John Parker

Set Design

“I was interested in a design metaphor for the lethal machinery and machinations of the political intrigue of Elizabethan courtly life. A documentary series aptly entitled MACHINES OF MALICE triggered my exploration of contemporary torture instruments.

The Iron Maiden became the inspiration for my set design. I wanted to evoke a world of daily uncertainly where allegiances change radically when personal survival is foremost. I wanted to suggest life lived out inside an unseen baited trap, a sort of period landmine waiting for an ill placed foot.

The open diamond grillwork references Tudor leadlight windows; while at the same time could be a trellis, a confessional or a gibbet cage. The movement of the lattice screens allows us to present the constricted environment of political house arrest, the openness of the grounds of a castle, as well as the formal splendor of Elizabeth’s Royal Court.”

John Parker is an award– winning set designer and is as well-respected in the world of ceramics as he is in set design. He has a long history of designing for Auckland Theatre Company.

His set designs include STEPPING OUT, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, THE WIFE WHO SPOKE JAPANESE IN HER SLEEP, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, END OF THE RAINBOW, SWEET CHARITY, DOUBT, MUM’S CHOIR, TAKING OFF, EQUUS, CALIGULA, THE BACH, MIDDLE AGE SPREAD, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, NOISES OFF, WAITING FOR GODOT, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDERNSTEIN ARE DEAD and INTO THE WOODS.

Other works include THE SCENE, CREDITORS, IL TROVATORE, TRUE WEST, THE THREEPENNY OPERA, CHESS, ROMEO AND JULIET, TITUS ANDRONICUS, TWELFTH NIGHT, F.I.L.T.H, ASSASSINS, WAIORA, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, DECADENCE, ON THE RAZZLE, CHICAGO, THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, BARBER OF SEVILLE, COSI FAN TUTTE, EVITA and TRASH TO FASHION.

John has also designed for The Louis Vuitton Ball and The America’s Cup Ball, Bendon’s Next To Nothing, Bellsouth Pharaohs, Precious Legacy and Peru: Gold and Sacrifice for the Auckland Museum. He is also the recipient of a Waitakere City Millennium Medal for services to the Community.