Thursday, 14 May 2009

Phaedra's Love - Final Designs

These are my Final designs for Phaedra's love. All of them are quite simple as I wanted an audience to look at them and think they are normal, I want what happens in the play to be even more shocking than it already is. I have given all the main characters facial prosthetics. This is to show the audience their inner feeling and to make them look distorted, you know there is something not right with them. For the extras I wanted them to have a black band over there eyes. This is to make them look like a chorus and to hide there identity. I got this idea from looking at a photographer called Joel-Peter Witkin, as he does this to his models and his pictures have the feel of what I wanted in my designs. As they are not as rich as the Royal family I wanted to show this. I wanted the sex and nudity and all the themes in the play to be seen in the extras. Some of them are also bound, I wanted this so that the actors would have to move in a distorted way, making them even less normal.

Phaedra's Love - The Set

This was my initial set idea.

Whilst researching for the play I found the work of Joel-Peter Witkin very inspiring, I liked the broken down quatlity to his photography and the way all the people in his work looked distorted in some way. I also think his work totally captures the themes and feel of the play. Here are some exaples of his work.

When I was considering set ideas I had already looked closely at the themes of the play, which are sex, death and religion. I looked closely at all three. I found in my research on death that the Victorian used to take photo's of the dead. This really fascinated me so I looked into it further. I found out that they did this to represent lost memories. The photo would be a constant reminder of there loved one but also of things that could now never happen. I liked the idea of having photos over the stage showing post mortem photo's as I thought this could symbolise how everything is getting worse in the play, the more photo's there are the more the audience knows that things are getting worse. Also when Phaedra kills herself I wanted to have a huge photo frame with her in it, but obviously she would be dead. At the end of the play when all the characters die I would have a spot light put on the large photo frame which would have been changed to a family portrait of all the characters dead. I thought this linked nicely with the last line in the play which is " if only there could have been more moments like this." Here are some examples of Victorian postmortem photos.

The Finished Set box

Phaedra's Love - Mood boards

In my desing process I use Mood boards to help me, as I find just drawing in a sketch book doesnt tend to help me develop my ideas. Here are a few example of my work.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


In the beginning of 2009 I worked as Costume Supervisor on a play called 'Summer' which is set on a chicken ranch in 1949. I worked with a professional designer, Kat Connelly. I was given her designs, then I had to source all the costumes, some of the designs were very unique so they had to be made. Three dresses needed to be made so I got on the course to help out, he made one, Kat Connelly made one and so did I. We also had some problems in this play, one of the characters called Esposito, who wears a white suit, is stabbed in the last scene, this meant we had to have lots of doubles for him. I found this experience really helpful in working with a designer and what the role as Costume Supervisor actually is. I also really enjoyed sourcing all the vintage clothing and I was really proud of myself for actually making a dress! Here are some production photos.

Here are two of the dresses that were made, I made the white one! Below is the other dress that was made.

Strange Lands Designs

For this project I made my designs after I had put on the play. I used the production photo's to create my designs on CAD, I used different sections of the body to recreate the costume designs, then used some filters on the designs to give it a graphics feel. After I had printed off the designs I got some photo's of the costumes and collaged small pieces on top.

Strange lands

In October 2008 I designed and supervised an acting production of a play called 'Strange Lands'. My job was to hire and buy all the costumes for this production in a month. This was a great opportunity for me to experience how things work in the theatre and experience for myself how to put on a production. The tricky thing about this show is that it was set in 3 different countries, Britain, America and Bosnia. The play was very fast paced and some scenes only lasted a few minutes, this meant there were lots of quick changes. The other problem was that most of the actors played more than one character. To over come these problems I picked a base costume for each actor, then layered them with other clothing. Unfortunately for some actors this didn't work and they were required to do a few quick changes back stage. Here are a few images from the production.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

La Ronde

These are a few of the designs I did for a play called 'La Ronde'. The play revolves around a group of 10 people who are all linked through sex. It was set in the early 20th century in Vienna. I created these designs using CAD in 2008.

For the first time we were asked to design a set as well. My inspiration for this was Alfons Mucha, I found his work very inspiring, and thought his images of naked women, linked nicely to the play. My final set includes, a circular screen. As there is lots of sex, there needed to be a way in the play that enabled this to be done on stage. My idea was to have the sex scenes behind the screen so only the silhouettes of the couples would be seen. I used a laser cutter to make the gold Mucha inspired women that surround the screen. I wanted it to look like a Mucha wonderland.

The floor is covered in wooden floor boards that show a painting of Mucha flowers peaking through. The proscenium arch is decorated with Mucha inspired leafs.