Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Orchestra fitting

I agreed to be part of the team that went to Poole to fit the Orchestra into their WWI army costumes. As I am a maker, Grace assigned me to fit one of the players and organised assistants for everyone. I also stayed on afterwards to apply alterations as there is so much to be done still before the opening.

Dexter oversees a fitting

Team work was of course important in this situation. Dexter was the only tutor present and was overseeing 8 fittings happening at once, so it was important to use my judgement as much as possible, yet checking with him before any firm decisions were made.

Rather hectic fitting space

Fitting the orchestra was different from fitting actors in my experience, both the student actors at uni and when I have assisted with fittings with musical theatre professionals in my summer work on Rigoletto at Opera Holland park, and at the West End's Phantom of the Opera. Movement was of paramount importance, and many orchestra members made it very clear that they would not wear the army jackets as this would inhibit their playing. Additionally, concern was for the costume being too tight around certain areas, which would distract them from their playing (such as the putties). This is not difficult to remedy - the putties, for instance, can simply be tied more loosely - however the various concerns expressed by the players can perhaps be accounted for due to the fact that when they perform professionally, they would wear formal dress that they had chosen themselves, rather than being costumed. In any case, I did my best to assume a manner of professionalism, important when I was fitting sensitive areas (such as the trouser centre back seam) to somebody I had only just met.

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