This mind-bending play, written by a master playwright at his devilish best, poses a most intriguing and terrifying question – What if the Nazis had won the Battle of Britain? Written in 1946, the play takes place in a South London pub with a diverse cast of characters – writers, artists, young members of the resistance, working-class Brits and of course, officers of the Third Reich. It presents a curious and fascinating look at London in the 1940s.
Cynthia Jacquette is an illustrator living in Los Angeles. With an extensive background in graphic design, her work is influenced by travel, urban signage, ’80s pop culture and the California landscape. She works with watercolor, gouache and digital media to create surface pattern design, editorial illustration and maps. Among her recent projects was 12 map illustrations for Antaeus Theatre’s The Zip Code Plays. She has a BFA from School of Visual Arts and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.
Rather than focus on the grim scenes, or visual cliches having to do with war/resistance, I decided to focus on the “English pride” theme of the play and to explore the setting of the pub. While reading the play, I kept track of any time a drink was poured and/or served (57 times!); the poster is a “document” of that—each drink is represented by a different shape of a glass. I thought it might be interesting to represent the different drinks this way, showing the subtle change as the play evolved that the supplies were dwindling, and drinkers resorted to “stubbs,” flasks, and using a funnel to steal the good stuff. At the end, champagne is poured as a symbol of the English claiming victory. The overlapping glass shapes create a feeling of conversation, uneasiness and tension. The lettering at the bottom is a juxtaposition of German blackletter and traditional English serif as a nod to the conflict between German and English forces.
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