OLIVER MESSEL (1904 - 1978)
Lady Teazle – School for Scandal
Country: United Kingdom
Medium: Watercolour and chalk heightened with bodycolour over traces of pencil
Born in London, Messel was the grandson of the illustrator Linley Sambourne. After Eton he studied art at the Slade School of Art and by the early 1930s had established himself as one of Britain’s principal stage designers. Initially working for the Cochran Revues, he went on to design for many theatrical, operatic, ballet and film productions. His books included Stage Designs and Costumes, 1933; Designs for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1957 and Delightful Food, 1958. He exhibited at the Leicester Galleries and Redfern Gallery and also designed interiors and gardens of the Dorchester Hotel, Flaxley Abbery, Gloucestershire and elsewhere as well as several houses and grounds in Barbados and Mustique. The Victoria & Albert Museum hold the majority of his design archives. A costume design for Lady Teazle in Richard Sheridan’s School for Scandal (1777). Messel produced costume and set designs for the 1958 production, directed by Sam Besekow and first performed at the Det Ny Theatre, Copenagen.