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PETER LEWIS FAIRCHILD
Theatre Designer
Press Reviews
THE MADDERMARKET THEATRE, NORWICH, 1966
“ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA”
“….clever use of scenery. giving a golden glow to Cleopatra’s scenes and a
suitably grey one for the battles, helped the production enormously”. S.E.A.H.
“…..played on a set ingeniously contrived to give the quick scene changes
called for”. Stephen Amyes.
“THE ASPERN PAPERS”
“ The James atmosphere is exceedingly well maintained in acting,
production, and setting, this last, an excellent and evocative representation
by Peter Fairchild of a somewhat gloomy room in a house by a Venetian
canal in 1895”.
“NEW LAMPS FOR OLD
“ Peter Fairchild’s eastern décor looked attractive”. The Stage.
HER MAJESTY”S THEATRE, BARROW-IN-FURNESS, 1967
“NIGHT MUST FALL”
“The set designed by Peter Fairchild well deserves a mention for it’s
originality and design”. P.A.K.
“OLIVER TWIST”
“The costumes were first-class and the set is one of the most flexible I have
seen on any stage” John MacDonald.
“CLEVER SET FOR OLIVER TWIST” - The set was a masterpiece of
ingenuity, one of those all-purpose sets at which Her Majesty’s is always so
clever. Step ladders, rabbit hutch like formations planks, boards, and wooden
furniture littered the stage”. C.P.
“BELL BOOK AND CANDLE”
“A wonderful set designed by Peter Fairchild and some novel effects, make
this play an enjoyable evening’s entertainment”.
“CHARLEY’S AUNT”.
“The sets by Peter Fairchild deserve mention for their attractiveness and
design”. P.A.K.
THE PALACE COURT THEATRE, BOURNEMOUTH . 1967
“THE LATE EDWINA BLACK”,
“The direction, acting, and set of “The late Edwina Black” are without doubt far
above the usual sea-side entertainment standard. The members of the cast,
the producer, and the set designer, judging by this production, must surely be
heading for the peaks of the theatrical profession” John. V. Elliot, Tunbridge
Wells.
“Peter Fairchild’s set and Ann Tompkins costumes compliment this
production very effectively, playing their part in evoking the mounting tension
and darkening suspicion”. S.A.W.
“The play’s Victorian setting, imaginatively designed and dressed by Peter
Fairchild, helps the chilly atmosphere enormously”.
CHELMSFORD CIVIC THEATRE, 1968
“THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE”,
“……and Peter Fairchild’ has designed a first-class set” Andrew Blackford,
The Stage.
THE GRAND THEATRE, LLANDUDNO, 1968
SEASON OF PLAYS,
“Jean Ainslie produced the plays imaginatively and the excellent settings
have been designed and painted by Peter Fairchild”.
THE CIVIC THEATRE, AYR.
1970
“PUBLIC MISCHIEF
“A word of praise must go to Peter Fairchild for the excellent setting, and
those of the previous two productions,- they are excellent”.
“VERDICT”,
“…..and the eminently suitable setting was by Peter Fairchild”.
“……and the excellent setting is by Peter Fairchild”. The Stage.
“SILVER WEDDING”
“The settings by Peter Fairchild maintain a first-rate standard”.
THE GRAND THEATRE WOLVERHQAMPTON, 1971
“A FLEA IN HER EAR”
“Peter Fairchild’s Aubrey Beardsley-ish design is charming”. L.B.D.
“The play is directed by Anthony Matheson in an agreeable setting by Peter
Fairchild”. W.H.W.
“THE RIGHT HONOURABLE GENTLEMAN”
“Victoriana, heavily emphasised in Peter Fairchild’s sombre but evocative
design, sets the tone of Andrew Tourell’s sturdily melodramatic production”.
“ROMEO AND JULIET”
“The stage setting resembles what we might expect at Stratford, - a
commanding centre-piece with a flat roof on which is their tomb-come-bed.
Around this most of the action takes place”. S.S.
“The burnished walls around the stage suggests the fate that encloses the
lovers”.
“THE WHOLE TRUTH”
“There is a brightly designed set by Peter Fairchild”.
“THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD”
“The walls of Peter Fairchild’s set look as if they have been steeped in oceans
of stout and poteen” L.B.D.
CREWE THEATRE 1972
“THE ITALIAN STRAW HAT”
“Peter Fairchild, recruited from the Grand Theatre Wolverhampton, to be
Head of Design, created some striking sets”. R.M.
“AS YOU LIKE IT”
“In a literal sense the stage was well set from the start with a convincing
simulation of a close-cropped greensward of a lawn. Cunningly too, the Head
of Design, Peter Fairchild, created later a convincing forest scene”. R.M.
“The holiday mood of this production by Ted Craig comes over as fresh as the
“grass” of Peter Fairchild’s shaven lawn setting, which, whether opened up for
the Stately Homes and Gardens look, or dappled by verdant hangings for the
forest scenes, has one almost expecting the daisies to appear beneath the
actors bare toes” M.N.
“BAREFOOT IN THE PARK” 1972,
“The effective set designed by Peter Fairchild helped to create the atmosphere.”
R.M.
“The play is set in a top floor apartment, and the impressive sky-light, backed by the
New York sky line, designed by Peter Fairchild, is a splendid frame for the exciting
action”.
“VICTORIAN MUSIC HALL”,
“The small proscenium arch with it’s ornate decoration and it’s red velvet curtains
drawing up to drape each side, the arch entrances to the small fore-stage, and the
Chairman’s table, all tell of the Music Hall which flourished before it gave place to
the “Palace of Varieties”.
“THE HOSTAGE”,
“The set, imaginative and wholly successful was to be commended wholeheartedly”
“It was necessary to create the set which Peter Fairchild has designed. This was
how Brendan Behan intended it to be.” R.M.
THE GRAND THEATRE WOLVERHAMPTON.
1973
“HEARTBREAK HOUSE”
“The costumes are very fine, but the stage staff must do something about getting the
sets changed much more quickly.” N.L.
“There is a Chekhovian quality of stillness emphasised by the stylised garden set in
the last act.”
“A PENNY FOR A SONG”
“Visually, the play is surely meant to look like an early 19th century style animated
cartoon. That is the impression achieved by designer Peter Fairchild. His pleasing
set includes the vital look out tree where a character reminiscent of Alice’s white
knight squats throughout the play. “ N.L.
“No expense has been spared to enhance Peter Fairchild’s Dorset garden set,
period 1804.” E.S.
“Peter Fairchild’s set, a luxurious garden, gives grace and distinction to the play.”
Ray Seaton, Wolverhampton Express and Star
“THE BOYS IN THE BAND”
“Gathered in a flat, [sumptuously designed by Peter Fairchild]…….” Ray Seaton,
Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“There is an attractive set by Peter Fairchild.” N.L.
“THE FLIP SIDE”
“Peter Fairchild has provided yet another attractive setting.” L.B.D.
“THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is very much on conventional Christie lines including the
panelled walls and family portraits.” N.L.
“MEASURE FOR MEASURE”
“Visually, this is a most attractive production. Peter Fairchild and his team are to be
congratulated on the deceptively simple grey arched and pillared set, a perfect foil
for the splendid costumes.” N.L.
“Obviously, things were not quite so gay in the Vienna of this period but Peter
Fairchild’s simple and rather sepulchral set, could surely be lightened a little with
advantage.” L.B.D.
“Peter Fairchild’s sets and costumes are excellent in this thoroughly enjoyable
production, which is worthy of a full house,” Roy Coates, The Stage.
