Costumes, Props and Lockdown Safety

Watching a recent rehearsal – the first, and only, rehearsal where the entire cast were permitted to attend, instead of our habitual groups of six or fewer. It’s raining (as usual) but at least the cast are finding each other’s performances amusing! (photo: Sara Nice)

Costumes and Props

Normally, the making and organising of costumes and props are specific jobs which fall to our large Stage Crew, who work in teams. Due to restrictions, we’ve had to be our own Stage Crew. (Usual volunteers: we’ve missed you!)

The cast have provided everything for themselves (with the exception of a couple of set pieces). The need to remain outdoors means no changing facilities, so cast have arrived in costume. If you’re sharp-eyed, you may have spotted an ivy wreath worn for shopping in the Co-op, or the odd tail dangling behind a forgetful cast member on their way home. but this is Wivenhoe after all…

All props are set or carried on and off by the cast, although entrances and exits are somewhat different in a film (that’s for another blog post).

If you remember our production of The Tempest, you may also recall broomsticks used to form the boat in the storm. Look out for them in our film – we’ve recycled!

Covid Safety Rules

Of course we’ve had to remain distanced during rehearsals and in the gardens, and ‘lateral flow’ tests have been carried out regularly. Protocols suggested that every actor needed a chair (their ‘spot’ away from everyone else, somewhere to keep their things) but the reality of tiny, focused rehearsals has meant no sitting-around time, and the reality of constantly being outdoors has meant leaving doors open (sheds, conservatories) so personal things can be stowed away from rain! Some props have even been duplicated to avoid handling by different people. Hint: watch closely in the final film for a pearl bracelet..