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Lyric life

The Mob Reformers: 8 Questions with Set and Costume Designer Ranya El-Refaey

We caught up with the Set and Costume Designer for The Mob Reformers to find out more about the upcoming Lyric Ensemble show...


1. How does The Mob Reformers compare to other past productions that you’ve designed the set and costume for?

Not only is this the biggest show that I’ve worked on, but it has also been one of the most collaborative and creative experiences I’ve had. The energy in the rehearsal room was so incredible and the narrative is so unlike anything I’ve seen before, I wanted to make sure the design completely matched it.


2. What has been the most challenging part of working as a Creative on The Mob Reformers?

The show transforms to a multitude of places, it was important to create something that could frame all of those places whilst also highlighting the underlying themes and concepts of the play.


3. What’s the most surprising thing about working with The Mob Reformers Cast and Crew?

It was really beautiful to see how much the cast lean on and respect one another. Their chemistry and energy is one of a kind.


4. Describe the show in 3 words.

Mental, touching and honest.


5. Is the finalised set design that we’ll see during the performance the initial idea that you envisioned, or did things change along the way?

Not at all. The initial design concept was to create a 14th century fair for the audience to be able to participate in. However, as the play progressed it became clear that this would cause too many issues. We decided to go with a minimal design to allow the costumes to stand out whilst also using the set to highlight some of the themes behind the narrative. This design now feels much more my style, it frames the entire show in a simple and concise way.


6. How many elements of the costume design and set design have a symbolic element to them?

The set definitely holds a symbolic element to it. Using soil as the main material highlights the power behind who and what they are rebelling for.


7. What sets the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre apart from other theatres?

The Lyric has held such a special place in my heart since graduating from university.  They provide unbelievable opportunities to young artists and creatives, allowing us to work in a professional environment without making us feel like imposters. They open their doors to people from all walks of life and are inclusive, aware and understanding to anyone who works under their roof.


8. If you could time travel to experience life in 1381 would you?

I would love to go see street theatre performances, the shows were done on travelling pageant carts which I would love to see.


The Mob Reformers is here until 29 Jun, click here to find out more about the show and to book

Follow Ranya on Instagram here.