Mask designs by Abd'Elkader Farrah for Oedipus Rex, 1960

Abd'Elkader Farrah collection

Born in Algeria, Abd'Elkader Farrah (1926–2005) was a self-taught painter who later became an important theatre designer. He undertook freelance work in France before collaborating with director Michel Saint Denis in 1960, famously designing Saint Denis' production of Oedipus Rex at Sadlers Wells. The following year, Saint Denis introduced Farrah to the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he stayed for thirty years as the resident associate designer and as honorary associate artist thereafter.

Farrah also taught theatre design at Strasbourg (1955-1961) and, as a guest, at the National Theatre School of Canada (1968-1969). In over three decades of designing, Farrah worked with some thirty directors on more than 250 productions which included designs for plays, operas, musicals, ballets around the world.

The collection held at the APGRD contains some of Farrah's original designs and research for several of his Greek and Shakespearian productions.