Designing Wipers with Isla Shaw
October 1914, Ypres, Belgium. This is the setting for Wipers, an explosive new play by Ishy Din, highlighting the contribution of South Asian soldiers fighting alongside their British brothers during the First World War. This intense and thrilling drama will take to the Belgrade’s B2 Stage from Thurs 12 – Sat 21 May.
Inspired by the stories of real soldiers during the First World War, Designer Isla Shaw has come up with an awe-inspiring set design that will transport audiences to a dilapidated barn over 100 years ago.
In the video below, Isla shares her design concept for the show and discusses her use of light and perspective to create a more immersive experience. She also describes her costume ideas for Wipers and talks about the importance of historical accuracy in recreating the soldier’s uniforms.
Watch the video interview with Isla Shaw below:
There has been a long process involved in bringing Isla’s set design to the stage. First, she created a model box of her design, pictured below, which is a scale model of her design made from card. After discussions involving the Director Suba Das, the final set design is approved and goes to the Belgrade’s workshops to be built by our skilled team of Scenic Carpenters and Artists.
Isla’s Model Box Design:
Isla Shaw said, “set in an old, dilapidated barn, which is both skeletal and strong, the ribs of the roof arch over the audience. You feel as though you are party to private conversations amidst the tension of war.”
The finished set:
Isla has also been responsible for designing the costumes for Wipers, which will be uniforms that British and South Asian soldiers would have worn during the First World War. It was essential that she researched thoroughly to ensure that every detail of the uniforms is historically accurate.
Isla’s Costume Sketches for Wipers:
Here’s a sneak preview of the cast of Wipers in costume on stage.
The cast of Wipers in costume: