South Hill Park’s July Newsletter

July Newsletter Jack and the Beanstalk cast reveal We are very excited to announce that Michael Ayiotis and Paul Toulson will return to our pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, this Christmas. Michael has performed with us in many previous shows including Madagascar...

Director for Kinky Boots 2023

Director for Kinky Boots 2023 South Hill Park is looking for an experienced director of musical theatre to help stage its Easter 2023 musical Kinky Boots and confidently lead a large, professional creative and technical team through the production process. With a...

South Hill Park’s June Newsletter

June Newsletter Simon Evans on sale soon Simon Evans is coming to South Hill Park on Sat 29 Oct with his show The Work of the Devil. Simon Evans’ last show, Genius 2.0 provided a hilarious analysis of the departure of any visible sign of intelligence from modern life....

South Hill Park’s May Newsletter

May Newsletter The Festival of Food and Music celebrates the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Our popular Festival of Food and Music is back this summer, running from Fri 3 – Sun 5 June. This year we celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with live music from every decade of...

South Hill Park’s April Newsletter

April Newsletter Shrek The Musical has begun The wait is finally over and our Easter production Shrek The Musical started this week. The entire team have been working endlessly over the last few months to bring such a fantastic production to all audiences and it is...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s production of Hay Fever by Noël Coward

Studio Theatre Company Hay Fever auditions After the success of Rope in June 2021 the Studio Theatre Company returns to the Wilde Theatre stage for a limited run of this hilarious & absolutely classic Noël Coward play, Hay Fever. Auditions are on Tue 10 & Wed...

Visit from photography students at South Hill Park

Visit from photography students at South Hill Park  Last month South Hill Park had the pleasure of working with photography students from Bracknell and Wokingham College to create new and exciting content for our Courses and Workshops. This was a great opportunity for...

Recycling Incentive Scheme Offers

South Hill Park's Recycling Incentive Scheme Offers We are delighted to support Bracknell Forest Recycling Incentive Scheme by offering reduced pricing using your points. Cinema ticket offer - Recycling Incentive Scheme members receive South Hill Park members price on...

Interview with Blackeyed Theatre’s Adrian McDougall on Frankenstein

Associate Theatre Company Blackeyed Theatre bring a revival of their 'masterfully constructed' (The Stage) production of Frankenstein to the Wilde Theatre from Thu 27 - Sat 29 Jan. We had a chat with  Artistic Director Adrian McDougall to find out more about this...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

Directed by Sophie Earle Come and audition for the Studio Theatre Company's production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Tue 15 & Wed 16 Feb from 6.30pm. Call backs are on Thu 17 Feb. Auditions will be in individual time slots. Please contact...



South Hill Park

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Interview with Naomi Gibbs, Costume Designer for Alice in Wonderland

March 5, 2020

This Easter South Hill Park presents Alice in Wonderland – A Magical Musical Adventure (Wed 15 – Sun 19 April). A colourful re-imagining of the much loved children’s tale, featuring a West End standard score, an award-winning creative team, and a cast of home-grown talent playing a host of eccentric characters.

We had a chat with the incredibly talented costume designer for the show, Naomi Rachel Gibbs, who also designed the costumes for the hugely successful South Hill Park pantomime, Aladdin.

Alice in Wonderland has such iconic visual themes. Where did the overall inspiration for your set of costumes come from?

The kicking-off point for me was the script, as well as from discussions with our wonderful director Rosie. My designs are heavily informed also by Victoria Spearing’s stunning set designs (I worked from her initial sketches from our first production meeting). Her vision always feeds mine on the numerous times I have had the pleasure of working with her. She gives me visuals and a palette to help create a cohesive look between us.

How many designs did you go through until you landed on the right one for the character of the Red Queen?

Actually, you may be surprised to know it was just the one. As we are setting this production in the 1940s (I am a huge fan of the mid-century aesthetics), I instinctively knew where I wanted to go with it. You may have picked up that Laura’s Red Queen is very much a Femme-Fatale-like figure. In my eyes, they have a cold regality to them in the old movies. I took some inspiration from Rita Hayworth in Gilda.

Which of the costumes was the most fun to design?

The White Rabbit and the March Hare were immensely fun to design and interpret. Eagle-eyed fashionistas in the audience may notice that I reference a pinch of Vivienne Westwood’s early to mid 1990s couture collections, with the plaids, the fitted bodices, hats and bustle details. Lots of fun!

What were the challenges in designing for Alice? 

One challenge a designer will always have with a title that has been previously done by a colossal giant of a machine such as Disney, is that you must simultaneously avoid being informed by their aesthetics, whilst still attempting to give your own audience what they expect. As such, I didn’t want our Alice to be in baby blue with a white pinny. Instead, I chose what I hope will be exactly the right shade of periwinkle to correspond well as she travels between real world 1940s and Wonderland. If I had chosen to muddy a blue, such as a true 1940s air force shade, the lighting designer would have had a nightmare trying to make her look crisp and clear in Wonderland. She’d have sunk into the surroundings. I did a take on a true vintage dress I saw and loved and redesigned it to suit all three of our wonderful ‘Alices’. Of course the dress has to be cut differently for a young woman playing a girl than it does for children playing smaller versions of her.



Don’t miss your chance to see the spectacular production, featuring Naomi’s beautiful costumes this Easter at South Hill Park. Plus for anyone ages 7-17yrs who loves to perform, you can get involved with Easter School! Click here to book your tickets for the show or call the Box Office on 01344 484123.


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