AS THE pace picks up for Leeton's Henry V production, the costume design team is issuing a call-out to the community.
Any spare cast offs that could be used for costumes are needed. A range of clothing and fabric items are still required to complete the costume wardrobe for the cast of 16 actors and 31 different characters.
Costume supervisor Robyn Hutchinson has been overwhelmed by the high level of interest and generosity of the community so far.
"Local secondhand shops have been a treasure trove - the Anglican Op Shop, St Vinnies, Salvation Army, and Leeton Community Op Shop all received a list two weeks ago and have been actively on the lookout collecting many of the key items ever since," she said.
"Some absolutely delectable finds, fabulous items resplendent in their textures and with beautiful finishes and rich brocades, the kinds of items that perfectly convey the voluptuous Medieval look and feel of the show."
As well as the support of Leeton's fantastic chain of op shops, Mrs Hutchinson has also turned to her time-honoured private network of creative, skillful local women with an eye for style to assist.
"In a short time, we have amassed a fascinating array of items - from sheep's wool to shagpile bathmats, from bedspreads to chains, ribbon and lace and leather, velvet, silk, old wedding dresses, cambric cloth, rolls of hessian in back sheds, pirate pants, graduation gowns," Mrs Hutchinson said.
"Leeton is brimming with secret sewing and fabric foraging superpowers."
Working from the design palette of the production's specialist costume and set designer, Simon Greer of Ensemble Theatre, Mrs Hutchinson and her team have been in overdrive to source, design and create many of the basic items needed to dress the cast in medieval English garb.
Core team members Jeanette Petts, Wendy Senti, Fiona Stevens and Megan Martin have been leading the charge with Mrs Hutchinson.
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"We've all worked together on many different community projects over the years, including previous theatre productions," she said.
"These fantastic women give of their time willingly and in various ways in a sort of shift work model. Where and when you can. The sewing skills of these women is phenomenal - they are real artisans and we are lucky to have them."
The costume supervisor role is a departure for Mrs Hutchinson, but one that she is a loving. A decade ago she was at the heart of a previous golden age of Leeton theatre - working with Mark Ciavarella and the St Francis crew on Oliver, Grease and Buralga, among other things.
Back then her roles were mainly stage management, but as an artist, an arts and textile student of the 70s and an art teacher - and someone who has always had an eye for fabric, texture and style herself - Mrs Hutchinson was relishing this chance to be involved in costuming.
"Bringing the costume dream team together with our designer Simon Greer has been great," she said.
"I personally am loving working with him. We've built wonderful rapport - working with someone of his experience has been a real highlight."
In a short time, we have amassed a fascinating array of items - from sheep's wool to shagpile bathmats, from bedspreads to chains, ribbon and lace and leather, velvet, silk, old wedding dresses, cambric cloth, rolls of hessian in back sheds, pirate pants, graduation gowns.Robyn Hutchinson
The production cast had their first costume fitting at rehearsals recently where the basic shirts and pants of the costume layering were finalized.
Items that are needed and can be dropped at the Leeton Museum and Gallery or Breed & Hutchinson.
For more information contact Mrs Hutchinson on 0400 481 979.
Henry V garment list:
- Large men's grey or black track pants.
- Large men's black chinos.
- Men's black or grey hoodies.
- Tartan rugs or throws.
- Men's three quarter/length or full-length black jackets, coats or dressing gowns.
- Black, grey, or charcoal blankets. Can be textured, furry, twilled, worsted or heavy weave but not shiny on both sides or sheer.
- Heavy cotton, linen-look, metallic weave or calico/canvas type fabric (furnishing fabrics/old curtains?) suitable for sewing.
- Heavy black, grey or brown knit/ribbed jumpers or vests.
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