In this latest instalment our wardrobe team show you some insider secrets for quick change costumes.
This production of The Hound of the Baskervilles has just 3 actors, but with near 20 characters in the play, all 3 actors play multiple roles. With everyone playing multiple characters this means lots of very quick costume changes are required as they swap between characters.
We have been trying different techniques to make this magic happen smoothly and seamlessly, that will both allow the costumes to be changed quickly, but also make sure they stay in place and look as good as if they were fastened in more conventional ways.
We are using a combination of magnets and poppers, trying to avoid Velcro where possible, as it is less reliable. We put a popper at the neck or waistline for security and then use magnets to keep the garment closed, allowing the actors to swiftly swap between costumes with minimal effort.
We have found this technique the most effective and have had a lot of fun testing out the quick changes. If you want to see the quick changes happen in action, you’ll have to come and see the show!
This week we have also been creating a number of different hats to indicate different characters quickly and easily – from the classic deerstalker for Sherlock Holmes through to caps, boaters, bowlers and bonnets. Some of them have been made from scratch and some adapted from hats in our large costume store. A couple of different moustaches and a very sinister beard help to complete the picture.
Next week we will be going in to tech week, when all the costumes are tried out in rehearsals before the dress rehearsal, so our final blog will give you an insight into how it all comes together in time for opening night.