The Man with The Luggage

21 September – 10 December 2011

A man strives to return home, in search of his past, hopeful of his future, and longing for those he left behind. As his journey unfolds, he finds his path repeatedly blocked and his identity endlessly questioned. His luggage and his status are lost as borders are crossed, languages confused, and modes of travel conspire to thwart him. Will he ever reach his destination? …will his luggage? …and will his identity arrive with him?

Director: Oliver Jones

Designer: Anoushka Athique

Writer: Lizzie Nunnery

Lighting Designer: Mat Haskins

Music: Ben Glasstone

Burn My Heart

Two boys’ lives are changed forever, as their friendship and loyalty are blown apart by fear and betrayal. Set during the Mau Mau uprising in 1950’s Kenya and the ensuing bloody State of Emergency,Burn my Heart examines themes of terror, division, and freedom.

Director: Oliver Jones

Designer: Anoushka Athique

Adapted by: Rina Vergano

Lighting Design: John Purkins

Composer: Juwon Ogungbe


“Burn My Heart, however, reminds us of the transforming power of a good set design. Anoushka Athique’s mesh of sewn sheets covers the entire stage area and transports us to a symbolic 1950s Kenya. Almost endlessly inventive, this is one of the most cunning sets I’ve ever seen.

Benches become Jeeps, cloth becomes fire and the ground is elevated to become sand dunes. It’s unusual for a designer to be so in tune with the theatrical intentions of a company, but the result of Athique’s collaborative work with Trestle is evident. The space is easily adaptable and can be manipulated to facilitate the more physical sequences of the production. A montage of silhouettes, created behind a cloth screen, is particularly chilling: as the actors loose their distinguishing physical features, we see the raw brutality of an interrogation of those suspected to be Mau Mau sympathisers. John Purkis’ lighting design also enhances the emotional frictions of the story: strong reds, whites and blues conflict with a palette of more earthy African colours, and cause the action we are watching to take on an unnerving hue.” Helen Rampley

The fluidity of Anoushka Athique’s design is essential to support the many elements used to tell the story. Musical instruments, shadow screens, cars, fences and homes all appear easily from the dark hot landscape and disappear back within it. Together with a clear soundscape we are easily transported to 1950’s Kenya and the atrocities that lie within.

The set evolves organically using only a few props to create among other settings a car, the African bush and riding stables…. its charm and its ability to whisk you off to the African bush.