Theatre Designs by Robin Ironside


1947

Der Rosenkavalier
Comic opera in three acts
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Music by Richard Strauss
Produced by Joan Cross
Scenery and costumes by Robin Ironside
Covent Garden Opera Company
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
First performance 22 April 1947,
Last performance 18 December 1963.








Bedroom Design from Der Rosenkavalier (Right)
Robin Ironside
1947
Watercolour on paper
41 x 25 cm
Private collection






1952

Sylvia
Ballet in three acts
Music by Léo Delibes
Choreography by Frederick Ashton
Scenery and costumes by Robin and Christopher Ironside
Sadler’s Wells Ballet
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
First performance 3 September 1952.

Reproduced from Covent Garden Books. Number Eight. Ballet. The Sadler’s Wells Ballet. 3 September 1952 – 23 August 1954, edited by Michael Wood. The Royal Opera House Covent Garden Ltd., 1954. 'Sylvia', pp.28-31, one colour plate of set design for Act III, sixteen monochrome photographs of production.
Gala Performance: A Record of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet over Twenty Five Years,edited by Arnold Haskell, Mark Bonham Carter & Michael Wood. Collins, London, 1955. 'Sylvia', one colour plate of set design for Act III (facing p.112), five monochrome photographs of production (pp.112-3,154,171). Private collection







































1954

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Comedy in five acts by William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Benthall
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Choreography by Robert Helpmann and Frederick Ashton
Scenery and costumes by Robin and Christopher Ironside
Old Vic Company Empire Theatre, for the Edinburgh International Festival
First performance 31 August 1954.

Design for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Robin and Christopher Ironside (1954) (Right)

Reproduced from The Old Vic Company in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Directed by Michael Benthall,
Scenery and Costumes by Robin and Christopher Ironside, (1954),Two colour and nine monochrome illustrations of designs, thirteen monochrome photographs of production. inside back page
Private collection

The Palace of Theseus, Athens (‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) (Right)
Robin and Christopher Ironside
1954
Gouache on paper
53.1 x 29.7 cm
Private collection




1965

La Sylphide
Ballet in two acts
Music by Herman Severin Løvenskiold
Choreography by Auguste Bournonville
Produced by Elsa Marianne von Rosen
Scenery and costumes by Robin and Christopher Ironside
Ballet Rambert
Sadler's Wells Theatre, London
First performance 20 July 1960, last performance 17 July 1965.



Other Designs by Robin Ironside

1951

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed five miniature sets with scenes from Shakespeare for the Lion and Unicorn Pavilion, South Bank Exhibition, Festival of Britain, which ran from 3 May – 30 September 1951.

1. Minature set design - Macbeth, 11 x 15.3 cm

2. Minature set design - Henry IV, Part 1, 10.1 x 15.1 cm

3. Minature set design - Romeo and Juliet, 10.2 x 15.2 cm

Gouache and watercolour over pencil on paper
Private collection


























1951

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed a firebasket for the Drawing Room of Goldsmiths' Hall, Foster Lane, London. Made of polished steel and bronze with rearing unicorn firedogs in gilded brass, it was designed in conjunction with R.E. Enthoven and made by J. Starkie Gardner Ltd. Following bomb damage, the room was redesigned by the architect Fernand Billerey in time for the Festival of Britain.



1952

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed a wall clock for the reception room of the Time & Life Building, 153-157 New Bond Street / 1 Bruton Street, London. It was described in Design (No.51, p.51) as "half-allegorical, half-heraldic, with Father Time, a lion and an American eagle in gilded carved wood and a brass star as supporters. The silvered brass clock face itself is placed, off-centre, on a black-bronze finished, brass armillary sphere. The 'path of the sun from Cancer to Capricorn' bears engraved signs of the Zodiac."

1. Clock, 9.4 x 16.9 cm

2. Coral, 7.8 x 8.4 cm

3. Armillary Sphere, 7.4 x 8.4 cm

Watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper.

Exhibited 1953, (no.26)
Private collection






























1953

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed a huge royal coat of arms which formed the centrepiece of the decorations in Whitehall for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Commissioned by Sir Hugh Casson, consultant architect for the street decorations of the Coronation procession, this was described by Sir John Rothenstein as "a rococo explosion of finely moulded gilt aluminium."












1953

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed a decorative mirror in the Queen's Sitting Room and an electric fire in the Queen's Drawing Room for the new Royal Yacht Britannia. Sir Hugh Casson was consultant architect for the interior of the ship, which was launched in 1953.

1954

Robin and Christopher Ironside were commissioned by Sir Hugh Casson to design an architectural feature for one end of the Grand Hall for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia, London, in 1954.







1957

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed a clock for the new head office of the Bank of London and South America, Queen Victoria Street, London. The architect of the building, which opened in 1957, was Victor Heal, while John Wright was the decorative consultant for the interior.

1960

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed a clock for the Livery Hall of the new Leathersellers' Hall, 15 St Helen's Place, London. The clock surround of black and gold moulded plaster is an allegory of human mortality: the clock-face is surmounted by a winged hourglass, and flanked by the blackdraped figure of Death with covered head and Life symbolised by a golden winged boy. The architects of Leathersellers' Hall were Louis de Soissons & Partners, the interiors were designed by Kenneth Peacock, and the building (replacing one destroyed in the Bliz) opened in 1960.

1964

Robin and Christopher Ironside designed the 2/6 [2 shillings and 6 pence] commemorative stamp for the Shakespeare Festival 1964. Depicting Hamlet contemplating Yorick’s skull (from Hamlet), 4,300,000 of these stamps were printed by Bradbury Wilkinson and issued by the Post Office on 23 April 1964 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. Four lower-denomination stamps were designed by David Gentleman.



1964

Robin Ironside designed a memorial to Ian Fleming (1908-1964), author of the James Bond novels. Commissioned by his widow Ann, the four-foot stone obelisk marks Fleming’s grave in the churchyard at Sevenhampton, Wiltshire.

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