De Bergerac Royal Shakespeare Theatre 1983/1984 Model “Act V – A Convent Garden. The autumn of Cyrano’s life:the crown of a tree shedding its leaves, hinting at stained glass, a rose window…” p. 58 – 61
Troilus and Cressida Royal Shakespeare Company 1985“[…] Koltais beautiful baroque ruin – grey speckled like a grotesque vultures egg and hung with rotting canvasses and… spectral drapes… serves as a war room and battleground […]." Ros Asquith, Observer
BibliographyBackemeyer, Sylvia, ed. Ralph Koltai: Designer for the Stage, 3rd ed. London: Nick Hearn Books, 2003. Print.Backemeyer, Sylvia, ed. Ralph Koltai: Designer for the Stage, 1st ed. London: Nick Hearn Books, 1997. Print.Brockett, Oscar G., Margaret Mitchell, and Linda Hardberger. Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010. Print.Davis, Tony. Stage Design. East Sussex: RotoVision, 2001. Print.McKinney, J. and Butterworth, P. (2009) The Cambridge Introduction to Scenography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press