Peggy Laverty explains her choice of costumes after Alvina Ruprecht’s review of the Confessions of a Drag Queen.
Reviewed by Capital Critics Circle
August 29, 2013 Thursday at 2:58 pm
Regarding Toto Too’s recent Production , I would like to make a few comments.
It is always easy and satisfying to make a character look good. It is harder to allow oneself to make a character look relatively unattractive.
Barry’s clothing was not meant to be modern. The dresses, according to the script, had been in storage for 25 years while he was in jail. They are from the 80’s, and, as most were at that time, are somewhat frumpy and overdone. These are referred to by John as being "shit ugly frocks".
Neither the Director or the Production people wanted blatantly flamboyant outfits for Miranda’s character. He was to be involved in a meeting with a serious straight man who would affect his life, not dressing for a night at a Drag Queen competition. I filled the two racks on stage with the more dramatic outfits which would have been used earlier in their stage shows. He is living in an altered reality, delusional and living in the past, and he thinks he looks wonderful in his old clothes and overdone makeup.
The change was made to use black stockings to cover up Barry’s hairy legs and would have fit in with the half sane character’s idea of glamour.
Costumes were a collaborative decision. A costume designer’s job is to provide the look that is the Director’s concept and vision for each Production along with satisfying the Company that is producing the show.
I have done many shows in which I have provided up to 30 and more beautiful, original, vintage costumes for the 30’s, 50’s , 60’s , 80’s and so on, for the cast.
Shows set in the depression era or in poor rural Ireland allowed me to provide the opposite in design.
These productions were for many theatre groups in the area, both community and and professional.
Hello Peggy, I appreciate your taking the time to explain your choices. of course ones intentions are not necessarily obvious to the person watching the performance and there was certainly no intention to question your talent as a costume designer. In any artistic endeavour the artist should not take comments personally, they are often just the result of the reviewer’ s taste, or his/her way of seeing. . The time spent on her face, the beautifiul wig, the impeccable make up, the talk about her looks(all conventions of the genre of course) …even if it was in the glittering past..…and then that dress showed something was not quite coherent. Thats all. I look for coherent structures in a play…but it was all my impression…nothing personal except that it appeared to be more of an artistic choice, it did not reflect on the characrters personality which is what you meant it to be.
no harm done and thank you for the explanation. I am posting your text because i think people might find it interesting.
if you want me to remove it I will.