London International Design Awards for "Boi Boi is Dead".
BAFTA award nominee, best costume design for “Set Fire To The Stars”
"Msamati frames all this domestic conflict elegantly and Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s set is gorgeous in its evocation of the Zimbabwean Savannah. The cast remain onstage throughout, the performers retreating to the back of the stage and becoming silhouettes when not speaking, continuing to look on. This, combined with some beautiful lighting effects and the backdrop of that infectious music give the production a textural richness, which it benefits from greatly – it is essentially a ninety minute-long family argument." John Murphy, Exeunt Magazine Feb 2015.
Stylised furniture and a dog are silhouetted and can be lowered onto the stage as needed. Upstage is a row of multifunctional boxes, as if a banking, which can contain props and themselves become props. An adventurous and admirable set which is used to good effect. All in all, a first class production.
"The setting is urban Zimbabwe – huge African spaces stretched across the stage by Emma Chapman’s sunlight-and-dust lighting. Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s cutouts tumble rooftop skylines and cleverly play with scale to exaggerate impressions of expanse beyond the immediate." Clare Brennan, The Guardian Feb 2015
"A stylised, sun-blessed set design gives the unfolding domestic tragedy an exotic Zimbabwean backdrop and space to breath on the Courtyard stage" The Stage Feb 2015.
"Played on the savannah of Francisco Rodriguez-Weil's set, director Lucian Msamati instils a mythic, universal quality to Nyoni's drama, without giving up its Zimbabwean setting, while also cutting off any geopolitical interpretations.
Offstage family members appear silhouetted by a glorious orange sunset and Boi Boi remains in the midst throughout, always watching, never reacting. His trumpet adds the tone - trance-like here, elegiac there - and there's a lethargic beauty at work, helped by Emma Chapman's sun-soaked lighting." Matt Trueman, What'son Stage Feb 2015.
"The design of this first full length play, Boi Boi is Dead by Zodwa Nyoni, is the clue to grasping its unusual and delicate dramatic logic; at once full of realism and yet carefully sketched in a series of episodes, tableaux even, each building towards the emotional heart cry that concludes the play.
Francisco Rodriguez-Weil sets the play against a vibrant sky – as though an engraving, a silhouette of shapes – both those made by the actors (beautifully directed by Lucian Msamati) and those made by large hanging cut-outs that signpost ingredients of the ‘everyday’, while suggesting a milieu of myth and African folk-lore. Shaped model houses are in fact boxes that hide the artefacts that will be used to tell the story.
We are drawn into an intriguing world where questions have to be asked to unlock the conflict-driven lives that have been left as a consequence of Boi Boi’s death." David Gann, The Review Hub. Feb 2015.
"The issues of loss, love and the scrabbling nature of inheritance are universal, but certain factors are specific to the Zimbabwean setting. The play begins with the cast entering against a radiant orange sunset singing a stirring Mbube verse. Designer Francisco Rodriguez-Weil has created a simple yet stunning set, it comprehensively lends itself to any scenario." Gillian Fisher, Afridiziak Theatre News Feb 2015.
The play is able to take that step from intriguing to evocative thanks to the beautiful set and costumes from Franscisco Rodriguez-Weil and the music of Michael Henry. CV feb 2015.
"The set (Francisco Rodriguez-Weil) and lighting (Emma Chapman) work together to beautiful and dramatic effect. A huge orange sky is a backdrop to Boi Boi’s first appearance. He seems to be very nearly contained by this sky, not quite silhouetted, as he plays trumpet." Ray Brown, British Theatre Guide 2015.
“With gorgeous, contrast heavy black and white and some solid costume work really helping to embed the viewer in both the era and the type of cinema this narrative is directly influenced by, the camera is a loving one, and yet one that does help add an ounce or two more emotional gravitas to the picture.”Joshua Brunsting, ACV July 31st 2015
“Set Fire To The Stars, directed and co-written by Goddard with actor Celyn Jones, is visually impressive”
Andrew Blair, EIFF 2014
“Tech credits are of a uniformly high, handsome standard, with Chris Seager’s digital monochrome lensing exuding veritable patent-leather gloss in the nighttime scenes, though the consistent crispness of the image isn’t always conducive to atmosphere. Edward Thomas’ production design and Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s rather covetable costumes thankfully resist over-instructive period detailing.”
Guy Lodge, Variety
“The film has a classy look and feel to it and really does take you back to the olden days of the 50’s!”
Awais Irfan, Oasis. June 2014
“Visually stunning and shot entirely in black and white monochrome Set Fire to the Stars is a cautionary tale about meeting your heroes.”
Movies IE. November 2014
“Under the semi-circular blue walls of Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s imposing set, we are sucked int a northern European household, c 1905, hemmed in with snow and sexual frustrations, not to mention a huge distorting mirror hanging above like and egg”
Geoff Brown. The Times. March 2011
“Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s set was successful in evoking the spooky twists of the plot by means of a mirrored ceiling in which the weird distortions of the action below were reflected”
Michael Kennedy. Opera, May 2011.
“Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s set and costume designs, and Emma Chapman’s atmospheric lighting, won applause at the outset of both acts two and four on the opening night”
Robert Beale. City Life. Thu, 09 December, 2010.
“A sparkling overture was followed by an absolute blaze of colour”
John Byrne. Musical Opinion Limited. Jan/Feb, 2011.
“The scenery by Francisco Rodriguez-Weil was particularly effective, whether in the sun-baked town square with plenty of room for the large and active chorus, in the mountains or outside the bullring”.
Michael Kennedy. Opera, Feb 2011.
“For the audience the sheer visceral thrill of so many young vibrant voices in Bizet’s music made a significant contribution to the success of the evening, as did the sets. The sets for Act 2, at Lillas Pastias’ Inn, and Act 4 at the bullring, both using two heights imaginatively, were much appreciated by the capacity audience”
Robert J Farr. Seen and Heard International, December 2010.