“SET MEASURE OF ACHIEVEMENTS”, One of the most striking aspects of the new
production at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, which opens tonight is the huge
and complicated set. The Grand Theatre’s Resident Designer Peter Fairchild is
responsible for the settings for William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”. And
his designs have been transformed into timber and fabric by the theatre’s stage
crew, led by Stage Manager Steve Scragg. The settings are suitably big and
impressive to create the right atmosphere for the play, and their very dimensions are
a tribute to the stage crew who have had to build them in a fortnight in a cramped
area close to the stage. “The Grand Theatre’s Managing Director Humphrey
Stanbury commented, “The sets are a remarkable piece of work considering the
amount of time and facilities which the stage crew have had, and I believe they are
well up to Stratford standard and a remarkable achievement for a theatre which is
running a fortnightly repertory”. Wolverhampton Chronicle
“The multiple set, with all it’s levels and depth was built by three men and a girl on
stage in the daytime of the current production and work had to stop at 4pm each day
to give them time to re-erect the other set for the evening performance which they
had to staff. The set was designed and painted by Peter Fairchild and the costumes
were also designed and prepared by Peter Fairchild assisted by Bill Carvell. The
overall results drew nothing but the highest praise and, mercifully, also drew large
audiences” Humphrey Stanbury, Managing Director of the Grand Theatre
Wolverhampton
“THE DIARY OF A NOBODY”
“Peter Fairchild’s set exudes the atmosphere of a middleclass Victorian
home…..” R.W.
“RED RIDING HOOD”
“This show’s major success is Peter Fairchild’s superb set designs – the
scenery a radiant burst of colour and tones that reflect the spirit of
Pantomime”. Ray Seaton Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“Some of it – especially the underwater ballet – was pretty to look at”. Judith
Cook.
“Who-ever would imagine a Pantomime in which the Scenic Designer and
Scenery Painter is the principal star?. Here it is –“ Red Riding Hood” at the
Grand Theatre Wolverhampton. Even when Stan Stennett holds the stage
with his farmyard idiot comedy as Billy and Susan Maughan is singing in her
infectious capering style, Peter Fairchild’s sets, set the eye roving”.
“THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST”
“…..redeemed only by the floral trellis-work of Peter Fairchild’s trellis set”.
Ray Seaton, Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“Peter Fairchild’s sets and Bill Carvell’s costumes add charm to a most
successful production”. L.B.D.
“Peter Fairchild has cleverly produced sets that are basically simple yet
strikingly effective – oriental in flavour in the first act, spacious in the second,
and formal in the third. These contribute a lot to director Anthony Matheson’s
presentation of what is arguably the best British comedy ever written”. N.L.
“DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS”
“The setting is supposed to be a 19th century New England farm house.In
spite of Peter Fairchild’s atmospheric set, the players seem to think they are
in the Wild West, and have to bellow to scare away the coyotes” Ray
Seaton, Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“Of the farm house set, cleverly divided, and the landscape beyond complete
of course with a glimpse of those primeval elms, one can only say, “real
purdy” N.L.
“Peter Fairchild’s split set of a 19th century New England farmhouse is
impressive and dominates the stage”.
“THE COUNTRY WIFE”
“The set design effectively employs the device of showing a selection of old
prints which often add point and comment on the action”.
“HADRIAN THE SEVENTH”
“Another highlight is the Grandeur-that-is-Rome impression achieved by the
designer Peter Fairchild. A tiered platform of burnished gold for the Papal
throne, gold drapes, and a cluster of brilliantly clad cardinals, make a eyecatching spectacle. The pomp and glory of the Vatican is in striking contrast to
Rolfe’s little room”. N.L.
“……compliment Peter Fairchild’s evocative set”. Ray Seaton
Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“THE WINTER’S TALE”
“The blackness of hard prejudice is contrasted with the whiteness of lamb’s
wool innocence and shades of grey underline the truths of Life. There is no
skimping in performance or scenic atmosphere, that would have justified a
sports reporter’s scathing remark about Manchester United at Molineux last
Saturday – That it was like going to see the Royal Shakespeare Company
and finding the local Rep. This is a richly costumed and inventive, full-scale
production”. Ray Seaton Wolverhampton Express and Star
“SUCH SUITABLE SETTINGS” – It’s a long cold winter that has set in at the
Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton for this week and next. A bleak grey pillared
stage looking about as cheery as Stonehenge in drizzle, a roaring gale that
sounds as if it will leave destruction in its wake, and later, scudding clouds
across a murky sky, all leave one in no doubt that “The Winter’s Tale” is being
told. Happier times are indicated with birdsong and blossoms.. All rather
stylised and symbolic. But eminently suited to this rather lengthy and unreal
play, which surely cannot be in many peoples assessment of Shakespeare’s
Top Ten”. N.L.
“…….if some of the Palatial sets have a cold inhospitality reminiscent of a
windswept seaside lavatory, there is delightful compensation in the charming
pink and wooliness of the shepherd scenes” L.B.D.
“A GOWN FOR HIS MISTRESS”
“Peter Fairchild’s sets and Bill Carvell’s costumes are both saucily easy on the
eye”
“There is a smart set from Peter Fairchild with all those vital doors present –
and incorrect”.
“LITTLE ME”
“Costumes and scenery are impressive”
THE GRAND THEATRE SWANSEA
1973
“THE SECRETARY BIRD”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is extremely attractive and he should prove a great asset
to the Company in the coming weeks”
“RING ROUND THE MOON”
“Peter Fairchild’s set provides a delicate frame work for the play but it could
have been even more effective with more adventurous use of lighting”. M.S.
“GREAT EXPECTATIONS”
“…….presented in an excellent design by Peter Fairchild”.
“HOBSON’S CHOICE”
“One very pleasing feature of the production is the way in which Peter
Fairchild’s sets and costumes help to create such a very convincing 1880’s
atmosphere” M.S.
“MURDER ON THE AGENDA”
“It said much for Peter Fairchild’s compact multiple set that the production
flowed smoothly and quietly to it’s denoument in it’s 2 act 16 scene structure”.
“This production by Graham Ashe has a nice authentic 1950’s feel about it,
and the designer Peter Fairchild tackles the problem of creating a set of five
different rooms and two exteriors with considerable skill”.
“PRESENT LAUGHTER”
“John Chilvers’ crisp direction is enhanced by a lovely 30’s style set, - lots of
black and white and Aubrey Beardsley prints”. J.F.
THE WIMBLEDON THEATRE
1973
“LILAC TIME” [Tour]
“…….and the rapturous applause for the Act Three set.”
THE GRAND THEATRE WOLVERHAMPTON
“ROBINSON CRUSOE”
“Hazel Lee’s dance routines match superbly the fancy-free atmosphere of
Peter Fairchild’s sets.” Ray Seaton The Wolverhampton Express and Star.
“For spectacle, there is a dervish dance, an underwater ballet, and a
sparkling, spangled finale.” N.L.
THE DUNDEE REPERTORY THEATRE
1974
“DEATH OF A SALESMAN”
“The action is helped by a skeletal set by Peter Fairchild, which gives a
remarkably oppressive, even claustrophobic effect at times.” A.I.
“……dreamlike dramatisation greatly facilitated by Peter Fairchild’s skeletal
setting which is rendered infinitely adaptable by imaginative lighting.”
“The setting by Peter Fairchild is ingenious and fascinating.”
“Peter Fairchild, the Rep’s new Head of Design who came north from the
Wolverhampton Grand, has designed a set that brilliantly conveys not only the
claustrophobic confines of Willy Loman’s mean Brooklyn home but underlines
his failure in the Great American Rat Race.”
“The composite setting is extremely well carried out by Peter Fairchild and
lends itself to the technique of being in the present, a detailed narrative of the
last two days of Willy Loman’s life, intermingled with episodic memories from
the past.”
