I’m so thrilled to dedicate this blog post to one of my personal favourite processes of Derby Theatre productions. Pretty much the element that can always pull a show together, that breathes life into characters’ looks; Costume. Here at Derby Theatre, we’ve had the chance to catch a glimpse of Derby Theatre’s Head of Wardrobe, Tim Heywood’s mind palace when it comes to working on the theatre’s most festive shows during the winter season.Costume Designer, Tim Heywood is responsible for the actors’ fitting yet striking ensembles you’ve seen in Derby Theatre’s Charlotte’s Web, Alice in Wonderland, Great Expectations, Gingerbread Man and many many more.With that automatically comes a process, a basic ritual that always starts with the script he’s working with. One of his favourite ways to help develop a clear idea of what he’ll be working on are patterns.
Here’s a behind the scenes scoop on Mr Heywood’s process towards preparing for the well-known classic!
1. The File. This is perhaps the ideal bulk of the entire show, all put together into one file of which he likes to call his bible. This Peter Pan Edit contains:
- Ideas that come to mind from director, Sarah Brigham or set designer, Neil Irish – more of a collaborative task
- Mini Profiles of the cast members for their costumes, for reference and what could work for each of them
- Contact details to call for measurements and alterations
- Photocopied images for inspiration
- The mood this production is going for; punk, theatrical vibes, the music, art form etc.
- The characters themselves in the story and their atmosphere as well as their personal style
- Next, Tim will run through his file and lay out all the visuals of what the characters costumes could revolve around with the director until they end up with one main photograph for each character
- He’ll then ask the director for a list of what instrument each actor plays or at least any hobbies they have, just to use as reference for the characters they’re playing – to give a more practical feel here and there
3. The Mindset
- In this case, Peter’s story is not only being told but it’s also shown through what he’s wearing. To grab a sense of what he’s feeling and his mindset on things.
- Once the main ideas are finalised, Tim finds his connection to the play through putting all the minor details and clues into a final design of his depiction of the costumes – kept in his portfolio/archive and works from there.
Once again thank you so much for stopping by The Belper 🙂 Lots of love,