Motley Theatre Design Course
Motley Theatre Design Course
The Motley Theatre Design Course was formerly known as the Sadler's Wells Design Course and the Theatre Design Course of the English National Opera.

In 1966 Stephen Arlen, then Managing Director of Sadler's Wells Opera, and Margaret 'Percy' Harris, at that time resident designer of the company, launched the Design Course based on the approach to design of the Old Vic School where they had both worked under the direction of Michel St. Denis, Glen Byam Shaw and George Devine. The Course started in a small room in a house near Sadler's Wells Theatre with eight students, amongst whom were Hayden Griffin, Carol Lawrence, Susie Caulcutt and Derek Nicholson, all of whom have made a name in the theatre.

In 1969 the school moved to a space at the top of Sadler's Wells Theatre. This was taken over by the Design Course and ran there for a further two years. In 1971 the school then moved to Camperdown House where it remained under the name and sponsorship of the English National Opera until 1981 when the sponsorship was withdrawn.

In September 1981 the Course moved to the Riverside Studios, then under the direction of David Gothard. This move was most advantageous, as the aims and training of the school were very much in line with the Riverside policies, through which the Course developed further ideas and flexibility. When this period came to an end the Course, after some time at the Almeida Theatre and the Royal National Theatre Studio, became the Motley Theatre Design Course and moved to a warehouse in Covent Garden, where Alison Chitty joined Margaret Harris and Hayden Griffin as co-director. In 1994 the Course occupied its present excellent premises in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Sadly, in the year 2000, Margaret Harris died at the age of 95 after 70 years in the profession - 34 of those as founder and director of the Motley Theatre Design Course. The course continues at Drury Lane under the directorship of Alison Chitty (O.B.E.), with course tutors Ashley Martin-Davis and Anthony Lamble. Percy's vision for the school and her ideas about teaching and design remain central to the philosophy of the course.



Motley Theatre Design Course 67 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5SP
Phone: 020 7379 4050   Fax: 020 7240 9735   Email: info@motleytheatredesign.co.uk
Web Site Design by Ambrit Ltd