“BILLY LIAR”
“Peter Fairchild, the Rep’s new Head of Deign, has produced a very typical
middle class home, a background against which Billy stands out as a real
original.”
“The set, designed by Peter Fairchild is a convincing reproduction of a late
1950’s style living room.”
“THE ROYAL VISIT”
“Stephen MacDonald’s direction makes this world premiere a feather in
Dundee’s theatrical cap, and Peter Fairchild’s design makes this a
consummate performance, which last night’s audience received with
tremendous enthusiasm.”
“The settings designed by Peter Fairchild are quiet and clever.”
“The action moved between the King’s chambers in London, Sir Walter Scott’s
study in Edinburgh, and a weaver’s cottage, each vividly represented in Peter
Fairchild’s elegant design, which was resplendently regal for the London
scenes featuring Leon Sinden as George IV.”
“The switches between Palace, weaver’s hovel, and Sir Walter Scott’s
Edinburgh study were achieved slickly by way of a composite set that was not
lacking in humour. The central crest on the curtain drop for instance bore the
motto “Och Dien” instead of “Ich Dien” and it’s motive was the crossed knife
and fork of Royal Gluttony.”
“LOOK BACK IN ANGER”
“A bleak setting by Peter Fairchild sets the mood to perfection.”
“CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF”
“The stifling heat of the Mississippi Delta invades the stage despite Peter
Fairchild’s airy bedroom set.”
“The setting by Peter Fairchild is exquisite and from the rise of the curtain the
atmosphere is exactly right for the torrid conflicts which are at the core of the
play.”
“Callum Mill, director, brings out the power of the play and Peter Fairchild has
produced a splendidly opulent set.”
“THE BROKEN JUG”
“……and the capital set was designed by Peter Fairchild.”
“SPLENDID SET” – Presiding in a court room that looks more like an attic that
has lain empty for years, [ a splendid set by Peter Fairchild]…….”
“The wonderful detailed set depicting Judge Boyd’s extraordinary court room
is perhaps the finest yet designed for the company by Peter Fairchild.”
“LOVERS”
“Designer Peter Fairchild keeps the stage un-cluttered and allows the
characters to hold the attention at all times.”
“LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT”
“Callum Mill’s direction is superb and Peter Fairchild’s set is an eloquent
reflection of the family’s lifestyle and dilemma.”
“A special word must be said for the set by Peter Fairchild. It reeks of the
grandiose and the shabby, a contradiction in terms, but then, so is the man
who owns it.”
“The setting designed by Peter Fairchild is an excellent framework for this
memorable production.”
“SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL”
“The curtain goes up on a splendid set by Peter Fairchild, a room strangely
cluttered with dolls and shells, stuffed birds, and butterflies…….”
“TREASURE ISLAND”
“Full credit is due to designer Peter Fairchild, whose ingenious “reversible”
sets provide tremendous variety of scenery with a minimum of time wastage.”
C.C.S
“PYGMALION”
“The sets are by Peter Fairchild, whose Saint Pauls, Covent Garden portico
would make the shade of Inigo Jones blink. Mrs Higgins’ drawing room looks
elegantly furnished and is the scene of Eliza’s tentative debut while under
phonetics tutelage.”
THE GRAND THEATRE WOLVERHAMPTON
1974
“ROSE MARIE”
“…….although tradition is at least well served by an effective if simple
ballroom set.” John Slim
“……..and the sets are tasteful and not over-elaborate.”
“The twenties period atmosphere is convincingly conveyed in this well
dressed show with it’s “pretty” scenery.”
“Hazel Lee’s dance routines have vitality and charm, backed by the
remarkably inventive sets of Peter Fairchild.”
“This production emphasises most of the shows best features, - the Canadian
setting for instance.”
“…….the result is a happy show attractively designed and dressed.”
“…….but the sets were good, with an adventurous use of gauzes and a very
attractive ballroom set.”
“Peter Fairchild’s sumptuous sets……..” Ray Seaton Wolverhampton
Express and Star.
“The scenery was very effective, particularly so in Wanda’s cabin and in the
exotic ballroom at the end, - two very contrasting sets.”
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
“This is a happy-go-lucky show, tuneful, brisk, and high spirited graced with
superb sets.” Ray Seaton Wolverhampton Express and Star”
“…….and the sets designed by Peter Fairchild are bright and interesting. The
atmosphere is a happy one.”
“Peter Fairchild’s clever stylised sets also help to make this the pretty
Pantomime it should be by tradition.” Nora Lewis.
THE COLISEUM THEATRE OLDHAM
1975
“John Jardine’s excellent direction in a splendid setting by Peter Fairchild
contrives successfully to rescue what, for some, could be a boring play.” D.M.
Oldham Chronicle
“ALL IN GOOD TIME”
“Peter Dudley, in league with set designer Peter Fairchild make full use of the
theatre’s stage space and new resources in yet another accomplished setting
– inseparable from Oldham’s good work.” D.M.
“NIGHTWATCH”
“The set, by Peter Fairchild, is the outstanding feature of the evening.” Brian
Walker.. Manchester Evening News
“Settings and costumes are of a high professional standard.” D.M.
“BUSYBODY”
“Paul Webster directs and Peter Fairchild designed an authentic private firm’s
office.” D.M.
“…….and Peter Fairchild’s set is first-rate.” Brian Walker Manchester
Evening News
“CHILDREN”
“The set was good, but I do wish audiences wouldn’t applaud a piece of
scenery, they’re not watching a church hall group. In professional theatre, it
ought to be good.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“The atmosphere of the large old summer house on an island is ideally caught
in Peter Fairchild’s setting.”
“The set itself by Peter Fairchild, neatly suggests a sun-baked patch of coast
line.” Alan Hulme Manchester Evening News
“TWO DOZEN OF EVERYTHING”
[Tour]
“……..in a supersmart menage, [designed by Peter Fairchild]…….” Robin
Thornber The Guardian
“I struggled hard to find something good to say but Richard Coleman and the
locally designed set by Peter Fairchild were the only things that raised it
above the level to which it sank – and that was often.” Eileen Jones
Oldham Chronicle
“THE FARM”
“The set was the sort an estate agent would call a “des res”, and it wouldn’t be
on his books for long. It was a lovely old farmhouse aglow with copperware.
Peter Fairchild designed it and I would move in tomorrow.” Eileen Jones
Oldham Chronicle
“TWO AND TWO MAKE SEX”
“The same Peter Fairchild set was used and it deserves as much praise this
time as it did on it’s first showing.” Phil Hirst
“The designer of the impressive split-level set is Peter Fairchild.”
“The continued action, spliced between two homes in a clever setting mightbe
discouraging to some but the agile and clever cast members make the farce
swing along in laughter.” D.M.
“Compliments once again to Peter Fairchild who designed a lovely set – we’re
going to become blasé about this sort of scenery.” Eileen Jones Oldham
Chronicle
CROWN MATRIMONIAL
“The set takes much of the credit. If Peter Fairchild can provide palatial
splendour on the Rep’s budget, he can come and re-furbish my house
anytime.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“……..Peter Fairchild’s magnificent set of Queen Mary’s private sitting room in
Marlborough House…….”
“…….beautifully set and costumed play……..”
“THE HOLLOW”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is the most eye-catching thing on view.” Brian Hope
Manchester Evening News
“There is great work again by Peter Fairchild on the set design and
furnishings.” D.M.
“CINDERELLA”
1976
“Of course, a Pantomime would not be complete without a colourful spectacle.
