The Norah Lambourne Archive

Norah Lambourne is an artist and theatre designer. She was a colleague of Martin Browne's at the British Drama League from 1949, and worked with him on the set and costumes for the revived York Mystery Play cycle in 1951, 1954 and 1957.

The costumes were based on a range of medieval sources, including alabaster tablets and manuscript illustrations, as well as contemporary textbooks on medieval costume.

The set was based on the place-and-mansion setting used for the Valenciennes
Passion Play of 1547, adapted to fit the ruins of St Mary's Abbey in York.

Norah Lambourne's own sketch of the Valenciennes set

Norah Lambourne with E. Martin Browne
and Ossie Heppell (stage carpenter)
In 1954 and 1957 some of the plays were also shown on waggons drawn through the streets: The Flood in 1954, and in 1957 The Exodus.

Norah Lambourne has very kindly deposited her material on the 1950s and 1960s productions with the Project. It has been scanned and added to the electronic archive. A detailed electronic catalogue of thee scans of her stage and costume designs, with thumbnails, full-size scans, and other material was presented by Helen Bennett as her MA dissertation. We hope to publish this on CD in due course.

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© Meg Twycross 2002