‘Our designs represent the extremes of conformity and revolution’

Telling the story… the costumes for Demons
12 Jun 2015 @ 5.10 pm
| News

Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of York, Baird Lane, York YO10 5GB

Fri Jun 12, Sat Jun 13 and Sun Jun 14 @ 7.30pm

Tickets available here

The Fleeting Arms, 54 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ

Wed Jun 17 and Thu Jun 18 @ 7.30pm

Tickets available here


Demons website

In the final of our blogs on the new production of Demons, Emily Ives-Keeler explains how she’s been gathering props and costumes for the production

Demons is a modern interpretation of the 19th century novel by Dostoyevsky.

Many of the themes of the novel are still strikingly relevant to current social issues, for example the recent protests in London following the general election, and the conflict of different ideologies that affect our contemporary lives.

With this modern take in mind, gone are the stove pipe hats and impressive facial hair of Russia in 1872, and in their place we find an urban palette of colours and shapes.

We have been inspired by the artificial orange of streetlights, the blue-white glow of the many screens surrounding us and the muted greys of concrete and steel.

As this is a devised piece, we have had to remain flexible throughout the design process to keep up with the development of the script.

Fluidity has been key, both in our working practice and in the resulting costumes and props. We have had to allow for the cast members to easily switch between roles, so everything has to be multifunctional.

Each costume must be able to represent the individuality of each character, and then easily blend them into the choral aspects of our piece with little adjustment. This has prompted a minimalist approach, with thought given to the simplest ways to represent each person and to find their essence.

At the same time, we hope to sustain a unifying aesthetic that locates the characters firmly in the world they inhabit.

The clean lines and minimalist aesthetic of this piece will be subverted with the use of smoke, haze, projected imagery, explosions of colour, and some clever lighting design from Roberto del Pino.

This will provide a visual contrast that will further represent the extremes of conformity and revolution.