In this department, the work of Peter Fairchild is first-rate.” Brian Walker
Lancashire Evening Post
“If anyone should receive the gongs for this Panto, it is Peter Fairchild, who
designed the beautiful scenery and the absolutely delightful coach to take
Cinders to the ball.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“There’s excellent scenery and a royal coach designed by Peter Fairchild.”
H.M.
“The sets are better than anything seen in previous years.” Brian Hope
Manchester Evening News
THE THEATRE ROYAL
YORK
1976
“CHU-CHIN-CHOW”
“The superb scenery, specially designed and painted for this production by
Peter Fairchild of the Oldham Coliseum, was built in the Theatre Royal’s
workshops.” Vivian Brooks
THE REYNOLD THEATRE
“LA TRAVIATA”
MANCHESTER
“Peter Fairchild designed the effective scenery.” Tom Wildern Manchester
Evening News
“The scenery has been designed and painted by Peter Fairchild of the
Oldham Coliseum.” Precinct Opera Company
COLISEUM THEATRE OLDHAM
“THE PAY-OFF”
“Best in the eight-strong cast, in a splendid setting by Peter Fairchild, [ no
relation to the playwright ]. Is Carl Barry.” D.M.
“THE GINGERBREAD LADY”
“Peter Fairchild comes up with an A 1 setting.” D.M.
“SLEUTH”
“Top marks also go to the director Paul Webster and the Scenic Designer
Peter Fairchild for a super setting of a Norman manor house interior.” D.M.
“…….and the set – a Norman manor house is quite magnificent.” Brian
Hope
Manchester Evening News
“SUDDENLY AT HOME”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is magnificently furnished.”
“HABEUS CORPUS”
“The scenery is superb. Peter Fairchild uses floating trucks to signify a
change of scene, the only drawback being that occasionally the trucks are
rather noisy. To some, the scenery will appear stark, but I thought it was
splendid,- remember, this is not a run-of-the-mill production.”
“Peter Fairchild’s sets are simple but effective.”
“DANGEROUS CORNER”
“DESIGNED” – The feel of the period was emphasised by the set which Peter
Fairchild designed. It could have come out of last week’s “Omnibus” film about
the period. I’m sure some of those lamps and the radio must be worth a few
bob now.”
“AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE”
“Peter Fairchild’s sets are simple and starker than usual but that is no
detraction for they play their role equally well and it is good to see different
techniques being tried.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“LET SLEEPING WIVES LIE”
“The excellent setting is by Peter Fairchild.” Brian Walker
“THE MATING GAME”
“…….an opulent Park Lane penthouse – a showcase for sophisticated
gadgetry…….” David Rosenberg Lancashire Evening Post
“The production hinges on an elaborate set with all the gadgets needed by a
superstar – Peter Fairchild is back to design it – and it works so well, you
hardly notice. One false move could have been disaster.” Eileen Jones
Oldham Chronicle
“A TOUCH OF SPRING”
“This Samuel Taylor romantic comedy, [ remember “Sabrina Fair”, ?], was
given an Italian hotel setting of visual delight by Peter Fairchild.” D.M.
“ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR”
“Peter Fairchild’s excellent sets portray the characters without the need for
words, which gives the play a flying start.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“…….and Peter Fairchild’s sets make an important contribution towards the
success of the presentation.” D.M.
“Peter Fairchild again contributes the excellent sets.”
“ALADDIN”
“And what of the show itself ? Well, it’s lavishly staged and has some quite
spectacular effects. Palace transformations, the depths of the ocean scene,
Aladdin’s cave, and even a moment when Aladdin is wired up and shoots out
across the audience. [Quite why, I don’t know, but it gives everyone a gasp].
“The superb sets by Peter Fairchild gave enchantment to the story and were
complimented by the effects and lovely costumes designed by Philip Craig.”
A.T.
“Thankfully, the magnificent sets and costumes follow the traditional pattern
and are both colourful and exotic.” Brian Hope Manchester Evening News
“HOBSON’S CHOICE”
1977
“Oldham’s brass band set the scene of Salford in the 1880’s with Peter
Fairchild’s designs inspired by Salford artist Harold Riley’s drawings of the old
bootmaker’s shop in Chapel Street.” D.M.
“Peter Fairchild’s atmospheric sets based on the work of artist Harold Riley
certainly conveyed the dowdiness of last century Salford. Against them, the
humour written into this famous play by Harold Brighouse about a
bootmaker’s family in Chapel Street, should have shone like jewels.” Keith
Ward
Manchester Evening News
“Director, Brian Howard’s work is enhanced by the excellent sets of Peter
Fairchild, whose designs are based on the work of Harold Riley. They
realistically capture the the style of life in Salford in the 1880’s.” Brian
Walker
“The show was well acted and attractively designed.” - Letter to the Oldham
Chronicle
“ROBIN REDBREAST”
“The multi-purpose set, [though ingeniously planned]’ is cluttered and
complicated, and there are more blackouts than we endured during the whole
of the miners strike.” Brian Hope Manchester Evening News
“…….one must praise producer Brian Howard’s handling of a difficult work
and he was aided by a good cast and an excellent setting.” D.M.
“The set, though beautifully designed, didn’t quite suit the purpose. It was
bright and cheerful, with a pretty patio, not by any means creepy and
claustrophobic.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“THE WANDERING JEW”
“This is an impressive production from Brian Howard and all departments,acting, lighting, settings and in particular costumes were of a high order.”
D.M.
“Some of the effects, - notably the scene where the jew is burned at the stake,
- are quite magnificent. So, “hats off please”, to designer Peter Fairchild for
sets which are both functional yet skilfully un-obtrusive.” Brian Hope
Manchester Evening News
“The sets of the designer Peter Fairchild have a suitable simplicity, attracting
the eye without distracting the mind.” Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“FRINGE BENEFITS”
“A good set by Peter Fairchild lent authenticity to the play.” A.T.
“One must give credit to Peter Fairchild’s excellent setting for this
success……”
“ON APPROVAL”
“This production is expertly directed by Brian Howard with two splendid
settings by Peter Fairchild, taking us back to the Rep sparkle of many months
ago.” D.M.
“Without miss Lloyd, the designer Peter Fairchild, and the explanatory
programme note, we may never have realised we were back in the Twenties
Eileen Jones Oldham Chronicle
“Peter Fairchild’s sets are excellent.”
“………two superb sets by Peter Fairchild.” Brian Hope Manchester Evening
News
“SPIDER’S WEBB”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is suitably rich.” Keith Ward Oldham Chronicle
“…….on an opulent set designed by Peter Fairchild.” Gordon Maxwell
Manchester Evening News
“WEDDING FEVER”
“Brian Howard’s direction and Peter Fairchild’s excellent setting are other fin
pointers in this laugh-a-minute farce.”
“THE WIZARD OF OZ”
“The stars of the show are Philip Craig’s excellent costumes and Peter
Fairchild’s richly imaginative sets.”
“OZ is a blaze of colour from middle to middle. The opening and final numbers
are played in black and white – just like the film.” Chris Shepherd Oldham
Chronicle
“JANE EYRE”
“A good, if simple set by Peter Fairchild……..”
“Peter Fairchild’s simple set, imaginatively lit, certainly captures the
atmosphere of gloom, and polished wood of those lonely moorland houses.”
Keith Ward Oldham Chronicle
THE PLANET THEATRE SLOUGH 1977
“THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE”
“……….and the set by Peter Fairchild was good.” W.D.H The Stage
“HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES”
“So, with all due respect to Peter Fairchild, who designed a pleasantly
charming set, the one tiny criticism I have, is that it did rather look as though
it had been done on the cheap.” Tamara Essex The Stage
“MURDER ON ARRIVAL”
“Lovely lighting effects provided relief from boredom as did the magnificent set
of the country cottage interior.” Tamara Essex The Stage
HARROGATE THEATRE 1978
“RELUCTANT HEROES”
“There is an impressive scene change and set by Peter Fairchild.” M.C.
