Animal Farm - Stage Adaptation
Year - 2021
Design and concept by me, as a part of my final year at ECA performance costume
Take a look at the full design book here.
Animal Farm was written in 1943-1944 by George Orwell, published in 1945. It is an allegorical novella that tells the story of a farm of animals that rebels against their human farmer, hoping to create a farm where the animals are in control, free and happy. Eventually the animals are betrayed and the farms end in a worse state under the dictatorship of a pig called Napoleon. George Orwell wrote the fable as a reflection of the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.
For my production of Animal Farm I wanted to make it as a stage production set in a modern, parallel, time. It is inspired by the real characters that the book is originally based on, from 20th century Russia, but also with some inspiration from 21st century politicians and world events. I wanted all the animals to be very human-like but with animal faces, as headpieces. The costumes are inspired by different historical silhouettes, with some details inspired by Russian fashion at the time before the first world war. I wanted to work with contemporary textiles and materials to make it a bright and eye catching production. There is going to be a transition in the costume throughout the show, so that the pigs are getting more and more decorated and human-like by the end of the play. I have mainly used colours that are associated with the different kinds of animals but very exaggerated. I wanted to use sheer, transparent, iridescent or shiny fabrics to get a look that is very unnatural and catch the audience’s attention.
For my costume make for the main pig character, Napoleon, I wanted it too look intimidating and extravagant at the same time. The fabrics are a combination of sheer and shiny quilted iridescent organza and sturdy cotton drill to create a wet look.