Poster for the English National Opera Company at the London Coliseum
Designed by Sue Coffey at ENO Graphic Design Studio
Museum no. S.2806-1995
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Unusual poster campaigns selling bras or cars quite often cause a stir in the press, but unusual theatre poster campaigns are a rarity. A series of posters for the English National Opera were an exception in the 1980s, when it produced a corporate poster campaign aimed at promoting its opera as something accessible, that everybody can enjoy. This was not a campaign dreamed up by an agency, but an in-house campaign - the result of brain-storming between the marketing and press departments at ENO. They wanted a series of posters focusing on people who worked behind the scenes, including the bar staff, the programme sellers, and as here, the flyman, shown with ropes that hoist scenic cloths. The focus is on him, lit dramatically and photographed by the master of dance photography, Anthony Crickmay. The poster mentions the opening date of The Love of Three Oranges, but the main focus of this poster is certainly Micky Titchmarsh, who gets the credit on this poster which he never had in a theatre programme.