Drawing by Voytek of Ian McKellen in Bent by Martin Sherman, 1979. The production opened at the Royal Court Theatre, London before transferring to the Criterion Theatre. McKellen won the Society of West End Theatres (SWET) Best Actor award for his portrayal of Max.
Dubbed Voytek by George Devine, Wojciech Roman Pawel Jerzy Szendzikowski (1925-2014), was known for his distinctive designs for the stage, theatre and film. Drawing his elaborate designs from in depth analysis of each script or screenplay.
Winning the Military Cross for his role in the Second World War, Voytek transferring first to Italy and then to Scotland after the end of the war where he enrolled at the Dundee Art Collage. In 1947 he moved to London, becoming a student of stage design at the Old Vic Theatre School. His career as a stage set and costume designer began with the Nottingham Playhouse whist his work on TV drama began with ABC Television and on film with Roman Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac.
His theatrical works concentrated on major regional theatre and touring companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Shared Experience; he was head of design at the Liverpool Playhouse from 1981-1982.
The collection this design is from also contains working drawings, model pieces, photograph, production notes as well as press cuttings and programmes relating to Voytek’s career as a production designer for the stage, television and film.