“CANDIDA”
“The action unfolds in a beautiful period set.” Rosita Black The Stage
“……..against the background of a rich comfortable study designed by Peter
Fairchild.” B.D.
“To it’s credit, Michael Poynor’s production at Harrogate Theatre, makes no
attempt to polish off that Edwardian patina. Instead, it draws us gently through
Peter Fairchild’s immaculately authentic setting, into the drawing room world
of St Dominiques parsonage.”
“Once again, there is excellent work from two comparatively new members of
the Theatre’s staff.These are, the beautiful costumes by Nicola Poulter and
the design by Peter Fairchild who has created a very good set.” M.C.
“THE WIND IN THE BRANCHES OF THE SASSAFRAS”
“The set is by Peter Fairchild.” M.C.
“JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOURED DREAMCOAT “
“……..with a simple but dazzling set….”
“SAY WHO YOU ARE”
H.W.
[and tour]
“Say who you are”, is a clever piece of nonsense. The most notable thing
about this production is the set, designed by Peter Fairchild, with the exterior
of a pub and the telephone kiosk, the interior of the flat, and the lift and stairs
to this fifth floor paradise.” Allen Sadler
“……..and the very attractive design was by Peter Fairchild.” Rosita Black
The Stage
“Designer Peter Fairchild deserves credit for achieving a composite setting of
a flat, public house and adjoining telephone kiosk on the confines of a small
stage.” B.D.
“THE BED BEFORE YESTERDAY”
“”Excellent work by designer Peter Fairchild in presenting an impressive and
effective set.” P.W.S.
THE PALACE THEATRE WESTCLIFF
“PRIVATES ON PARADE”
“The sets are good………”
Graham Pearson
The Stage
“SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM”
“The whole thing is tastefully staged in black velvet drapes and black and
white costumes with Sondheim’s face staring out from above his music
illuminated by rather a lot of unnecessary lighting changes.” John Giles
“MURDER-GO-ROUND”
“The curtain went up on a most delightful set showing the interior of two
suburban homes with the moonlit garden separating them, for which the
designer Peter Fairchild received well-deserved applause.” J.C.P.
“From the moment the curtain rises to show Peter Fairchild’s superb set – the
best he has designed for the Palace since he joined the Theatre at the end of
last year – the high standard is set.”
“……..and Martin Anthony as the policeman dug vigorously in the garden in
one of the most striking, ingenious and compact composite sets, - two
lounges in contrast joined by gardens.” John Kennedy Melling
“……..and even if that fails, there is always Peter Fairchild’s positively “lipsmackin’” beautiful set to engage the interest.” Roger Diss
“………the curtain was raised to reveal a dual-room setting, cleverly designed
to portray two homes……”
“The author is served well by director Christopher Dunham and an
exceptionally good double set by Peter Fairchild which clearly shows the
difference in characters between staid, timorous Sydney, all solid oak comfort
and chintz, and the smoother home of the Insurance broker David.”
“It is unfortunate that the material is so thin, since the designer and cast give
the production a sheen the writing hardly warrants.”
THE OCTAGON THEATRE BOLTON
1979
“KING LEAR”
“The set was simply perfect for the play. Steps, platforms and backcloths were
all in shades of grey. The stage remained un-cluttered and all the audience
had and needed were words and emotions.” John Thompson Lancashire
Evening Post
“Against an impressively practical multi-level set by Peter Fairchild…….”
Alan Hulme Manchester Evening News
“Felicity Taylor has directed admirably against a monolithic set by Peter
Fairchild.” Bolton Evening News
“JACK AND THE BEANSTALK”
“And Peter Fairchild’s set design strives to give the audience the impression
of being wrapped around with clouds and sky above Jack’s cottage.” Bolton
Evening News
“There were also those unkind folk who said it was colourful to watch but the
language in which it was told lacked sparkle.” Alan Hulme Manchester
Evening News
“THE MERRY-GO-ROUND”
1980
“Pride of place for Bolton Octagon’s current production of D.H.Lawrence’s
“The Merry-go-round”, must go to Peter Fairchild for his ingenious set. The
play necessitates six scene changes but by introducing a revolving stage to
depict a collier’s humble cottage, the drawing room of a vicarage, and utilising
the rest of the available space ingeniously, he keeps the action deftly moving.”
Terry Baker The Jewish Gazette 11/4/1980
“Mr Harrison throws in some nice detail – including a large kitchen range
which actually spits and smokes – and uses Peter Fairchild’s multi-level and
appropriately revolving settings to advantage.” Alan Hulme Manchester
Evening News
“Please inform the company that my visit last night was most enjoyable. I was
delighted with the excellent production and direction – the set was fabulous –
the Company superb. I only wish I had the where withal to take this production
to London.” Message received from Peter Bridge [ London Impresario ]
3/4/1980
“Peter Fairchild’s imaginative design lends authenticity…….” Stella Flint
The Daily Telegraph
“ “SET”- The production necessitates a set consisting of four rooms and the
outside of a church, and a scene in the country, a combination which is
difficult to design, indeed, almost foolhardy to contemplate. But with a
revolving platform, a split-level set, and imaginative lighting, the frequent
scene changes were accomplished with speed and a minimum of fuss.”
Burnley Evening Star
“Indeed, Wilfred Harrison and designer Peter Fairchild did the piece proud for
it’s first provincial showing, giving it a visual gloss that almost overcomes it’s
textual and structural weaknesses.” R.W. Shakespeare The Stage 8/5/80
“While none of the characters shine, [ through no fault of the cast ], and some
are totally unnecessary, the inventive set makes up for any loss. Using a
revolve divided into three, two side sets, and a stage width higher balcony,
which serves for pit-site, church, and rolling countryside, the otherwise tedious
scene changes which dog Lawrence’s plays, are handled perfectly.” Robin
Duke
“And Peter Fairchild’s splendid revolving set, a model of fluid invention, is
perhaps the best single element in a painstaking and ambitious production.”
“THE LINDEN TREE”
“Peter Fairchild has provided an atmospheric set, a book-lined study, sports
trophies and London club furniture.” Ron Lawson Bolton Evening News
“……..but with a beautifully shabby set by Peter Fairchild, it was on the whole,
by and large, enchanting.” Robin Thornber The Guardian
“Colin Bean directs this charming production against an authentic set by Peter
Fairchild.” Stella Flint The Daily Telegraph
“Colin Bean’s direction and Peter Fairchild’s set had period authenticity and a
good deal of charm.” R.W. Shakespeare The Stage
“WHILE THE SUN SHINES”
“………and Peter Fairchild’s costumes are just right.”
The Stage
R.W. Shakespeare
“THE TAMING OF THE SHREW”
“The whole production had pace, movement, and a wealth of visual appeal,
enhanced by an ingenious – almost Pantomime – setting designed by Peter
Fairchild.” R.W.Shakespeare The Stage
“Solid, safe, no-frills productions are what the Octagon Theatre Bolton
specialise in when it comes to their annual Shakespeare Season. It’s
therefore a surprise akin to finding the nearby townhall clock is made of
marzipan to see “The Taming of the Shrew” in Toytown. Felicity Taylor’s
production starts out all forbidding dark browns and blacks. But suddenly,
huge fairy-tale houses and castles and streets are brought on to provide a
Padua straight out of a children’s story book. Costumes reflect the theme with
Panto-type gaudiness. And there are false noses, walking forests, and even a
plug-in electric fire. Despite backstage traumas before the opening, the more
adventurous approach has obviously been a breath of fresh air to the
company. I like to think the powers that be have noted that.” Alan Hulme
Manchester Evening News
“Ten minutes into the performance a remarkably colourful set springs up, [
designed by Peter Fairchild ] and provides a whole town of facades for the
characters to act in.”
