A Midsummer Night's Dream

Chester Gateway Theatre 1970

Clockwise, from left: Hermia (Gwen Taylor) and Lysander (Oliver Smith), Titania (Susan Brown) and her Fairy entourage and Bottom (Tony Rohr) as an ass with the Mechanicals.

Yes, it seems a long time ago now! I remember the budget for costumes was £40 (set was £600). There was a lady called Mrs Thomas who was the 'wardrobe mistress' and who also did all the front of house laundry in a handbasin in the small dressing room designated as The Wardrobe. It was tough going as there was no history of designing costumes at the Gateway. The resident designers (2), and their workshop team (4), were far more interested in the sets and consequently left the actors and Mrs Thomas to their own devices on the costume front. It clearly seemed a good idea to have the Arts Council sponsored assistant to do the costumes on their big anniversary show; it gave the actors a treat and fulfilled the theatre's obligation to the Arts Council to give me some designing to do!

For press reviews of the show click here.


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