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Set model - set model by Roger Butlin

set model by Roger Butlin

  • Object:

    Set model

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1969 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Butlin, Roger (set designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Paint, metal, plastic, photographic print, card and wood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Arts Council of Great Britain

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Theatre & Performance, Room 104, case 14, shelf BOTTOM

The set and costumes for the production were designed by the theatre's Head of Design, Roger Butlin. Butlin had studied textiles, lettering and cabinet making at the West of England College of Art in Bristol but his interest in the theatre led to his designing productions while teaching at Cheltenham College. He was inspired to take up stage design as a profession when he saw The Flying Dutchman at Covent Garden in 1966 and was impressed by the strong abstract shapes of Sean Kenny's set. After working at Sadler's Wells Theatre, he went on to design productions at the Royal Court Theatre and major British opera houses before coming to Greenwich.

The Greenwich theatre is small, with no fly tower and wing space. It has an open thrust stage based on a hexagon. Butlin incorporated hexagonal shapes into his design and kept his setting simple. To avoid obscuring the action and provide space for crowd scenes, dances, and the play's parody of a Minstrel Show, he created a low raked hexagonal platform and used a similarly shaped screen at the rear, on which were projected black and white news photographs of police brutality and race riots.

Physical description

Set model by Roger Butlin for Ewan Hooper's play with music Martin Luther King, Greenwich Theatre, 1969. Flat wooden stage with a three sided 'thrust' at centre front. At centre of stage a six-sided raked platform, the floor in black with white lines suggesting tiles, with a raised trapezoid section at centre tapering to rear. A line of six short black poles at front of platform. At back of stage a hexagonal screen, tapering to base, the screen supported on two short poles. On screen a black and white photograph of marching soldiers with a building and debris behind. Attached at upper right of screen a similarly shaped grey hexagon with a grey trapezoid shape at centre tapering downwards.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1969 (made)


Butlin, Roger (set designer)

Materials and Techniques

Paint, metal, plastic, photographic print, card and wood


Height: 43 cm, Width: 67 cm, Depth: 54 cm

Object history note

Set model for Ewan Hooper's 'play with music' Martin Luther King which opened the Greenwich Theatre on 21 October 1969. The music was compiled from traditional sources by A.L. Lloyd, the director was Alan Vaughan Williams. Ewan Hooper was the new theatre's artistic director. He had led the campaign to establish a theatre at Greenwich which would serve the local community.

Descriptive line

Set model by Roger Butlin for Ewan Hooper's play with music Martin Luther King, Greenwich Theatre, 1969


Paint; Metal; Plastic; Card; Wood




Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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