“The scenery by Peter Fairchild is wonderful, - a kind of Toytown Padua of
great story book charm and erected with the skill and expertise of the old
pantomime transformation scenes, [ if you are old enough to remember them
]. Just the thing for a wet October evening.”
“The sudden transformation from the dull, dark opening set into a riot of colour
by the company approaching with pieces of scenery from all parts of the
theatre to make a picturesque Padua, brought applause from the enthralled
audience” Colin Bean from his book “Who do you think you are kidding ?”
“CYMBELINE”
“The production is by Felicity Taylor and an imaginative set by Peter Fairchild
contributes to the atmosphere of the play.” Charles Petry Bolton Evening
News
“THE CURE FOR LOVE” 1981
“…….and Peter Fairchild’s sets capture the right atmosphere.” Terrie Baker
The Jewish Gazette 20/2/1981
“Under John Pickles’ sure-footed direction, and with some excellent settings
by Peter Fairchild, the Octagon Company achieved the authentic atmosphere
of War-time Britain most of us are far too young to have experienced.” R.W.
Shakespeare The Stage
“A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE”
“Peter Fairchild gave us an effective all-purpose setting which admirably set
the mood of the play.” Colin Bean from his book “Who do you think you are
kidding.”
“Peter Fairchild has provided an atmospheric set.” Ron Lawson Bolton
Evening News
“Peter Fairchild’s setting caught the brooding harshness of the dockside in the
Depression.” Robin Thornber The Guardian
“THE COMEDY OF ERRORS”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is a froth of white merinque, all gauze, emblem, and
fantasy which works well and economically for the shipwreck that triggers off
all the errors. And he cannily keeps colour up his sleeve for when it is
needed.” The Stage
“But it’s also got deeper undertones about what is reality and what is
illusion.Bolton Octagon Theatre, whose production opens their new
Shakespeare Season, have set the play against a brilliantly white background
of classical Greek porticos. The effect is to tilt the play away from Reality into
a more magical world so that we are never quite sure whether it is a dream or
not. Peter Fairchild’s set makes a very striking backdrop.” Ron Lawson
Bolton Evening News
“Peter Fairchild’s imaginative set greatly assisted the smooth running of the
production.” Harry Butterworth
“The Octagon Theatre, Bolton, opened it’s sixth annual Shakespeare Season
against an eye-catching confection of white and gold. This beautiful setting by
designer Peter Fairchild, was the perfect compliment to John Pickles’ direction
of “The Comedy of Errors”.” R.W. Shakespeare The Stage
“TWELFTH NIGHT”
“…….in Peter Fairchild’s colourful and very formal setting…..”
from his book “Who do you think you are kidding.”
Colin Bean
“TOO CLEVER FOR LOVE”
“The shining realism of the sets puts the wooden, one-note acting of most of
the principals to shame.” Irene McManus The Stage
“Peter Fairchild’s solid looking sets are absolutely splendid at capturing the
1940’s atmosphere.” Bolton Evening News
“Peter Fairchild’s sets are reasonably effective and detailed, [ though again,
strangely familiar ]……..” Alan Hulme Manchester Evening News
“THE ACCRINGTON PALS”
1982
“The set design is excellent and copes well with the various scene changes
and it is a fitting finale to an excellent series of plays.”
“A good choice of play for this neck of the woods, competently directed by
Felicity Taylor and given a good photo-montage setting by Peter Fairchild.”
Bolton Evening News
“Scenes of old Accrington form an effective backdrop to the stage. The central
picture is a 12ft by 8ft photograph of the”B” Company of Pals taken in the
local St John ambulance drill hall. At the sides of the stage are pictures each
15ft 6 inches wide by 8ft high showing a view of Barnes street, Clayton-lemoors and the stalls outside the market hall from Peel street.” The
Accrington Observer 10/4/1982
“THE BIRDWATCHER”
“Peter Fairchild’s settings are, however, above average with a particularly
eye-catching Act Two boudoir of naughty red and gilt.” Alan Hulme
Manchester Evening News
“Beautifully costumed and in very attractive sets designed by Peter
Fairchild…….” Colin Bean from his book “Who do you think you are
kidding”
“JACK AND JILL”
“……..but Peter Fairchild’s magical settings are visually enchanting…..”
Peter Schofield The Stage
“Bolton Octagon’s Christmas show “Jack and Jill”, has an attractively festive
atmosphere. Peter Fairchild has used masses of silver tinsel and strings of
coloured lights to create a sense of magic and mystery. The Theatre looks so
splendid when it’s productions are staged completely in-the-round, that I’m
surprised they don’t do it more often.” Lancashire Evening Post
“Enter Bolton Octagon Theatre and you enter a veritable fairyland of
shimmering tinsel and coloured lights, but sadly, that is where the illusion
begins and ends.” Bolton Evening News
“PERCHANCE TO DREAM”
“For the opening Regency period, Peter Fairchild has designed an impressive
set, with a large staircase, long oak-beamed gallery and ancestral portraits.”
Bolton Evening News
THE GROVE PARK THEATRE WREXHAM
“DICK WHITTINGTON”
“- Dear Peter, I am writing following the final dress rehearsal, everything is
fine. The set looks good and moves beautifully. I am sure we would never
have managed it without your superb designs.” Letter from The Grove Park
Theatre Wrexham 11/7/1982
THE OCTAGON THEATRE BOLTON 1983
“SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE CROWN”
“Bolton Octagon’s production which opened last night for a four week run, has
a splendidly authentic setting by Peter Fairchild, with it’s row of Toby jugs, it’s
glass case Pike, and it’s smoke stained woodwork.” Ron Lawson Bolton
Evening News 16/3/1983
“The set designed by Peter Fairchild captures the feel of the 1950’s with
authenticity.” Lancashire Evening Post
“Full marks to Peter Fairchild for an excellent set !” The Guardian
“The set design by Peter Fairchild is authentic.” Terri Baker Jewish
Gazette
“It’s no accident of course that the play is set in a Pub, and Peter Fairchild’s
faithfully authentic set is an important contribution.” Peter Schofield The
Stage
“The 1950’s atmosphere is a triumph of detail.”
Geoffrey Shryhane The
Manchester Evening News
“CHARLEY’S AUNT”
“Once again the sets were simple but intelligently designed to easily switch
from one act to the next with a minimum of ease.” Lancashire Evening Post
“Aided by Peter Fairchild’s elegant and adaptable sets, the action flows briskly
along……..”
Peter Schofield The Stage
“The ladies are all decorative and framed by a couple of attractive sets from
Peter Fairchild.”
Alan Hulme The Manchester Evening News
“…….directed by Wilfred Harrison with ingenious trellis-like revolving set
pieces by Peter Fairchild.” Colin Bean from his book “Who do you think you
are kidding.”
“ROCKET TO THE MOON”
“Peter Fairchild’s setting is vividly evocative of the period. If ever a waiting
room looked lived in, this one does.” Ron Lawson Bolton Evening News
“But all credit must go to the director Felicity Taylor and the designer Peter
Fairchild for putting on one of the best productions at the theatre this yearLet’s hope they keep up the good work ! “ Lancashire Evening Post
“THE TEMPEST”
“It’s all set in the 18th century with knee breeches and waistcoats and wigs. I
don’t quite know why but it doesn’t matter. Peter Fairchild’s set, basically a
mottled backcloth with a large fringe at the bottom for entrances and exits,
works well, and the smoke machine ensures a sultry atmosphere throughout.”
