In the Jungle of Cities Young Vic
In the Jungle of Cities by Bertholt Brecht
Young Vic Theatre
Directed by Simon Usher
Set and Costume Design by Fly Davis
This play has many locations and requires a fluid change from scene to scene, set in Chicago China Town 1912. Simon and I therefore discussed having a composite set with all the locations in view all the time, with actors permanently filling the spaces in order to give the sense of a real city jungle that never stopped buzzing. It was an age of new industry, engineering and building so I explored the use of metal as scaffolding and the Chinese roofs to set the location.
On stage left is a hotel bar, in the centre on the lower level is Shlink’s lumber yard office. Above it is the protagonist’s George Garga’s home. Both of these (the office and the attic) can truck in and out into what is the construction department of the theatre in order to add depth. Stage right shows the hotel room made with bamboo rather than metal. A silk screen divides this space in two as there is a duel scene where 2 rooms are needed. Down stage centre in the thrust is a metal floor with gravel. It is to suggest Lake Michigan with the wooden pier stored under the hotel room which can truck out.