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Projection designers 59 Productions to create its first theatre show

59 Productions' Deep Time event at Edinburgh Castle, which opened the Edinburgh International Festival. Photo: Leo Warner 59 Productions' Deep Time event at Edinburgh Castle, which opened the Edinburgh International Festival. Photo: 59 Productions
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Design company 59 Productions is create its first original theatre show, as it looks to expand its influence in the industry.

59 Productions, which is known for its visual and technical design, was behind the recent Deep Time event at Edinburgh Castle, which opened the Edinburgh International Festival.

The company also won a Tony award in 2015 for its design work on An American in Paris, and designed the projection for Wonder.land at the National Theatre.

For its first theatre production, it will collaborate with Home in Manchester and the Lyric Hammersmith on an adaptation of Paul Auster’s dystopian novel City of Glass.

It is the first stage production of the story in the UK, and has been adapted by Duncan Macmillan, author of People, Places and Things. In collaborating at the earliest stages with writers and theatremakers, 59 Productions said its move into theatre would allow it to be at the “heart of the creative process”.

Plans for the show include incorporating projection mapping, stagecraft, magic and illusion to immerse audiences into the “dystopian and fragmented world” of the play.

It will be directed by 59 Productions’ founding director Leo Warner, who said originating its own productions was a “natural progression” for 59 Productions.

“We have developed our sensibilities and interests within the theatre, then we have taken them out of the theatre to big events, and public art works and engagement projects, and now all of the skills we have learned, both creatively, technically and in terms of production, we are bringing back into the theatre again,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company became associate artists at EIF, and have for the past two years created the opening event of the festival. It is a relationship that Warner said had been a “really big boost” for the company in terms of its development.

Warner said he hoped 59 Productions would produce more theatre in the future, claiming City of Glass was just the first step in a journey.

“We are continuing to initiate and produce our own work in a number of areas and we very much hope that theatre will be at the core of that in the years to come,” he added.

City of Glass will premiere at Home on March 4, running until March 18, before transferring to the Lyric, where it runs from April 20 to May 13.

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