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 Ambassadors

We were thrilled to host our first South Hill Park ambassador meeting on Mon 6 Dec. The scheme was launched to encourage better community engagement with South Hill Park Arts Centre and help us as a charity to learn from community representatives about how we can...

Mayoral visit of current art exhibitions at South Hill Park

We were delighted to host Mayor of High Wycombe Cllr Annie Baughan, and the Mayor of Bracknell Forest Cllr Ash Merry to meet for a coffee and to enjoy Jan Gaska’s solo exhibition Returning with a New Approach at the Atrium and Balcony Gallery. Gaska was a Printmaker...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s production of Salome by Oscar Wilde

Come audition for the Studio Theatre Company's production of Salome by Oscar Wilde, directed by Phil Tomlin, on Tue 7 & Wed 8 Dec at 7.30pm. There is nothing to prepare but audition pieces and character info are available on request. Script available on request....

Interview with SESSIONS Set and Costume Designer

Ahead of Paines Plough’s latest touring show SESSIONS by Ifeyinwa Frederick coming to South Hill Park on Wed 27 Oct, the company took a few moments to speak with the show’s designer, Anna Reid, to find out about her work, what it takes to create the look of a Paines...

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day Fri 8 Oct Join us for a walk or tai-chi session in South Hill Park's beautiful grounds, Bracknell. Tai Chi: 11am-12noon Walk: 12.30-13.15pm Join us for an optional tea or coffee, cake and a chat to find out more about local mental health...

Auditions for the Studio Theatre Company’s next production Road

Come audition for the Studio Theatre Company's next production Road, by Jim Cartwright on Mon 27 Sept 7.30pm, and Fri 1 Oct 7.30pm. They will be group auditions, nothing to prepare. The company are looking for 7 actors most of whom will multi role. The performance...

Shrek 2022 Auditions

We are excited to share that our 2022 Easter Production will be Shrek The Musical - coming to the Wilde Theatre in April 2022! If you would like to be part of the greatest fairy tale never told, that's guaranteed family fun, then book your audition here. Auditions...

RARE Productions Hairspray Auditions

Visiting company RARE Productions will hold open auditions for their production of Hairspray at South Hill Park from Thu 3 - Sat 5 Feb 2022. Auditions will take place at South Hill Park on Tue 5 & Sat 9 Oct and are open for anyone aged 8-21yrs. Audition event...



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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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