An installation by artist Ebrahim Nazier that sits across three areas of our building and explores the past, present and future.

Ahead of the opening of Kyoto, we invite you to explore what happens next in a world where our natural resources are too precious to waste. Are we are more interested in a future that goes “somewhere”, or one that takes us “nowhere”?

Somewhere / Nowhere is an installation by artist Ebrahim Nazier which explores re-use, re-imagination and radical change in relation to sustainable futures. You can see the installation from 27 May to 13 October 2024. Somewhere/Nowhere sits across three areas of our building and explores the past, present and future. Mannequins clothed in reused and recycled costumes guide your journey around the installation.

When creating the work, Ebrahim enjoyed access to our Prop Store, where he picked recycled and reused materials that were often unseen or unnoticed but were integral to the workings of a play to create this artwork. Creating worlds on stage requires a large amount of natural resources. We need to ask; how might we keep staging new environments without it costing the Earth?


Swan Theatre, Colonnade

Ebrahim’s flock of upside-down chairs in various states of repair and deconstruction, respond to the idea of the Kyoto summit as “one historical moment where individuals sat in positions of power made decisions that impact us all”. They also reference classrooms, in honour of the schoolchildren who have used their voices to focus societies attention on the climate emergency. Origami flowers created from recycled RSC scripts represent a future in which nature triumphs —
but will we be part of it?


Somewhere Nowhere Installation - Sara Beaumont Photography (social)


Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Foyer

A frozen explosion of timber batons, vacuum-formed plastic bricks and fixings fills the central atrium . This captured moment in the life-cycle of a ‘flat’ which will be re-used in future RSC sets, invites us to think about how things are made. ‘Flats’ are part of world-building and visual storytelling on stage. Theatres use them to build walls, doors, ceilings, houses, palaces, cities or citadels. Temporary in nature, they are increasingly designed to be reused, like this one from the RSC’s 2023 production of Cowbois. A myriad of origami flowers spill out across the elements. What things can you imagine remaking or repurposing?


Somewhere Nowhere installation_ May 2024_2024_Photo by Sara Beaumont _c_ RSC_373567


Fountain Staircase

A suspended spiral staircase twists in the opposite direction of the existing circular stairwell it hangs within. It has no ground and no landing. Is it going up or down?

Is it going somewhere or nowhere? Origami flowers represent Ebrahim’s hope that we are moving towards bringing balance back to a world where every made object is mined for its longest ‘useful’ and ‘reused’ lifespan. This offers a powerful approach to sustainability, but will we rise to the challenge?



Somewhere Nowhere installation_ May 2024_2024_Photo by Sara Beaumont _c_ RSC_373572

Ebrahim Nazier, Artist

Ebrahim Nazier is a UK-based, South African born spatial designer, musician and filmmaker. His interest in the natural state of spaces, objects and materials informs his light touch and unconventional creative approach to making “spaces that enhance the environments they inhabit”. Ebrahim works internationally in roles which have included architectural technologist, set and costume designer, Head of Workshops and Head of Technical Design for organisations such as Birmingham Rep, Friction Arts, The National Trust and the RSC.