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"it’s a testament to the entire creative team (and the direction of Skuse) that the ‘replaying’ never drags or gets boring. Production designer Gez Xavier Mansfield has stripped back the stage of the new Eternity Playhouse, opting for a bare set that forces you to focus solely on the power and beauty of Payne’s words, which are delivered so intensely and honestly (and in flawless British accents) by the moving Emma Palmer and the compelling Sam O’Sullivan"
Leigh Credlin / We Review / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
."Staged on Gez Xavier Mansfield’s wonderfully spare set, which opens up the theatre to its bare, beautiful walls, Skuse directs with great precision but lightness of touch giving the piece room to breathe while putting the focus firmly on the human dimension"
Jo Litson / Scene and Heard / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Gez Xavier Mansfield’s set is a simple black raked platform; set against the bare walls of the Eternity Playhouse, there’s a beautiful kind of juxtaposition between the (restored and albeit fading) splendour of the old Burton Street Tabernacle and the sleek unobtrusive simplicity ofMansfield’s set. His costumes, too, are unobtrusive to the point of functionality, and they feel not so much like costumes per se, but what designer Alice Babidge prefers to call clothes"
Glen Saunders / The Spell of Waking Hours / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Overall this is exceptional theatre and something that is rarely seen in Sydney. Too often a production is over complicated when it doesn't need to be. Constellations is the perfect example of a piece of theatre"
Stage Whispers / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"production designer Gez Xavier Mansfield has opened the Eternity space to it fullest, barest extent and in conjunction with a lighting design by Sarah Swerskythat focuses attention on the two actors but it nevertheless static and unobtrusive"
Diana Simmonds / Stage Noise / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"production designer has brilliantly placed the action of the piece in a sort of palimpsest, utilising extant structure- the dome curvature of the back wall suggests a celestial observatory – and inscriptions while introducing an oblique plinth and a couple of chairs placed askew to cue the off kilter, non-linear form of the play"
Richard Cotter/ Sydney Arts Guide / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"a simple raked floor space, whilst stripping back the stage area to the actual building's 'sacred' remnants, which gives the play an imaginative boost into the realm of the constellations of the wonders of the universe"
Kevin Jackson's Theatre Diary / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Production design is understandably simple. There is something bare bones about the script, which the visuals reflect. The rawness of two people unveiling humanity with intensive honesty is matched by the minimalism of a stage that does not intrude. However, it is worth noting that the venue is fairly large, and allowing the full stage space to be exposed for most of the duration tends to take away from the intimacy that the acting strives for. Set and lighting could have helped reduce the vastness so that the characters are put in greater focus, and be in a position to achieve a stronger connection with the audience"
Suzy Goes See / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Staged on Gez Xavier Mansfield’s beautifully spare set, director Anthony Skuse gives the piece room to breathe while putting the focus firmly on the human"
The Daily Telegraph / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
."Skuse has, with designer, stripped the Eternity Playhouse back, exposing the bare bones of the 126-year-old building, with both its aged and restored period features on display. For a play which is so often about the very nature and illusion of time, it’s the perfect setting, where time seems to clash with itself"
Ben Neutze / Daily Review / Constallations / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"How good was that! As I was making my way out of the ATYP’s Studio 1 Theatre, this was my immediate and emphatic response to the ATYP’s current production"
Sydney Arts Guide / Stop Kiss / ATYP
"decision to expose the process of theatrical production (we can see the actors getting changed for their next scene, for example) creates a sense of openness, intimacy and with that comes the feeling we are sharing in each moment".
Jason Blake / Eight Nights a Week/ SMH / Stop Kiss / ATYP
"In spite of budget constraints, the show is a handsome one. Set design is thoroughly considered, and elegantly executed"
Suzy Wrong / Suzy Goes See / Stop Kiss / ATYP
"Gez Xavier Mansfield’s minimalist set design works with ATYP’s peculiar space, enhanced by Skuse’s direction to best utilise audience seating on two sides of the stage."
Maryann Wright / Stage Whispers / Stop Kiss / ATYP
"Gez Xavier Mansfield’s production design is understated, but intelligent, with seven large, grey boxes (which could be coffins) dominating the space, and small splashes of colour that lift the action"
Ben Neutze / Crikey / Falsetto's / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"When was the last time you heard a musical performed unamplified? No, I can’t remember, either, the odd workshop apart. I doubt that any of the cast of Falsettos has done it before, and so the performers’ leap of faith and courage required to undertake this Darlinghurst Theatre Company production should be roundly applauded, as should be director Stephen Coyler, musical directors Nigel Ubrihien and Chris King and designer Gez Xavier Mansfield. The risk taken has paid off handsomely.
