This happens every so often. I am captivated by a design concept and I have to note it ASAP. This is just a verbal description, right now. I’ll try to get some visual work onto vyew eventually
What if any architectural elements of the Inn had a Georgian, Neo-Classical flavor? Part of Blake’s charm and power as an artist came from his use of academic, classical conventions (well near Greek) in the service of his own unique visionary conceptions. Something almost temple-like about the Inn.
A Palladian dome as a central feature of the interior. The dome could tilt to various angles and take projections of everything from architectural design details to constellated stars to angels swirling about to acrobats tossing the sun and moon. This dome could also descend and rest on the stage as a pleasant green English hill.
The interior of the Inn would be perpetually “under construction” and we would see scaffolding stacked in the space, Blake standing upon it and working on various relief freizes, or one vast one, carving the images of the beasts he’s tamed. The faces of tyger, rabbit, cat, cow, sun, moon, etc, could be removed from the reliefs as white masks. Children run with these white masks into the fireplace and re-enter with the masks vividly colored and perhaps attached to billowing cloth, now ready to be treated as animated creatures.
Such a concept could be abstacted to a flat, two dimensional approach if we chose with the dome becoming a disk, the reliefs becoming sectional screen panels, etc.
But I keep coming back to this notion of Blake as a labouring presence, a creative presence…
Opening image inspired by this approach. Chorus stands in a shadowy, semi-circle. In their midst are two angels rotating a giant drafting compass upon the floor. We hear the chiming. As the circle is inscribed the Inn’s floating dome begins to appear above: “this Inn belongs to William Blake…” “Many are the beasts he’s tamed…” we discern Blake working upon a relief and we see the carved images about the temple-Inn.
I think we could have fun juxtaposing a kind of mystic, austerity with a more cozy, domestic, eccentric atmosphere created among the various inhabitants.