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Set design - Long Day's Journey Into Night
  • Long Day's Journey Into Night
    Annals, Michael, born 1938 - died 1990
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Long Day's Journey Into Night

  • Object:

    Set design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1971 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Annals, Michael, born 1938 - died 1990 (theatre designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour, ink, pencil and crayon on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Michael Annals

  • Museum number:

    S.470-1991

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Set design by Michael Annals for Eugene O'Neill's play Long Day's Journey into Night, National Theatre Company, New Theatre (now the Noel Coward Theatre), 1971.

Michael Annals (1938-1990) trained at Hornsey College of Art and began his career designing sets and costumes for the Old Vic. In 1963 the newly formed National Theatre Company moved into the Old Vic and Annals joined them, having his first major success with his designs for Peter Shaffer's historical epic, The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964). He went on to have an international career, designing for the theatre and for ballet, opera and film, but is most closely associated with the National Theatre, where he worked until the 1970s. In 1971 he created a notable setting for the National's production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, which starred Laurence Olivier and was directed by Michael Blakemore. This began a working relationship with Blakemore which lasted for 12 years. Annals frequently worked in the United States and was Associate Professor of Scenic Design at Yale in 1966-1967. In 1984 he gave up the stage and took up photography and illustration.

Long Day's Journey into Night opened at the New Theatre in December 1971 and ran there until March 1972. It moved to the National Theatre's usual home at the Old Vic in August 1972 and played in the repertoire until September 1973. This design, which the artist has annotated as '1st sketch', has been signed and dated as 1972. The date could have been added later or the design may be a copy, made by the artist after the production's opening and possibly intended as a gift. It shows Annals's first ideas for what O'Neill describes as the 'Living Room of James Tyrone's summer home'.

Physical description

Set design by Michael Annals for Long Day's Journey Into Night. Monochrome design of a room, with a high ceiling and tall windows. At centre a circular table and four chairs with a chandelier hanging above. A female figure stands centre left, behind the table, a male figure stands to right of the table. The design is annotated by the artist as '1st sketch' and signed and dated 1972, though the production opened in December 1971.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca.1971 (made)

Artist/maker

Annals, Michael, born 1938 - died 1990 (theatre designers)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour, ink, pencil and crayon on paper

Dimensions

Height: 49.5 cm design, Width: 66.2 cm design, Height: 54 cm mount, Width: 75 cm mount

Descriptive line

Set design by Michael Annals for Eugene O'Neill's play Long Day's Journey Into Night, National Theatre Company, New Theatre, 1971

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Arnold Wengrow, Observe and Show: the Theatre Art of Michael Annals (London: V&A Publications, 2003)

Materials

Watercolour; Ink; Pencil; Crayon; Paper

Techniques

Drawing (image-making); Painting (image-making)

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Designs; Theatre

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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