Beauty and the Beast
‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a re-imagined site-specific, immersive theatre piece that brings together the faitytale of Beauty and the Beast and Angela Carter’s ‘They Bloody Chamber’. It address' themes of sexuality, morality and gender; exploring the portrayals of woman in literature and theatre and encouraging the discussion of gender, sex and power.
The initial research took inspiration from avant-garde design, fetish wear and gender stereotypical clothing. This aimed to bring a combination of contemporary and historical influences together and juxtapose the two in order to create an uncomfortable look at society’s history of sexual deviancy and moral perversion.
Further Concept Information:
I decided to design for a site-specific immersive theatre piece; the production draws upon the elements of oppression and violence against women from both narratives and plays upon the traditional themes of Gothicism to create an immersive world in which the audience actively plays a role. This well-known fairy-tale is retold in this way in order to create an atmosphere of drama and tension. As the audience follows the action I wanted the closeness of the characters to create an uncomfortable atmosphere and draw an audience into the moral complexities of the story
The design for the show takes inspiration from voyeurism in order to heighten the sense that an audience is secretly watching the action unfold; forcing the audience into the uncomfortable role of ‘peeping Tom’. This is designed to challenge the audience, making them play an active role in the narrative and force them to critique their own ideas of morality and sexuality.
Victorian and contemporary fetish wear and avant-garde design have informed the silhouettes, details and textiles. The traditional sartorial rules have been juxtaposed with deviant fantasies to create costumes that blend traditionally female clothing with male to signify the ever changing balance of feminine and masculine qualities in the characters. And to explore the associations each piece of clothing holds in society.