All the actors wear bespoke authentic Elizabethan costumes, constructed especially for this production by costume designer Chantelle Gerrard. Chantelle brings a wealth of experience in historical costume making and design…
Durability, flexibility and, of course, budget, all have a role but Chantelle tries her utmost never to compromise on quality and aesthetics. Natural materials — linen, velvet and silk — are her favourites and she says necessity is always the mother of invention.
There are no lighting changes. Hanging chandeliers with fake candles cast a dim pallor over the stage. Chantelle Gerrard’s gorgeous costume designs give us a sense of Elizabethan fashions, and especially the way that social standing and gender is weaved into the garments.
Few performers can totter, swoop, shriek and cajole as this singular mezzo can. She did all this and more in a virtuoso turn, dressed like a zombie courtesan of two centuries ago in a Chantelle Gerrard gown.
The clothes can’t just be pretty. Gerrard considers how the people who wore them would have moved, fought, or milked the cows at 4am. She describes the process as experimental archaeology: “Taking all the clues and putting them together. It’s really interesting trying to solve the mystery.”
Actors appear and it’s immediately apparent that the costumes, designed and made by Chantelle Gerrard, are exceptional as well. They’re functional and vivid, support the overall design concept and enhance the picture-book-come-to-life creation that is at the heart of Bray’s excellent production.
The first striking thing about Greedy Cat is his delightful costume designed and constructed by Chantelle Gerard – smooth light brown bodysuit adorned with cosy-looking fluffy ginger stripes, a magnificent tail and superb facial makeup…
Bray, who has adapted Margaret Mahy’s story for the stage, says: “The costumes Chantelle makes always receive rave reviews.” He says he’s extremely grateful for “the hard work she puts in and the amazing costumes she comes up with on meagre budgets”.