Alan Hulme The Manchester Evening News
“The scene setting is interesting, but there is not too much variety of
backcloths.” Lancashire Evening Post
“By setting it in the 18th century in Captain Trelawney costumes, the opening
storm is given a “Treasure Island” twist. Peter Fairchild has designed an
effective grotto-like setting, with a beach of Italian marble.” Bolton Evening
News
“ALADDIN”
“One point on which the Bolton Octagon usually scores with it’s festive
productions – this year “Aladdin” – is the attractively decorated theatre. This
year is no exception. Wide-eyed youngsters and adults alike feasted on the
colour which greeted them on entering the theatre. “The visual effects
continue all through the show, with brightly coloured costumes, sets, and a
final scene which surpassed all that had gone before.” Lancashire Evening
Post
“On the credit side – this colourfully staged production is vastly better than last
years yawner. The whole auditorium is decked out with paper lanterns,
banners and glitter. And on stage large Chinese dragons add to what is
visually an attractively mounted show.”
“…….proved to be a most colourful and interesting spectacle, and a
spectacular finale brought a huge ovation from a much satisfied audience.”
Paul Christian The Manchester Evening News
“Two beautiful Chinese dragons start the production and extra flavour is
added with traditional banners and lanterns.”
“…….and the cast were helped by Peter Fairchild’s enchanting sets.” Peter
Schofield The Stage
“……..the auditorium is hung with authentic Chinese lanterns and banners.”
Ron Lawson The Bolton Evening News
“KING’S RHAPSODY”
“Bolton Operatic Society Trust has revived “King’s Rhapsody” at the Octagon
Theatre until February 5th, with a spacious looking set by Peter Fairchild which
accommodates the numerous scene changes beautifully.” Ron Lawson
The Bolton Evening News
“…….staccato scene changes, lavish sets and costumes…..”
Bolton Chronicle
E.M.P. The
“CIDER WITH ROSIE”
“……..and the setting is superb, with tables turning into carts and beds into
school rooms quickly and simply.” P.H. The Bolton Chronicle
“Staged in – the – round , basic furnishings, - tables, chairs, a group of
obliging orange boxes – becomes Loll’s home, the school, the char-a-banc to
Weston-Super-Mare and a green summer meadow for picnics.” Stella Flint
The Daily Telegraph 4/6/1984
“……the simple addition of a green covering transforms the stage into a
Summer picnic spot.” Enid Shelmerdine Lancashire Evening Post
“THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND”
“Peter Fairchild’s economical designs enhance this pleasantly amusing
production.” Stella Flint The Daily Telegraph
“WAY UPSTREAM”
“AMBITIOUS SET MAKES IT ALL PLAIN SAILING” – The ambitious set
comprising a genuine four-berth cabin cruiser floating on water provided by
Farnworth swimming pool, [ despite drought restrictions ], and turfed river
banks add an authenticity that is to be congratulated.” Nick Nunn The Daily
Telegraph
“Bravely, and despite the recent drought, the central well of the theatre is filled
with the muddiest water fringed with weeds and grass. The original cabin
cruiser from the Stephen Joseph Theatre at Scarborough is launched on it’s
up-river holiday trip. The technical side of Peter Fairchild’s design did not all
run smoothly, it surely will by the end of the run.”
“The Octagon Theatre set designer has still to be congratulated on a superb
set. “ Natalie Angelsey BBC Radio Manchester
“This Bolton Octagon production directed by John Adams bravely rises to the
challenge by staging the show as it should be done, - in-the-round, on a
flooded stage, carefully detailed in Peter Fairchild’s design. [ The water, they
explain, was provided in a period of drought from the surplus of a local
swimming pool ].” Alan Hulme The Manchester Evening News
“Peter Fairchild provides an effective water-side setting. Just looking at it
seems like a holiday in itself. Recommended !”
“Setting productions in-the-round does allow some imaginative ideas, but few
theatres could match the Octagon’s river-bank scene created with surplus
water from a local swimming pool.”
“THE GINGERBREAD MAN”
“The setting is clever – an enormous dresser complete with salt and pepper
pots, tea bag, cuckoo clock, mouse, and of course, a Gingerbread Man….”
The Bolton Chronicle
“The Octagon’s Christmas production of “The Gingerbread Man” boasts a
handsome setting by Peter Fairchild, with a monster-size tea pot, rolling pin,
plates, clock, and spring balance Ron Lawson The Stage
“Superb set and costumes,”
Manchester Life
“…….with a stunning set……..” What’s On
“The whole show takes place on a kitchen dresser. In Bolton Octagon’s case,
a magnificent affair, 20ft high and filling the whole of one side of the theatre
with an array of giant canisters, plates, tea pot, and a superb cuckoo-clock. All
this, and the excellent costumes are designed by Peter Fairchild, and as a
magical scenic eye-full it could hardly be bettered.” Alan Hulme The
Manchester Evening News
“………this musical has a coherent story-line, super set and plenty of
audience participation.” Nick Nunn The Daily Telegraph
“The action takes place on an outsize kitchen dresser, a truly marvellous and
ingenious set , designed by Peter Fairchild, who is also responsible for the
most imaginative costumes.” T.B. The Jewish Gazette
“A TASTE OF HONEY”
1985
“………it looked good too. Peter Fairchild has given us a set which is vintage
kitchen sink from the grotty lino to the gas stove and the well behaved budgie
in it’s cage. He has also lined the theatre walls Lowry-style with stark black
and white images of Salford.”
Stephanie Ferguson The Guardian
7/2/1985
“The sets by Peter Fairchild were understated but effective at capturing the
grimy industrial setting.”
Ailsa Cranna
“The background sets evoke memories of Salford before the large scale
demolition and re-development of the early sixties.” A.R.
“…….and there is a kitchen-sink horror of a set by Peter Fairchild.” Alan
Hulme The Manchester Evening News
“WAIT UNTIL DARK”
“Peter Fairchild’s basement flat is suitably claustrophobic.”
Mark Weatherall
“LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER”
“SPLIT SET INGENIOUS – In the Octagon Theatre’s small auditorium,
designer Peter Fairchild has used amazing ingenuity to produce a split set
that is inside of stately Wragley Hall, the Chatterley family seat and the
grassy slopes and streams of the estate woodlands and the gamekeeper’s
hut. At other times it converts simply to the underground roadways of the coal
mine, a square in Venice, and a London apartment.” Nick Nunn The Daily
Telegraph 31/5/1985
“John Adam’s production is served by an attractive setting, part woodland
coppice dominated by a “real” tall tree and part claustrophobic Wragley Hall, a
rabbit warren but one in which the sense of oppression hangs heavily,
designed by Peter Fairchild.” Ron Lawson Bolton Evening News
“Although this production is a brave attempt, it is unfortunate that the most
vivid memory of the evening is not of Lawrence’s words or human passion,
But Peter Fairchild’s superb set.” Natalie Angelsey The Guardian
31/5/1985
“Dear Peter, I am delighted to tell you that you have been nominated for a
Manchester Evening News Theatre Award in the Best Designer category, for
“Way Upstream”, “The Gingerbread Man”, and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” at
the Octagon Theatre Bolton.” Pam Garside The Manchester Evening
News
“John Adams directs a uniformly strong cast exploiting Peter Fairchild’s
composite set, at first sight discomfortingly cramped – in action, successful.”
