Wednesday 3 September 2014


(Or, Some More Reflections)
I was right.

This year has been about juggling. But not in the way I thought. The work/life balance is actually the thing that suffers.

It turns out, it is actually relatively easy to work on several projects at once. You just need a good diary and a bit of severe focus.

Spirit Harbour
Spirit Harbour was a fascinating experience. Having never directed opera before, I found it really interesting to have to adapt to an actually very different way of working. The biggest thing I found was the idea of pace. In my usual theatre work, pace is King - finding the right pace, rhythm, not dropping pace - but in opera, the pace is set for you by the music. So because it takes so much longer in opera to say what would take a moment in theatre, it is almost as if you are constantly working within stretched moments. Which was an interesting exercise, but I'm not sure if it is for me. I'll have to think about it a bit more.

Wuthering Heights was also a fascinating experience. Being responsible only for costume design was great. There is one task that I had to complete and I did. And I did a huge amount of sewing. Lots of frocks from scratch, lots of jackets adapted to what I thought they should look like. Top tip: to make very convincing breeches, cut the bottom off a pair of trousers and use the excess to make the bib bit of the breeches. Add buttons and either elastic to keep the breeches down, or extra material so the poor actors don't have chaffing on their little legs against their boots. The best sort of trousers to use for this are skinny jeans with some good stretch to them.

Rob Pomfret and Hannah Maddison in Jane Eyre.
Photo Credit, Bill Knight
Jane Eyre was lovely. And if I were a bit more enterprising, I'd probably remount it again and do a big F-off tour, but I'm not so enterprising and also I don't want to think about JE for a bit. I worked on it pretty much non-stop for a year and a half and I want something different. Gorgeous though it was. Might bring it back for 2016 (it will be Chazza B's 200 birthday, after all).

Hannah Maddison in Jane Eyre.
Photo Credit Bill Knight.

And then in June, I went back to Seattle for a month because my sister got married. I made her wedding dress. It was a gorgeous wedding. She was a gorgeous bride. It was a gorgeous little interlude in between working like mad and, well, continuing to work like mad.

Wedding dressing. Photo Credit, Mum. 

And now, on to the next.

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