I mention Mansfield in this regard as his set had to function as a sound-board (as with opera) for this to work. This sound-oriented design was taken one step further, with Ubrihien’s unamplified grand piano living in a kind of window box that is set into the upstage wall, projecting the sound out into the 200-seat Eternity Playhouse in an idea blend with the voices"
John Shand / John Shand and other Music Spheres / Falsetto's / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"a theatrical experience that exceeds many shows in Sydney of much grander scales"
"Ingenuity is shown in the use of seven coffin-like structures that are incorporated elegantly into stage design and choreography"
Suzy Wrong / Suzy Goes See / Falsetto's / Darlinghust Theatre Company
"This is the first musical in the Eternity Playhouse and it sits so comfortably as a boutique piece on its stage: let’s hope this is a promising sign of things to come, as we build up a more robust independent musical theatre scene in Sydney"
Cassie Tounge / AussieTheatre.com / Falsetto's / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Gez Xavier Mansfield’s design is almost spartan in its simplicity and there’s something oddly clinical going on.."
Jessica Keath / The Guardian / Falsetto's / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"The furniture for the production are six (or seven) open oblong boxes that become tables, beds, walls and coffins, add some simple, portable, collapsible black chairs - all very serviceable to the economic scene dynamics/changes of the storytelling. The design focus is to serve the story, the play"
Kevin Jackson / Kevin Jackson's Theatre Diary / Falsetto's / Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Set, lighting and sound design are thoughtful and exquisite. Narratives are scarce in Bite Me, but its atmospherics are dynamic and beautiful. This is a great achievement, given the minimalist approach taken by all the technical components. There have been many other showings of short plays that have entertained or titillated more, but this is a production that fascinates and impresses. It is thoroughly original"
Suzy Wrong / Suzy Goes See / Bite Me / ATYP
"The only prop used in the show is a table: appropriate, given the theme. While the table was occasionally distracting and maybe a little overused, the sparseness of the setting suited the piece very well. All these different voices had a place around this table"
Jodi McAlister / Australian Stage / Bite Me / ATYP
"The abstracted set design, by Gez Xavier Mansfield, is beautiful to look at, - lit, by Sara Swersky, with her usual eye for beauty - a nice art installation in a gallery"
Kevin Jackson / Kevin Jackson's Theatre Diary / Bite Me / ATYP
"Gez Xavier Mansfield’s set, made from a canvas tarpauline fashioned into a rough kind of curtain, draped and heaped at the rear of the little Griffin stage, feels as raw as the characters’ emotions, eversoslightly ragged and crumpled. A bit like a makeshift tent, a refuge, on the shore of the wide world, a place where lost souls can find the strength to negotiate, mend and heal, grow together or drift apart"
Glen Saunders / The Spell of Waking Hours / On the Shore of the Wide World / Griffin
"The set designer wisely eschews a literal interpretation of lower middle class suburbia in favour of a neutral abstract backdrop of draped canvas and a couple of free-moving structures that fill in for whatever's needed"
Dianna Simmonds / Stage Noise / On the Shore of the Wide World / Griffin
"A beguilingly simple yet functional set that is redolent of a house under restoration, presents a clear, clean and vivid thematic play space whilst facilitating the pace and momentum of the piece"
Richard Cotter / Sydeney Arts Guide / On the Shore of the Wide World / Griffin
"Go and see this show and let it break over you like a wave. You will not be disappointed. On The Shore Of The Wide World is an incredibly strong start to the Griffin Independent season"
Jodi McAlister / Australian Stage / On the Shore of the Wide World / Griffin
"The work also makes good use of Gez Xavier Mansfield’s concrete-inspired design that provides just enough to shape the world to allow everyone to fully invest in the reality of the story"
Simon Binns / Time Out Sydney / On the Shore of the Wide World / Griffin Theatre
4000Miles is set to travel - 2014 / La Boite Theatre Company
Production Photography - "ATOMIC"
"4000 Miles is a rarity, a play in which light and dark are jammed in close to each other and yet achieve a precious sense of symbiosis. A treat"
Rima Sabina Aouf / Concrete Playground / 4000 Miles / ATYP Under the Wharf
"The set design is immediately striking. Using something as simple as sheets of paper fixed to a hanging net, Gez Xavier Mansfield creates a flaking, slanted ceiling that might also be a stairway to heaven, or the imagination, or both"
