Set model by William Beaumont

Set model by William Beaumont

This set design by William Beaumont for a production called Titus Caesar at the Royal Pavilion Theatre, Whitechapel in 1839, is one of his very early works. The spectacular backdrop is complemented by two 'flats' (side pieces of scenery) which could be slid safely on and off the stage in their grooves for any changes of scenery, but it is, overall, a fairly simple, conventional design. Beaumont also designed the sets for a production of 'Harlequin Bluebeard' at the same theatre a year later. From 1847 to 1864 he worked at the City of London Theatre as a scenic artist and 'transformation specialist'. He produced some of his best work for the annual pantomime there, painting on transparent gauze to create reveals and transformations. When lit from in front, the design on the gauze appears solid, but a simple lighting change (bringing in some light from behind) will make the gauze transparent, revealing a scene behind it and creating a magical transformation.