Martin Morley

A Life in Theatre & Television Design

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Musings of a Jobbing Designer


Where I am now

The big 65 has come and gone. Time to take look back as well as forward. I have definitely designed more designs in the past than I ever will in the future. A rough estimate would be about 150 productions in the past and nothing planned as yet for the future. I’ve been very fortunate.


I left college in 1966 and apart from the occasional ‘resting’ periods between jobs, I have designed all my working life, and I still get a buzz from it. So that’s OK.


I officially retired in 2010 after having completed the second and final series of the satirical sit-com ‘Istan’bwl’ for Rondo. A most enjoyable experience and a good one to finish on, well almost. Since then I have done two community theatre shows for Alleni and last year -2015, I designed for S4C  ‘Dim Ond y Gwir’ - (Nothing but the Truth), again with Rondo.


I may have stopped designing, but the mind is still very much engaged and I think about designs everyday. I’m very conscious that most people who are not in the profession would think this very strange. But there you are. I have always loved drawing and  put down on paper what I see around me, scenes of people in cafes or art galleries: the way the sit and stand, and also of where I am and over the years I have painted many of the changing shop fronts of Bethesda, working from photographs.  I see myself as a ‘Sunday’ paper. I take what I do seriously, but when I look around and see others work I know it doesn’t really stand the gallery test. What I paint and what I draw is very much a record of places that are close to me. My style for want of a better word has always been illustrative, however hard I try to make it bolder. What concerns me is to make as true a record as I can of a particular moment. It’s probably an age thing, but I spend a lot of time now trying to organise what I have done on to this website.


Of course there is more time for the important things in life: the family which are growing apace and give endless pleasure though we don’t see them enough, the garden, holidays, the usual things: and trying not to get too depressed about what is happening to the world.











Dyffryn Ogwen CND on the march 1983 with Jon Clark’s banner


Below are few of the paintings and drawings from my digital archive showing Bethesda and surrounds and also some sketches.