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US

  • Object:

    Set model

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1966 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jacobs, Sally, born 1932 (designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted hessian, wool, painted polystyrene, card, plastic, paper, wire, metal and wood

  • Museum number:

    S.84-2016

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition

Model by Sally Jacobs for the GI soldier in US, directed by Peter Brook, Royal Shakespeare Company, Aldwych Theatre, 1966.

US was a powerful piece of theatre making, created in response to the Vietnam War by Peter Brook and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Brook wrote in the programme that ‘The performance is a collaboration. We have attempted together to understand a situation too vast to encompass alone and too painful to ignore.’ The title referred both to the United States and to the audiences’ collective consciences. The first part used documentary material, presented as a series of sketches, speeches, and songs. Draped over the proscenium arch was a giant figure of a dead GI, described by The Times (14 October 1966) as a ‘satanic carnival dummy’, representing War. According to London Life magazine (12 November 1966):

'When fighting bursts on to the stage (in noise and frightening mime) the soldier is slowly lowered on pulleys, his empty legs swinging, his body (a bomb sticking into his belly) crumbling and sagging. A brilliant image, testing the senses.'

Once lowered, the figure remained on stage, becoming part of the landscape for the continuing action.

Physical description

Caricature figure of a dead American G.I. wearing combat uniform and a green beret. The jacket is open to reveal a 'Superman' logo on the bare chest. The right eye is formed of a plastic propellor, the left of the figure of a child with 'matches' protruding besides it. The nose is made of a tube of card, topped with metal, and there is a gun in the mouth. The trousers are open, with a yellow-painted polystyene bomb protruding. The figure is mounted on a sloping yellow board, with black cut-out figures to indicate the scale.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1966 (made)

Artist/maker

Jacobs, Sally, born 1932 (designers)

Materials and Techniques

Painted hessian, wool, painted polystyrene, card, plastic, paper, wire, metal and wood

Dimensions

Length: 50 cm figure approx., Height: 28 cm approx., Width: 59 cm mount, Depth: 43 cm mount

Descriptive line

Model by Sally Jacobs for the GI soldier in US, directed by Peter Brook, Royal Shakespeare Company, Aldwych Theatre, 1966

Materials

Burlap; Wool (textile); Polystyrene; Card; Plastic; Paper; Paint; Wire; Metal; Wood

Techniques

Modelling; Cutting; Painting; Glueing; Sewing

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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