Noel Coward’s much loved comedy Hay Fever (which begins performances at the Noel Coward Theatre on the 10th February) is a tale of misjudged meeting, secret seductions and scandalous revelations, all taking place during the most outrageous of house parties. As such, it needed suitably raucous yet refined artwork to accompany its arrival in the West End.
For the main key artwork, we wanted to create a sophisticated and engaging image that oozed class, but with a little mischievous twinkle. The poster was deliberately designed in an Edwardian style, so as not to put off the core theatre-going audience, while still catching attention with a contemporary twist.
Drawing on period references for the poster’s treatment, we organised a portraiture shoot with leading actress Lindsay Duncan and top fashion photographer Uli Webber. In the final artwork, Judith Bliss (Lindsay Duncan) is impeccably styled in opulent pearls and a characteristically chic matching hat, lipstick and nail varnish. However, as taster of things to come, the cocktail glass clasped in her hand hints at a reckless nature, while more eagle-eyed audiences will notice that her hint of décolletage suggests that she’s also naked.
While we love the poster and its rather risqué effect, we can confirm that Lindsay Duncan wasn’t nude throughout the shoot!