The posh food emporium in Piccadilly, Fortnum and Mason has filled its shop windows not with goods for sale, but models created by theatre set designers.

It’s been on display since January, but during the lockdown, understandably few will have seen them. With a brief to “make joy” in their windows, the department store invited theatre set designers to create shop windows and share their creativity.

The resulting windows range from “the dramatic and surreal, to the everyday”.

It’s a different use for a space more used to promoting wares than arts, but it raised a smile in the passersby who stopped to look while I was there. And we all need a smile at the moment.

Two giant kaleidoscopes by Jon Bausor are here, with a big black hole for the letter O, which conveniently hides your correspondent’s ugly mug when taking photos of them.

One of the displays can be said to be closest to being a literal theatre stage, but Sam Wilde, which he calls Depictions of the Dramatic, and includes “scenes of everyday job from 2020” – a nicely toasted crumpet or a clear night sky.

The flowers opening and closing and revealing a hidden message are by April Dalton.

A children’s delight of a display is by Tahra Zafar.

A huge circus is by Jean Chan.

And spelling out the word JOY, under construction is an automaton display with the workmen moving around as they haul up equipment and keep painting the sign. This was by Alex Berry, and represents the people who work behind the scenes to bring the theatre designs to life.

I’ve been informed that the display will remain until the end of April.


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