Joan Beal / Arts Hun / The Hiding Place - ATYP Under the Wharf
‘Simple yet complex’ best describes this piece, characterised by Gez Manfield’s split set design. The space is so small and intimate yet immensely detailed, with hundreds of sheets of paper with drawings lining the walls, ceiling and floor – a constant reiteration of Emily’s innocence"
Gavin Fernando / Alternate Media Group / The Hiding Place - ATYP Under the Wharf
'Standing behind the magic of Ms Feaver's vision is a young designer, Gez Xavier Mansfield, who has had a prolific artistic time since graduating from design school last year (including his contribution to the recent great production of PUNK ROCK), with a beautiful, immersive set of written dreams on white, hanging papers, of aspirations and inspirations, billowing gently in the breeze of the air's movement, flanked on either side by two real yet redolent rooms of the practical world - one decaying, one pragmatic and lifeless-of this day“Staging the play on a traverse set by Gez Xavier Mansfield is the masterstroke, creating a sense of intimacy while allowing the audience to observe waves of tension build and break among their numbers opposite…”
Kevin Jackson / Theatre Diary / Punk Rock - ATYP Under the Wharf
“Set and costume designer, Gez Xavier Mansfield, craftily endows a disarmingly simple setting on the traverse stage, enabling the audience to be sucked into the complexities of the story and come face-to-face with one another in some of the more chilling moments of the play. At times candid, at times sordid, we are given the privilege of being flies on the wall in the private lives of these young people…”
Ildiko Susany / artsHub / Punk Rock - ATYP Under the Wharf
“The set design is stripped to efficient necessities – pragmatic rather than atmospheric : study tables and plastic chairs with a table of books, all, on a shabby carpet, and the costumes of school uniform add to the bleak reality of school…”
Kevin Jackson / Theatre Diary / Punk Rock - ATYP Under the Wharf
“While the set is kept simple, staging is inventive, using a traverse platform in the centre. One drawback here is that some facial expressions are missed on one side or the other, but this does not detract significantly. It was in fact a comfort to see the matching emotions- horror, elation, anticipation- of the spectators on the opposite side…”
Lilli Paul / Stage Whispers / Punk Rock - ATYP Under the Wharf
“Gez Xavier Mansfield’s set design enhances this familiarity, as he craftily transforms the awkward ATYP performance space into a high school library…”
Rachel Chant / TIME OUT Sydney / Punk Rock - ATYP Under the Wharf
"Behind The Curtain was attended by the stars of stage and screen and the event has raised over $500,000 since its inception in 2007. The challenge that Fourth Wall Events and the team at NIDA faced was how to amaze the highly creative audience over the two months the event was designed and produced the answer was definitely found. The theme for this year was 1960s Australian television'
TheFourthEstate.com / Behind the Curtain 2011 NIDA Gala
"The custom design handmade chandeliers rose to the roof, followed by the white proscenium arch and black theatre curtain revealing the remaining second year students in stunning period outfits positioned through-out the theatre seats, creating an amazing role reversal and a stunning wow factor to the night..."
TheFourthEstate.com / Behind the Curtain 2011 NIDA Gala
“The Old Fitz’s theatre looks the part, dressed in a gloomy yet beautiful tangle of blackened sticks and spidery webs designed by Gez Xavier Mansfield…”
Jason Blake / Sydney Morning Herald / Lyrebird
The set design by Gez Xavier Mansfield is imaginative and dares to break into symbolism…”
Kevin Jackson / Theatre Diary / Lyrebird - TRS
“Set and costume designer Gez Xavier Mansfield has charred what remains, lending a suitably, evocatively grubby patina to the lost souls on stage…”
Lloyd Bradford Syke / Crikey / Lyrebird - TRS
‘The set design was thought out cleverly, and shrewd lighting established a convincingly spooky mood, adding an extra level of depth to the whole affair…”
Bernadette Burke / Arts Hub / Stage Fright - The New Theatre
“Most impressive were the high production standards ; the exterior and interior of the house, with its strategically placed wardrobe for ghosts to jump out of, outdoor dunny and magical moving paint tin, set the scene for a night of fun…”
David Spicer / Stage Whispers / Stage Fright - The New Theatre
“The set was magical (almost literally)! I can see it now as clear as a bell; through cupboards and into Dunnies was smooth and well thought out to give the maximum entertainment value…”
What’s on Sydney / Stage Fright - The New Theatre