The Non Surgeon’s Guide to the Appendectomy

Set & Costume Designer

‘Did you know coffee is a rarity in small coastal towns, the appendix is actually a human ticking-time-bomb and travel agents are actually one of New Zealand’s oldest professions? Neither did Neil until The Non-Surgeons Guide to the Appendectomy appeared at his door.’

‘Urquhart’s set is quite outstanding. Predominantly in eggshell white, there’s a cushiony couch seated on a slatted wooden pallet centre stage and the floor is covered with a liberal coating of sand… Random suitcases dot the floor along the walls. The entire set gives the impression of a designer who really knows what she’s about and the whole thing screams ‘Kiwi bach’ (or ‘crib’ if you’re in the far south)… It’s a tricky space and I am thrilled to see the production team has had the courage to move away from the somewhat prosc-archy tradition that’s grown up in the studio space. Working with the audience in an L shape is both interesting and effective.’

– Lexie Matheson, Theatreview

‘Successfully transforming a performance space can win over your audience before the dialogue of a show even begins, and the combination of Christine Urquhart’s foreboding set, stark lighting by Nicole Astrella, and ominous sound composition by Sinisha Milkovic has me immediately geared for Finnius Teppet’s (arguably) absurdist play. The cast engages with Urquhart’s set, which allows for so much play…the production design team successfully creates the world embedded in Teppett’s script…’

– Matt Baker, Theatre Scenes

‘As soon as you enter the Basement studio upstairs you will be find the space transformed into the living room of a Kiwi bach, infused with surreal touches. The floor, covered in sand, is literally displaced from reality. And while the set doesn’t ever strictly change, it operates on several levels to convey multiple spaces and locations. The fact that everything is cramped together only works in its favour. The overall design by Christine Urquhart is the most assured aspect of the production, feeling completely in tune with the script.’

– Nathan Joe, The Lumiére Reader


director / producer Jesse Hilford
lighting designer Nicole Astrella
sound design Sinisha Milkovic
playwright Finnius Teppett 
company / venue The Basement Theatre, Auckland.

photographer Josh Griggs