National Theatre – 2017

Yaël Farber rewrote the biblical tale, placing the title character at the centre of a revolution against the Romans occupying her people’s land.

In the play, sand and water play a key part in Salomé’s story: John the Baptist gives her life a new purpose by baptising her, but she dies a martyr, entombed under the city. A first production had been put on in Washington, and I was inspired by set designer Susan Hilferty use of sand walls and by Caravagio paintings of martyrdom, to place the actress at the centre of a cascade of sand (see my references on the right).

Watch the video below to see the photographer Sebastian Nevols explain his process, and how he took my initial sketch to create the final image.

For the National Theatre Live trailer, I suggested filming the cascade of sand building up from a trickle to a full wall, with the actress fighting back the flow before embracing her destiny.
You can see my storyboard below as well as the final cut, shot and edited by Mike Marriage.

Salomé Programme