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Costume design - Drury Lane Design Collection
  • Drury Lane Design Collection
    Comelli, Attilio, born 1858 - died 1925
  • Enlarge image

Drury Lane Design Collection

  • Object:

    Costume design

  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, drawn)

  • Date:

    ca. 1915 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Comelli, Attilio, born 1858 - died 1925 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil, watercolour on board

  • Credit Line:

    Given by George Hoare, Archivist of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

  • Museum number:

    S.2052-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Costume design by Comelli for Mr Will Evans as the Grand Duke in Puss in Boots as performed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in December 1915. Drury Lane Design Collection.

A production of Puss in Boots first performed at Covent Garden in 1817-1818, but was not a success. In 1832 another version entitled, Puss In Boots: or Harlequin and The Miller's Son was also performed at Covent Garden in which Eliza Povey (who played the role of the Miller's Son) was one of the earliest Principal Boys. These early productions were chiefly Harlequinades rather than the pantomime versions which are more familiar to modern audiences.

Drury Lane first produced Puss In Boots: or Harlequin and the Fairy Of The Golden Palms in 1859, and in 1868 the theatre produced Grimalkin The Great: or Harlequin Puss In Boots and The Miller's Son. They had more success with their sumptuous 1887 production, which as its title (Puss in Boots) suggests followed the 'rags to riches' storyline of the traditional fairytale.

These designs come from a production at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in December of 1915 entitled Puss in Boots, (A fairy tale). The script was written by Geo.R.Sims, Frank Dix and Arthur Collins featured music composed and arranged by J.M.Glover. It starred Miss Renée Meayer as Puss in Boots. All the costumes we 'specially designed and supervised' by Comelli. The production was mounted during World War One when business was understandably poor for the theatre, with the result that the cast were actually asked to accept a half salary for the run. Fortunately the subsequent success of the show meant that it ran from December until Easter and the cast were eventually presented with cheques making up their salary to the full amount.

Comelli (1858-1925) was the house designer of the Royal Opera House from the late 1880s to the early 1920s. During this period he also worked for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and also designed costumes from a number of Gilbert & Sullivan productions.

This design comes from a collection of costume designs, some of which are costumier's copies, which were originally part of the Archives of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Physical description

Costume design by Comelli for Mr Will Evans as the Grand Duke in Puss in Boots. The Duke wears white trousers and shirt, a blue and red tartan waistcoat and yellow coat.

Place of Origin

London (probably, drawn)

Date

ca. 1915 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Comelli, Attilio, born 1858 - died 1925 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

pencil, watercolour on board

Dimensions

Height: 37.6 cm, Width: 27.3 cm

Descriptive line

Costume design by Comelli for Mr Will Evans as the Grand Duke in Puss in Boots as performed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in December 1915. Drury Lane Design Collection.

Materials

Pencil; Watercolour; Drawing board

Techniques

Free-hand drawing; Painting; Sketching

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Drawings; Paintings

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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