It is set in the tiring room (or dressing room) of a theatre where the actresses live their lives between the scenes on stage and the action off stage. It is a pretty costume heavy production but because the action on stage is swift and flowing, I didn't want it to be hampered by lots if unnecessary costume changes. For the most part, the actors will be wearing a basic costume of chemise, corset and petticoat. This is their undress state. Costume changes will be done on stage as part of the action and dresses and symbolic pieces will go over the basic costume.
The first thing I do as costume designer, after reading the play, is to do my research. This has become a lot easier of late thanks to Pinterest. I use this to create mood boards and find appropriate images and it creates an on line pin board that I can update and show the director and actors.
Playhouse Creatures mood board
Next job is to go through our enormous costume collection (over 50,000 items - one of the largest collections in the country) and select costumes for each character.
|Just seen here is Nell's wig pre styling, her pale blue silk shoes and a sea green satin bodice|
|Often a colour palate will suggest itself. Lots of dusky pinks, greys and greens in this show|
|Dot Binns as Doll Common complete with long , straggly wig. Washing machine optional!|
|Pattern and fabric swatches|
|one of the finished corsets|
Back tomorrow to bring you some more work in progress and rehearsal photographs