“Designer Francisco Rodriguez-Weil has come up with an ingenious set in which (at the end) a tree is smashed by lightning and a chasm opens”
Robert Beale. City Life. March 2009
“Good as the signing was, this Ravel double bill was a triumph for the producer Stefan Janski and the designer Francisco Rodriguez-Weil (…). One would be very fortunate to find a more beautiful set for L’Enfant anywhere care to name (…) The set , with a cavernous fireplace on the left of the stage, left plenty of room for the antics of the armchair, the teapot, the cats and the chorus. Fire’s costume of the flames was especially striking. An evening to remember”.
Michael Kennedy. Opera, May 2008.
“It is brilliantly and imaginatively staged by designer Francisco Rodriguez-Weil, with a room enlarged as if from a child’s eye view, which eventually opens up to become a starlit forest. The costumes, colorful and witty, add significantly to the visual delight, as all the things the naughty boy has damaged in his tantrums come alive to teach him a lesson (…) Magical and fantastic”.
Manchester Evening News, Philip Radcliffe
“The set for L’Heure espagnole was superb, too, a symphony of clocks of all shapes and sizes and plenty of room for all the farcical goings-on”.
Michael Kennedy. Opera, May 2008.
“You can always rely on quicksilver for quality and watercolours is no exception”
Susan Elkin, The Stage, 07
“Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s brilliantly conceived and evocative set design”
Paul Vale, The Stage
“Francisco Rodriguez-Weil|’s authentic looking setting offers more than a passing glimpse of what life must have been like in the racially divided world of apartheid south Africa”
“Francisco Rodriguez-Weil provides an evocative set”
What’s On Stage
“The set consisting of books and a laptop is inventive; the costumes of the nine members ensemble, who play all the supporting roles, are a feast for the eye”.
Maaike Staffhorst, De Telegraaf
“Set, costumes and design are exceptionally beautiful. Alice falls through the screen of a gigantic laptop (a recurring, inventive eye-catcher in the set) and characters step literally out of a big picture book.”
Hans Kottmann, Het Noordhollands Dagblad
“In Opus One’s version, Alice no longer falls through a rabbit-hole, but through the screen of a laptop. Around this giant laptop, the ensemble frolics through Alice in Wonderland’s bizarre developments. The laptop as a set piece is a (beautiful) clever find: the construction of separate pieces of fabric that make up the screen not only provide the backdrop for the projections, but can also be used to let characters enter and exit.” De Volkskrant
“Well-suited stage-set by the Venezuelan architect Francisco Rodriguez-Weil and played by an English cast who already passed through the Royal Shakespeare Company and London’s Westend with flying colours. The setting is a funeral parlour in the shape of a charcoal-grey semicircle. Wall segments open up between grey pillars to reveal and represent the respective different settings to which the memories hark back: office, kitchen, living room and bar”
“John Going’s staging of the play happens against a simple but effective backdrop where scenes from George’s life and scenes from the time following his fatal accident interchange constantly. In the back wall, changing imagery is in turn lit up to denote the respective locations. The George from the 70s wears colourful “Sgt. Pepper shirts” whereas the George from the 90s wears a woolen tank-top round his neck”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“…Due to the amount of material which needs to be shown by way of flashbacks in the play, and the resulting quick scene change, John Going has staged the play against a sparse backdrop (created by Francisco Rodriguez-Weil), in which a black wooden chest doubles up as not only a desk and piano but also as a coffin”
“SOHO has never looked better than it does in this colourful, exuberant National Youth Theatre production. A cast of gorgeous young people, many eye-poppingly dressed, sing, dance, dream and fall in love on the streets of London’s chicest red-light district.
Lit by Charlie Walton in vivid shades of sky-blue and scarlet, the action takes place on a clever two-deck set designed by Francisco Rodriguez-Weil. Sections pivot to transform from sleazy bar or coffee shop to the kitchen or bedroom of Sofiaís flat, while the upper storey, concealed behind translucent gauze, allows Gabriel to make his gliding entrances in a suitably angelic fashion” .
Sam Marlowe,The Times, 3 Sept, 2003
“In this synthetic wonderland, the look is all that matters, and Francisco Rodriguez-Weil ingeniously designs a show with more than a touch of Pedro Almodovar about it.”
Patrick Marmion, Time Out, 2003
“SIMPLICITY is the key to the Caird Company’s version of this traditional favourite. A leaf-printed cloth covers the floor, and the six actors perform to the audience seated on three sides. All their props and costumes are in full view, ready for use. Behind them is a kind of bas-relief picture showing the vista of Sherwood, the royal castle, monolithic, dominating the horizon. The hillside is studded with tiny half-timbered dwellings that light up prettily as day becomes dusk. It’s an economical and ingenious way of creating a sense of place and atmosphere, for which Francisco Rodriguez-Weil and Huw Llewellyn, responsible for design and lighting respectively, deserve applause.”
Sam Marlowe, The Times, 31 Dec 2002
“With well-rounded characters, a fast-moving plot and fabulous 18th century costumes this is a commendable adaptation by the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.”
“Expertly set by designer Francisco Rodriguez-Weil… Christopher Denys’s production was visually as good as it was dramatically.”
“… All the cast, in fact, deliver the goods – as does the set which, on opening night, got an ovation before anyone uttered a word.”
Tom Phillips-Venue, 23 June, 2000
“Certainly, this pub theatre makes a splendid padded cell thanks to Francisco Rodriguez-Weil’s design of futon walls and a solitary chair and bed. These are the current furnishings of our unnamed young protagonist, incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital.”
Jonathan Gibbs, Time Out, 7 March, 2001