NUMBER OF RDG SETS DESIGNED AND CREATED ~129 John is an indespensible part of RDG and a member whose contribution is enormous. For the past 40+ years - apart from one short break - he has been responsible for all RDG sets numbering well over 70 in total! With five productions a year - and now a sixth with Sundowners youth production, John works tirelessly and with great good humour.
Among those 100+ presentations John and his small hard working team provided superb sets for Dancing at Lughnasa and The Night of The Iguana. while that for Noises Off was technically remarkable. No challenge seems too great for John - for instance, for.Man of the Moment, he built a swimming pool onstage! The group is always delighted when John's talents are rewarded at drama fesivals; over the years more than 50 trophies have been received for his Sets, Techical Excellence and Best Stage Crew - most recently for the presentations of The House of Bernarda Alba and The Art of Remembering, the garden setting of But Yesterday and the gothic The King.
His set design was of the First World War trench scene for Journey's End was very highly praised. At the 2008 drama festivals the Backstage Team, led by John won five trophies for the stunning set, lighting, sound and backstage management of our evocative production of
But Yesterday. He ended that successful year by creating the multi-location setting for Mack and Mabel. In the summer of 2009 John created a functional attractive riverside loft apartment for RolePlay while his set for Who Was Hilary Maconochie?? won two staging awards at the 2009 autumn drama festivals. He ended the year by creating the complex set for our major production of The Crucible. 2010 began with our production of Teeth which won a further three staging awards at Elmbridge Festival and ended with several other technical awards going to An Englishman Abroad in the autumn festivals.
John went on to design and build the complex multi-level set for Tom Jones - a completed contrast to his evocative claustrophobic design for The Birthday Party and the expansive set for 42nd Street. RDG has won numerous Best Set Trophies but John - who has never chosen the limelight - has always declined to go onstage to receive the award; that is until he was named personally for his stunning white set for A Kind of Alaska at the 2011 Woking Festival. We were delighted that John ~ and the whole of our backstage team won the Best Backstage Team award at 2012 All-Winners Festival. That year ended with a memorable setting for Calendar Girls. 2013 saw more several set awards for his setting for In The Name of Love while the outdoor setting for When We Are Married was greatly admired. 2013 marked an amazing milestone in John's and RDG's history . That year marked 100th major set that John had created for the group. In fact if his scenery for our festival and Sundowners' productions are included the number is well beyond the century. The huge contribution which John has made to the success of the group over the past four decades cannot be over-estimated.. 2014 ended with his fine multi-spaced setting for Our Country's Good. In 2015 John's creative skills were given the ultimate accolade when the presentation of Funeral Games won maximum marks for Technical Excellence at the 2015 Woking Drama Festival. The following year he and his team won the Stage Presentation trophy again at the Spelthorne Drama Festival and the Technical Excellence award at Woking for his stylish sophisticated design for Almost Nothing. While he was creating those sets he was also building an impressive atmospheric set for our major production of The Beggar's Opera. IN 2018 he created another hugely impressive set for our stylish presentation of Nell Gwynn.