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Casting & Recruitment
Set & Costume Designer  (Fixed term)

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Set & Costume Designer (Fixed term)

Initial fee – £2,250

Additional fee - £1,000 (paid during national tour in late 2023)


Application Deadline:    10am on Friday 9th September 2022

Interviews via Teams:    w/c 12th September 2022


Key Details


We are searching for a skilled, self-motivated Set & Costume Designer to join our production team for our new play ‘The Possibility of Colour’.


The play explores themes around mental health, voice hearing, synaesthesia, neurodiversity, forced treatment, AI in healthcare, private healthcare and much more.

It has been written with input at every stage from mental health professionals, academics, student practitioners and people with lived experience of the themes explored in the play.


This will be an exciting challenge for the right artist, as the play will offer an immersive insight into the experience of voice hearing and synaesthesia, using recorded voices, music and synchronised animated projections.

As part of this process, the creative team will work collaboratively and have the unique opportunity to consult with Kaitlyn Hova, a synaesthete, musician and neuroscientist who ‘sees music’ as colour.

Click here to watch a short YouTube video that demonstrates Kaitlyn’s experience.


We are looking for a set designer who can work innovatively, quickly, collaboratively and efficiently to create a stripped back, simple but striking set that allows the mixture of still and animated projections to create the majority of the ‘world’ that the characters inhibit.


They will also need to create an architectural model of a house, which is a key element of the play.


Key Dates:


September 2022

  • Online read through with full cast and design team.

  • Initial design meetings with design team and writer/director.

  • Design process ongoing.


October 2022

  • Design process ongoing – liaise with video/animation designer and director to ensure set design will facilitate projections effectively.

  • 17th October: 4 weeks of rehearsals begin.


November 2022

  • Set build

  • 14th – 16th November: Tech rehearsals.

  • 16th November: Dress rehearsal.

  • 17th – 30th November: 10 performances across 7 venues.


December 2022

  • Evaluation process involving all team members


About the production: ‘The Possibility of Colour’


The Play:

‘For many, The Implant is an irresistible guarantee of eternal happiness; a life without suffering.

For others though, it’s a terrifying instrument of control, stripping them of what it means to be human and increasingly forced upon a growing number of 'compulsory recipients'.

Designed by the AI-controlled 'Vigil' Corporation, The Implant is a new miracle device that promises to cure all mental illness.

Will Joseph, his sister Aisling, or his best friend Helen, be able to decide which of them, if any, should have The Implant?

And with the ever-looming presence of Vigil, do they even have a choice?


Who is ‘normal’?

Who gets to decide?’


The Possibility of Colour is an exciting new play written by Pete Carruthers.

The play explores themes around mental health, voice hearing, synaesthesia, neurodiversity, forced treatment, AI in healthcare, private healthcare and much more.

The play has been written with input at every stage from mental health professionals, academics, student practitioners and people with lived experience of the themes explored in the play.

The play has been shared with these expert groups via multiple table readings and script in hand performances during two R&D phases in 2015/16 and 2021. Feedback from these invited expert audiences was used to inform further rewrites at each stage.


Northwest Tour:

The first full production and small tour will take place in late 2022, with 10 performances across 3 venues in Northwest England plus 2 online sharing events.

This initial tour will partly be used to generate reviews and attract programmers ahead of a planned national tour in late 2023 and early 2024. We will also film one of the performances to be shared at online events and to send to programmers who can't attend a performance in person.



We did initially hope to provide a higher initial fee for this role. Sadly, we have recently had our Arts Council England funding bid rejected (which was a huge shock based on feedback we’d received on our bid from other producers and partners prior to submitting it).

We have decided to continue with the production using our existing budget from other partners.

However, as a result of this reduced budget, we have sadly had to ask existing and new team members to defer part of their fee (£1000 in this role) until the national tour, which is planned for late 2023 / early 2024.


Partnership with Health Education England:

An important aspect of the project is that Health Education England (HEE) are paying for up to 1200 student nurses to attend performances and post-show Q&A discussions with expert guests as an official part of their nurse training. This means that we already have approximately 50% ticket sales guaranteed for the initial tour.

HEE, who have also provided match funding towards the overall production costs, plan to expand this approach to student nurses and other student health practitioners right across the country as part of the national tour of the play in 2023/24.

This an exciting opportunity to use theatre to inspire real change in the practice of our future health professionals.


Audience feedback from R&D sharings:

“I thought there were a number of things about it that were superb… I found it very very moving. I don’t know whether people will really know how well you have put the language, how you’ve used it, because I heard the echoes of a thousand conversations in mental health services in the way that you’ve used language… there’s just so many clever things that you’ve got superbly well.” (Dr Jonathan Gadsby – School of Nursing and Midwifery – Birmingham City University)


“I think the play is marvelous, the way it captures the complexities of the issues. Your actor training really shows through in the way you write, you’ve created conflicts and created relationships that… they’re so rich and the conflicts are so clear and so complex, it’s really really super impressive.” (Tom Scholte – Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film – University of British Columbia)


“Incredibly thought provoking, really powerful… I will go away and read some more about things that I didn’t know about. I think it’s really really amazing, thank you.” (Sally Ashton-May – Lead Midwife – National Nursing & Midwifery Team – Health Education England)



Job Responsibilities:

The Set & Costume Designer’s responsibilities will include:

  • Reading the script (including attending an online script reading in late September) and collaborating with the writer/director, creative producer, lighting/projection designer and composer/sound designer to create a vision for the overall design of the production.

  • Working with the writer/director, lighting/projection designer and composer/sound designer to ensure the set design facilitates the synchronised projections to capture the experience of auditory-visual synaesthesia, voice hearing and disassociation (flying).

  • Sourcing of suitable set builder (or necessary support if self-building if possible)

  • Working with the stage/production manager to manage the set build, ensuring it remains within budget and is easily stored and transported.

  • Source costume, props and additional furniture, working with the stage/production manager to keep within budget.

  • Attending occasional rehearsals and tech rehearsals.

  • Contributing to an evaluation process with the core team after the production.


Line managing responsibilities:

  • Set builder.


Organisational Relationship and Accountability:

Line managed by:      Ally Davies (Creative Producer)

                                           Isabel Potter (Stage Manager / Production Manager)


Works closely with:    Pete Carruthers (Director / Writer / Producer / Actor)

                                           Adam Foley (Lighting / Projection Designer)

                                           TBC (Lighting / Sound Tech Operator)

                                           TBC (Composer / Sound Designer)


Person specification:

  • You must be available for interview (conducted virtually) at some point during w/c 12th September (final date/time to be agreed based on availability)

  • Experience of set and costume design for professional theatre productions is essential.

  • Access to workshop and ability to self-build is a bonus but not essential.


How to apply:

Please e-mail with a statement of how you would approach the brief and how your practice is suitable (up to 1 side of A4), a CV and up to 3 examples of your work  by 10am on Friday 9th September 2022.


Shortlisted applicants will be sent the full script and current design brief ahead of interviews via Microsoft Teams w/c 12th September.


Have some questions?

If you have any questions about the role before applying please email Artistic Director, Pete Carruthers at

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