Carl Toms

Carl Toms was the most sought-after and successful designers of his generation. He did not just design for the theatre, but for the cinema, the opera and the ballet, in Britain, Austria and the United States during a career spanning some 50 years. His home and birthplace was above the family’s tailor shop on Kingsway in Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire England on May 29th 1927.
He was conscripted into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. On leaving the army, he gained a place at the Royal College of Art followed by a relatively short time at Old Vic Theatre School, (he was resident designer at the Young Vic from 1970 until 1983). A permanent engagement in 1952 as assistant to the celebrated designer, Oliver Messel was to last six years.
Along with the vast amount of work he did for stage, nine films and episodic TV productions, he refurbished the residence of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong Jones and theatres in Windsor, Richmond, Bath and London. He was design consultant for the Investiture of Charles Prince of Wales at Carnarvon Castle (1969) With Wedgewood he designed Tankards for that occasion and another for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and In 1997 for the Golden Wedding of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. He was recognised with awards in America and by numerous contracts in Germany, Denmark and Austria.
In recognition of his accomplishments he received the Order of the British Empire in the 1969 Honours. He died aged 72 at his home in Hertfordshire on the 4th August 1999 the cause was emphysema. A plaque to recognise his life was mounted on his birthplace in 2018.
Trevor Lee 2018.

Past productions

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