Hamlet – Costume Research

I have decided to create quite unusual costume designs which continues on from the post-apocalyptic theme I decided on, influenced by Artaud and Sarah Kane. I would like the costumes to be a combination of different eras, to reinforce the idea that the play isn’t really set in any particular time or space; it is for the audience to interpret the space how they want to.

I have been researching some images and decided a large factor in the costumes is to be in a Victorian Steam- Punk style. I am really intrigued by that kind of clothing and I feel it would work really well with my overall theme. Although this is the basis for my costume design, I would like there to be other factors added in for different characters so that they are all unique.

I am currently liking the idea of Hamlet in a straight jacket as it fits in well with the warped, dystopia idea of the play, and reinforces the fact that Hamlet feels trapped within his kingdom, or in this case within the strange world he is in. There are other ‘accessories’ I would like to include as well such as gas masks which I find quite haunting.

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I really like the idea of using body suits, or body paint to create these weird ‘creatures’ who I could somehow incorporate into the play as one, of a few, of the characters. It could be interesting to have the ‘soldiers’ like Marcellus, Barnardo and Francisco as this as they kind of come in a three. It would also be a really unique start to the play by having these three creatures roam the stage, which would be an unusual way to begin a traditional Shakespeare play.

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