|Biographical detail : ||Visionary theatre designer
Known for “an expressive shaping of stage space” and a painter’s gift for forceful design in costume and properties, Farrah was a central figure in the growth of the Royal Shakespeare Company and he helped to bring the company to its artistic peak in the 1970s and 1980s.
Farrah’s design for French and British stages reached their summit of success in the 1970s with Henry V (rated “a reclamation”) and Henry IV Part 1 and 2 (which together enjoyed a run of five years) and a French version of Richard III.
He designed first stage production in 1953 – Samson and Delilah, for the Stadschouwburg, Amsterdam. In his extraordinary period Farrah designed more than 300 productions, some for the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Shakespeare, Chekhov, Eliot and Albee to Genet, Brecht, Pirandello and Kenneth Tynan’s Oh! Calcutta.
Farrah was born in Ksar El Bokhari, Algeria. Later in his life he headed to Paris, to Amsterdam and then to Strasbourg. He was invited to join Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon, in Britain, that provided him a perfect working condition – a wonderful ensemble and a theatre community dedicated to excellence. But at his heart he remained an advocate for the Arab world.