Staging Places
Aldona Cunningham
Aldona Cunningham Greater London
Based in: Greater London
Member Of: SBTD
Designer and Senior Lecturer in Scenography at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Aldona, a recipient of the Art Foundation Fellowship, trained at Central Saint Martins.

Her design work ranges from designing operas, plays, adaptations and devised productions in a range of settings. Her collaborations also led to working in the realms of installation, film, photography and performance art. Current practice explores improvisational processes in performance design and the interaction/dialogue of design within devising processes.

Publications: Chapter 10, Space and Truth/Raum und Warheit, second in the series Monitoring Scenography 02, edited by Thea Brejzek, Wolfgang Greiseneger and Lawrence Wallen. Published by Zurich University of the Arts.

Image credit: Aldona Cunningham

Featured Work

The Eldership Project

Role/Title: Co Designer with Alice Purcell
Year of Production Opening: 2015
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
Aldona Cunningham
Image Credit - Aldona Cunningham
‘…Eldership – it’s not a word we use. That’s why we want to do a project about it, because we are not sure what it means; because it is connected to age but is not defined by it; because we do not know how to grow old well, to have a relationship to loss, an open, authentic, vulnerable relationship to not being here. I weep every birthday, not because I do not want to be a year older, but because it is a moment to acknowledge that I do not know where I came from, and where I will be, if I will be, when I am not here anymore….

We found during our two weeks that an elder has a different relationship to time than the one we mostly have, the one that is scared to waste it, that races against it, that counts it out and mourns its passing. In making a show about eldership we realised that we were not in the business of show business, not razzmatazz, neither fast drum rolls, nor a period drama of slow nostalgia. What then?

I am thinking of Rosie, lying full stretch on the floor, while Aldona wraps white tissue paper around her, resonant of different images: preserving a body; wrapping a gift; parcelling up fragile china teacups so that they do not break when carried from one home to another. Then slowly, slowly Rosie pulls herself out, as if emerging from a cocoon, leaving the tissue, itself fragile, behind. A snake skin. A ghost. A white shadow.’

Extract taken from

By Matilda Leyser.

Aldona Cunningham
Image Credit - Aldona Cunningham
Aldona Cunningham
Image Credit - Aldona Cunningham


Lighting Designer: Alexandra Stone
Sound Designer: David Coulter
Director: Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson
Dramaturgy: Sarah Grange
Composer: David Coulter
Choreographer: Rosemary Lee
Stage Manager: Lorna Warrington
Performers: Pat Barker, Caroline Blakiston, Nick Hale, Colin Mclean, Tim Preece