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Costume Design by myself - Performed at RWCMD in October 2021
  Written by Lynn Nottage - Directed by Patricia Logue

Assisted by - Celia Favorite - Beatriz Vinamiller - Sacha Van Zutphen - Sabirin Osman
Supervised by Allie Edge 

In the Summer of 2021, as part of my Masters in Design for Performance I was assigned to design the costumes for Lynn Nottage's popular American play "Sweat", depicting the tragic breakdown of a Philadelphian community of steelworkers during the early and late 2000s.   

The play came with some challenges that we were very eager to tackle, heavily researching and sourcing 2000s USA fashion and depicting heavy and current topics such as racism and poverty.

The impact that the play itself had on the real  communities it was inspired was very clear, written with respect for it's source, so avoiding cliches, stereotyping and following accuracy was key. Luckily I already had some research into how American Philadelphians dressed, some close sources who were from the US and were present in the north east around the time to consult with and director Patricia had experience living there during the turn of the century. 

To my realisation while writing this, almost every item of costume used onstage was sourced in the UK! Either directly from the RWCMD wardrobe department or local businesses and donations from friends, family, students and cast. 



The production came with a long line of challenges in addition to those mentioned. Multiple full cast quick costume and make-up changes, fight and dance sequences, moving away from the similar approach of many other productions etc, but the main element I particular enjoyed was aiming to making the cast as distinct and full of personality as possible.

I think it's important to never shy away from elements like colour and graphics when it comes to costuming stories with heavy subjects. The brave presence of quiet characters such Oscar, a Columbian-American bartender, was key to this play, resonating with audiences in the feedback, as well as accuracy to viewers who were from or closely-tied with the cultures depicted on stage.  



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Set Design by Emily Warman - Lighting Design by Grace Priest - Sound by Stephen Bradley

Starring Ayomide Adegun - Sade Philpotts - Tegan Noble - Guy Amos - Paulina Kehlet Schou - Jerome Lance 
with Sebastian Isaac - Anish Roy and Kieran Smith

Stage Management - Hollie Tomlinson (SM) Bláithín McReynolds (DSM) Hollie Tomlinson (ASM) 
Felicity Bulbulia and Ruby James (Tech)
Costume Donations - Dawn and Andrew Biddiscombe, Emily Warman, Allie Edge, Sion Trefor (Ravs Vintage Apparel) Lucy Ruff, Jasmine Araujo, Casper, Sade Philpotts, Tegan Noble, Paulina Schou Kehlet 

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