Wednesday 3rd May 2017- Dress Run and last moment prop making

We had our first dress run for the commission show ‘Art and Life’ today. When going through all of our costumes for the pieces we are in, Will realised that he hadn’t got any ears for ‘The Hare’ in ‘Alice’.  Therefore to solve this, I decided to see if I could make him some, as we had very little time and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to buy any at this point in the process. I also have had a lot of experience in making things on a low budget for shows, such as the robot I made for the ‘Inspired by Film’ commission. I looked around college and was able to source some scrap cardboard, some brown paint and a head band that we could use. I then proceeded to cut out ear shapes, paint them and then attach them to the head band. As we didn’t have much time they were very basic, but they worked for what we needed and fitted his costume requirements well, as they helped to show that he was playing an animal.

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I then got into my first costume for ‘Art and Life’, which is the one I wear when I play ‘Estelle’. It consisted of a blue dress in which Erica wore when she played ‘Estelle’ previously, red lipstick and also character shoes. The blue dress was necessary as it is mentioned in the script in one of my lines, it is also elegant as it is long and the satin shiney look of the dress shows her class and love of being looked at and appreciated by men, as it draws attention. The red lipstick was again something to show that the character wants to be objectified and is sexually driven; red is a seductive colour and connotes passion, attention and danger, which ‘Estelle’ arguably is. The character shoes were so that I could move easily but show that she is a character who would wear heels and want to extenuate her legs.

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As she is an upper class character, who takes pride in her physical appearance, I wanted the character to have extravagant but classy hair. Although it isn’t mentioned in the section we are performing, her hair is refered to in the play as being beautiful. Emma offered to help me to create an up do, for the character which would show this, as she is good at working with hair and creating hairstyles for characters. Below is what she came up with and I think that it works well for ‘Estelle’, as it fulfils all of the requirements that I wanted, that would allow me to physically portray ‘Estelle’.

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This is a photo of the whole group in costume for ‘No Exit’. Jamie is on the left, Liam is in the middle and I am on the right. I think that our costumes successfully show how different all three of the characters are, which is the main focus of our performance as their version of Hell is the other two people who are with them. I also think that our costumes indicate a lot about the personality of our characters to the audience. Jamie’s looks more casual just as ‘Inez’ is, Liam’s costume for ‘Garcin’ shows that he is well dressed and masculine but still more casual than ‘Estelle’ and then ‘Estelle’s’ costume shows that she is the elegant and an over dressed character.

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We did the dress run for the piece and it went smoothly, except for one moment where Jamie froze and dropped a line, which you can see at 4:53 in the video. Even though it was her responsibility to make sure she was confident on her lines by this point, in the moment I couldn’t think of what to say to help her get back on track with her line as well. That is something I need to be more prepared for in the performances, as I should have improvised to help out my group member, as it was all of our responsibilities to make sure the piece continues no matter what. I was however happy with how consistent my voice was for the character and my characterisation of ‘Estelle’, which I think came across.

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I then got ready for ‘Alice’. One of my responsibilities in this piece is to do the face paint for Will. I had brought in everything we needed and I had researched some photos for  inspiration, which you can see below.

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I then did my own version, using similar colours and ideas on Will, this was so that he looked more recognisable as an animal. I am very happy with how it turned out and it makes him look like a Hare, especially with the other elements of his costume, like the ears I made for him and his brown and grey toned clothing. I especially like how the nose turned out and also the whiskers. I will be trying to replicate this design for the two performances.

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Overall our groups costumes worked really well and are appropriate for the piece. The colours for each character matches previous representations of the ‘Alice In Wonderland’ story and will be recognisable for an audience, so they will know instantly the characters we will be playing. Liam had the signature top hat, which he refers to in the text and is an iconic costume element that is associated with ‘The Hatter’, hence why it was important to include. The bow ties were also a fun and colourful accessory that we wanted to include as they have been used before for ‘The Hatter’ and ‘The Hare’ in previous productions. I also think that it was nice that the dormouse puppet matched ‘The Hare’, as it goes with our concept that it is part of ‘The Hare’s’ madness that he has a split personality and he himself has created a character in his mind. I also feel that my costume for ‘Alice’ works well, as it shows two iconic elements to her appearance, which are a blue dress and striped tights. Over all the costumes are colourful, fun and eccentric, which are themes within the piece and help to create the mad atmosphere that we want to make.

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We then did the dress run performance of ‘Alice’, which went much better than the tech run yesterday. We didn’t skip a large section this time and stayed in character throughout. It was really useful for us as performers, to perform the piece in its entirety, with costume and lighting as it gave us an idea of what we can expect the performance to be like when we perform it for a paying audience on Thursday and Friday.

 

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