Stella Flint The Daily Telegraph
“KISS ME KATE”
“Bolton Operatic Society’s production which opened at the Octagon last night,
has cleverly designed sets by Peter Fairchild.” Ron Lawson Bolton
Evening News 1987
“This is Bolton Operatic Society’s 16th production at the Octagon Theatre, and
Peter Fairchild has designed an impressive setting of grey, faceless tenement
blocks, iron staircases and railings.” Ron Lawson Bolton Evening News
1987
THE CIVIC HALL MIDDLETON
“ANYTHING GOES”
“Dear Peter, just to tell you that you were the star of the show of “Anything
Goes” at Middleton. I rarely visit Am Ops, but I have rarely, [ never, I think ],
seen such super sets. Many congratulations, - you made the evening
worthwhile!!! Letter from David Johnson, [ Director of Oldham Theatre
Workshop ]. 16/3/1981
THE ALBERT HALL BOLTON
“THE BOYFRIEND”
“Joyce Ann Smith’s lively production has attractive picture book settings by
Peter Fairchild, making effective use of the Albert Hall’s new staging facilities.”
Ron Lawson The Bolton Evening News
THE OCTAGON THEATRE
BOLTON
“SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS”
“……..and an impressive set it is ; a series of wooden cabins which can be
shunted around like dodgem cars for the numerous scene changes,become
barns, a dance hall, trading post or farm kitchen, - cleverly designed by Peter
Fairchild.” Ron Lawson The Bolton Evening News
THE DAVENPORT THEATRE STOCKPORT
“THE DANCING YEARS”
“Stockport Operatic Society have invested £10. 000, in scenery created by
Octagon Theatre Bolton designer Mr Peter Fairchild.” Russell Jenkins
Manchester Evening News
THE OPERA HOUSE BUXTON
BUXTON FESTIVAL OPERA 1985
“IL FILOSOFO DI CAMPAGNA
“……..Peter Fairchild’s charmingly dilapidated country garden.” Gerald
Larner The Daily Telegraph
“Peter Fairchild’s sun soaked set looked pure Rousseau : overgrown, lush,
and the fruits of idle hands, this was a garden where mischief might flourish
and an opera plot become tangled to despair.” Robert Hartford
“Peter Fairchild’s set is a masterpiece of country creation. Trees that you can
smell, a cottage chimney that smokes, and real doves.” Philip Radcliffe
“Peter Fairchild’s country cottage set, with roses round the door and real
pidgeons in the loft, is a delight !” Michael Kennedy The Sunday Telegraph
“…….set delightfully by Peter Fairchild.” John Robert Blunn
“……..Peter Fairchild’s sun-soaked and luxuriantly overgrown set proclaimed
that this was a garden that knew idle hands and what they could get up to.”
Opera Magazine
“…….and a more solid scene-setting by Peter Fairchild gave a boost to “Il
Filosofo di Campagna.”
“COTTAGE STEALS THE SCENE” The set, by former Octagon Theatre
Bolton designer Peter Fairchild, - presents a bucolic cottage complete with
live pigeons in the loft. It steals the show before the Manchester Camerata,
egged on by Anthony Hose, has even sounded the overture.” Peter Palmer
“The Galuppi opera was wittily produced by Malcolm Fraser in an enchanting
naturalistic set by Peter Fairchild. A Tuscan farmhouse down to the last [ live
], dove and wisp of straw,”
“Peter Fairchild has designed a witty, bucolic setting which brightly houses
Malcolm Fraser’s tautly directed production.”
“In the rural playground of Peter Fairchild’s sun-drenched Birket-Foster of a
set……..” Hilary Finch The Guardian
“GORGEOUS”…… the “Rustic Philosopher”s gorgeous set designed by Peter
Fairchild…….” David Fingleton
THE STEPHEN JOSEPH THEATRE-IN-THE-ROUND SCARBOROUGH
“TIME AND TIME AGAIN”
1986
“……..and the production is designed by Peter Fairchild.” David Jeffels
“However hard one tries, descriptions fall short of this production’s merits.
Like the indoor/outdoor in-the-round stage setting of Peter Fairchild in which
“Time and Time Again” is performed, the show has to be seen to be fully
appreciated. This really is one you must not miss.”
“……..cleverly designed by Peter Fairchild.”
“Peter Fairchild’s set is a painstakingly convincing recreation of a
conservatory and garden backing on to a playing field. “Bernard”, the fishing
gnome broods over the goings-on in the pond.” Robin Thornber The
Guardian
“The set is a cross section of Graham and Anna’s conservatory, garden, and
adjacent cricket pitch, with a real pond at one corner of the stage.” David
Barry
“Special credit goes to the designer Peter Fairchild.”
Stage
David Jeffels The
“BLITHE SPIRIT”
“It must be one of the first times it has ever been staged in-the-round, and
Robin Herford’s clever direction, backed up by the excellent design of Peter
Fairchild, make it one of the high spots of entertainment on the Yorkshire
coast, this summer.” David Jeffels The Stage
“…….a triumph in every department, from the direction of Robin Herford and
acting, to the stage design by Peter Fairchild and lighting by Mick Thomas.”
S.B.
“TOUCH WOOD AND WHISTLE”
“Directed by Robin Herford, it is designed by Glenn Willoughby, with
costumes by Peter Fairchild and lighting by Mick Thomas.”
“…….Bronwen, played appropriately, in mill-shop tweeds, by Janet Jeffries.”
Jill Parkin
“BENEFACTORS”
“Peter Fairchild is responsible for the set design.” D.S. The Stage
“Scarborough’s warm little theatre-in-the-round is just the right room to play
Michael Frayne’s piece of chamber music for four actors. The grandiose highrise housing plan that will irreparably divide four friends and their two
marriages is mapped out on the stage in Peter Fairchild’s design, so that the
audience actually walks across it on their way to their seats.” Tim Brown
The Daily Telegraph
THE BYRE THEATRE SAINT ANDREWS
“I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES”
“……..and the enjoyment is heightened by Peter Fairchild’s set, the interior of
Herb’s Los Angeles bungalow.” “The Stage
THE TORCH THEATRE
MILFORD HAVEN
“RELATIVELY SPEAKING”
“Realistically set in the swinging 60s, the set is pure Home Counties
commuter land. Designed by Peter Fairchild, trailing willows frame a real lawn
and flower beds accompanied by subdued bird-song.” V.S.
“Mention should also be made of the sets of designer Peter Fairchild. The
lush sun-strewn opulence of the country garden contrasted well with the
cramped little bed-sit of scene one, boxed into a minute compass to
convincingly claustrophobic effect.”
“The play opened on a claustrophobically tiny “flat-let”, and then moved into a
sunny country garden that was the “piece de resistance” of designer Peter
Fairchild, who created on stage a living garden of real grass and flowers and
pot plants. It was a truly beautiful set.”
“Coupled with such fine acting is the excellent set design and scene change
that was so well executed that it brought a large round of applause from the
audience.”
“CRIPPEN”
“The outrageousness of some of the burlesque is heightened by the simple
but totally effective set by Peter Fairchild.” V.S.
“The set is well designed and constructed to look like the Old Bailey.”
“The music-hall setting at the start of the play sets the tone for the evening.”
Samantha Hodder
THE ENGLISH THEATRE OF HAMBURG
1987
“LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT”
“The applause at the end was for both the actors and the set which was
designed with conviction by Peter Fairchild.” Hamburger Abendblatt 20/9/
1987
“The action of the play takes place on a stage designed by Peter Fairchild
with attention to historical detail. The scene is intimate, the audience is an
invisible guest in the living room of a family waiting for the end.” Der Szene
“THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST”
“Peter Fairchild’s sets manage to evoke Edwardian echoes without being
specific, and the whole production is firmly in the tradition of this enterprising
and respected Theatre.”
Charlotte Douglass
The Stage
1994
THE ENGLISH THEATRE OF HAMBURG
Press reviews in German awaiting translation.
1987 – 1995