Friday, 9 December 2011

Watching the Show

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching A Soldier's Tale on its opening night. Despite having familiarised myself with the music and storyline when researching this project, as well as of course being intimate with the design, I had managed to keep an open mind. I feel that the costumes - in terms of the overall making, as well as design - were really successful which truly gladdens me, and I feel reflects all of our close working with the Designer, as well as each other, throughout the project. I was very happy with how the Narrator looked - although I did wish that the jacket had been pressed or at least steamed before the performance, as the back was really very crumpled from when the Actor had sat down on it (and generally moved around in it - he was much more dynamic that I had anticipated!) numerous times during rehearsals. The back flap rode up a little, and one pocket flap was a little too springy still, and stuck up a little from the rest of the jacket. Apparently no one else noticed though. Although I had pressed the suit several times before handing it over to the show team, I feel that I should have allowed even more time for pressing. This would have contributed further to the loose breaking down of the suit, for if the character had owned it for many years, it would have been pressed many times in the past.

Additionally, I was really worried throughout the performance that the trousers would split at the crutch seam! I was literally on the edge of my seat at this. Edwardian trousers were really very narrow in the leg, and as tight as the wool cloth would allow. I had double-stitched the crutch seam to allow for the fact that it would be put under strain, and luckily it did hold. However watching the Actor leap around in the trousers (as well as sit on the boxes with his legs open, as men are wont to do) was truly nerve-wracking - probably irrationally so. The Actor has since re-assured me that the trousers fit him very well through the performance, and did not even come close to ripping or splitting, which is very re-assuring! Nonetheless, in the future I may reinforce the crutch seam further by triple-stitching

 I thought that the suit bore the audience's scrutiny well, in terms of the context of the performance venue. I feel that all of my efforts in pattern matching had been worth it: although I personally can see where it could have been improved (it was definitely imperfect, particularly across the revealed jets of the flap pockets), on stage, the checks really looked like they matched up brilliantly. It was amazing how much of the pattern on the cloth disappeared when viewed from the seating stand - all that could be seen were the bold, prominent lines across the fabric. The smaller, houndstooth-shaped check was just not visible at all. Throughout my work, I had been so preoccupied with matching the checks that I had simply forgotten to consider the factor of distance! However I would never want to work in any other way (i.e. be less than meticulous with the pattern matching) as it indicates the quality of the suit just as much as anything else. Additionally, since the suit is going into the Costume Store after the show, it may be used in a film, in which case the pattern might be clearly visible, depending on the type of shot. Nonetheless, this realisation has led me to remember to truly factor in distance in the performance venue, in my work in the future. This could be particularly important if I am making something with graphic motifs, for instance.

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