Set Critique of Talk Radio, directed by David Overton The set of the production of Talk Radio creates a realistic view of a radio station and portrays the isolation of Barry Champlain. There are no set changes in this production and in fact there is little to be seen of a set. It is composed entirely of a desk with microphones and chairs. But that just helps the audience to step out and become part of the play as well as showing them some insight into the way Barry lives his life.
The set for Talk Radio actually looks like a radio station. There is nothing that needs to be left up to your imagination. What you see is what you get. That helps to bring the audience into the production and make you feel like you are there. What adds to this effect tremendously is the fact that the production is presented to us in the round.
This means that there are audience members on every side of the theatre. Some may wonder how this adds to the production. It adds to it because in many radio stations there is glass on all sides of the booths, therefore letting everyone see what is going on inside. Also, this means that the actors don't have to be too concerned about having their backs to you during the play. This makes helps you feel that instead of sitting in a theatre watching a play, you are there, inside the radio station, overhearing what is going on. I think that this is the best way to perform this play, is in the round. It really adds to it and it would lose a lot of its realistic nature.
This set also enhances the theme of Barry's seclusion. In this booth, Barry can say what he wants and do what he wants. The booth creates a barrier for Barry between him and his listeners. During most of the production Barry was alone in the booth talking to the callers. When that barrier was finally broken when Kent came in, he wasn't there for long. No one was ever in the booth with Barry for long. This shows how he has not only isolated himself from his callers but how he isolates himself from the rest of the world. His colleges would talk about how he was trapped in his job, which was never off his mind for a very long time. This is shown throughout the production by the focus being entirely on the booth. And that the booth was the only part of the set, kind of like Barry's job is the only big part of his life.
Overall, this set portrays a true version of a radio station and is also able to go deeper into the play and show Barry Champlain's segregation from his callers. It was able to include the audience in the play by making the set seem like a real radio booth. And though many people might argue that the set was no more than a desk, some chairs, and microphones, I saw it as an interpretation of Barry's life and how he lived it.