Noted British stage designer Jocelyn Herbert passed away on May 6 at the age of 86. Her obituary in The New York Times praised her “austere, intelligently illuminated and evocative stage settings.”
Herbert was educated in England, including at the Slade School of Design where she studied stage design. She began her career as a scenic painter at London's Royal Court Theatre but quickly began to design on her own. Outstanding productions from the early years of her career include Eugene Ionesco's Chairs in 1958 at the Royal Court, John Osborne's Luther at the St. James Theatre in Manhattan in 1963, and Othello with Sir Laurence Olivier at London's National Theatre in 1964.
In the 1960s Herbert also began to design opera as well as theatre. One of her most acclaimed opera productions was Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera in 1977. She designed both the sets and costumes for this Bauhaus-inspired production.
The daughter of Sir Alan P. Herbert, a member of the British parliament in his time, Jocelyn Herbert is survived by a son and three daughters.