project (BAA_UK04)

I propose to design for a challenging conceptual realization of Voltaire’s Candide, to develop my own ideas within a framework that allows the boundaries to be stretched. This will question contemporary society using Candide as a vehicle.

My initial ideas for this production are to produce a timeless piece, with the events and actions that occur being set within various ears of time. Stereotypical settings will be used to help support the audiences understanding of the actions and the complex meanings behind the novel. The play will start in the 19th century, as this was supposedly the best of all possible worlds however, it is my intention to set Candide’s journey back in time, to start to question what was/is the best of all possible worlds. Through the early 16th century the dominant Spanish/Portuguese inquisition period, dominant Spanish rule in 17th century South America and 1750s Paris. The places that Candide visits will consistently relate to periods in history. I propose to establish the ending of the play in a setting of modern day Turkey, for the understanding of relating the philosophy found within the novel to events of today’s society, therefore seeing the conclusion that there is not a best of all possible worlds.

My concept is to translate Voltaire’s style of writing to that of the costumes. Exaggeration, parodies and caricature alongside the formulaic writing of a folk tale that will create a visual story that connects the periods together into a coherent production.

Intensive primary research will take place in Amsterdam and Florence, the former for the understanding of society in the early 16th century and the latter to view art works to understand periods of costume.


Sally Malkin, UK