Interviewer: What did the South African setting bring to the story?
David: I think the main thing it brought was the kind of immediacy the story must have had when it was originally published because one of the reasons Mark and I fell for the idea really quickly was if you transpose the Victorian setting there were these very extreme disparities of poverty and wealth... right up against each other. And put it in South Africa now, it fits very very well firstly, and secondly what also happens, what frequently happens at a time when people have got wealthy very quickly through a big social or political or historical change, like in England in the middle part of the 19th century, is that you get this real moral struggle amongst people about just who they are, and what their responsibilities to other people are. And Scrooge in the original story, in the original Dickens, is a man who has distanced himself morally from his community. And the same sort of situations and problems that arise, are very very common in South Africa now because some people have made an enormous amount of money very fast and they want to hold on to it! And the only way they can hold on to it is to de-ly the lengths of kinship that are very very powerful and this causes all sorts of real dilemmas both for the people trying to keep the money and people trying to get it off them! So, one of the things that setting it in South Africa now gave us, was a way of re-thinking the story so that it was as if it had been written yesterday. The reality of the tensions of the story were very clear, very powerful.
The Museum of Savage Beauty interactive web feature explores the hidden stories and craftsmanship behind some of the most remarkable objects made by Alexander McQueen and his creative collaborators. Here the designer's iconic pieces are placed alongside historical objects from the V&A’s collections, which represent some of the many design traditions that inspired him.