Photo shoot, make-up and corsets!

Creative Commons License photo credit: fluzwup

A night off from rehearsals but valuable nonetheless; the cast were called for the program photo shoot. It was a chance for us to see one another for the first time in costume, and to realise how powerful a role the element of body adornment plays in visual story-telling. Body-masking is the term I use to describe how external adjustments like costume, hairstyle, makeup, shoes and other physical adjustments … a change in one’s own alignment, tempo-rhythms etc., assist in transformative characterisation. Some of the men in the cast had had 30s haircuts and most were in suits … instant effect. It was also an opportunity for me to have a first run at the makeup I’ll create for Fraulein Schneider.

As I got into the costume and wig tonight, it occurred to me that given the shape of the dress (an original) I was going to need (ahem!) undergarments that complemented the silhouette. Hmm, a corset with suspenders to hold up stockings?!? They still sell these things apparently; most of the Kit Kat Klub dancers (mostly female) were wearing them. As I (gratefully) pulled on my jeans at the end of the session, I pondered on the role clothing had played in women’s suppression and liberation.

The shoot took place on stage, on set. As we walked on to our holy ground, it was reassuring to feel the sense of the scale and position of walls, doors, furniture i.e., what has been represented up to now by coloured gaffer tape on the rehearsal room floor. As we head towards technical production runs this weekend, the challenge will be to integrate the acting work with this new material world, itself a powerful signifier of the story. The creation never stops!






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