Richard van den Berg

Set, Props and Stock Master

Visual communicator and artist, 3D designer and toy engineer, clock maker and mural painter… Richard’s talents are many and varied. He is also well traveled: London, Holland, Christchurch and his current hang-out, Nelson.

After gaining a Diploma in Visual Communication (Christchurch Polytech), Richard worked as a mural artist. Unfortunately, the 2010 earthquakes saw many of his Christchurch murals disappear, but the one that remains has become iconic: it was done very early in his career and features a young soccer player (in Sydenham). As a mural artist Richard travelled for a time, but eventually came back to New Zealand.

Once back home he worked with various school drama departments and the Court Theatre as a set designer, builder and scenic artist. Currently freelancing in Nelson, he has evolved into an artisan horologist: he designs and constructs clocks (predominantly industrial and some cartoon style clocks) and also creates 3-D-effect historic aviation prints. His work is available through galleries, such as The WOW Museum or The Cool Store (both Nelson), and he can sometimes be found showing his wares at festivals or air shows.  

Of course, all that wealth of artistry and design is put to good use in Playhouse where Richard creates the visual background, set and props for many of the shows we perform. Richard relishes the extra challenge that building for touring shows brings – how to fit all of the masterpieces he has created into one van!  

When Richard is not tinkering with construction and art, he loves to watch movies both good and bad. His all-time favourite is “2001: A Space Odyssey” an epic science-fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick.

If Richard could have one magic power it would be object manipulation: the ability to shrink and grow objects at will like Atom man who harnesses the power of white dwarf star matter. Or perhaps instead of a superpower, he could just invent an electromagnetic shrinking machine like Disney’s Wayne Szalinski. The set/touring van challenges would then be solved at the blink of an eye, or, a push of the button!

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