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As You Like It

  • Object:

    Theatre costume

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (designed)

  • Date:

    1991 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ormerod, Nick (costume designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Synthetic satin, piping, nylon zip fastener

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company

  • Museum number:

    S.254-1999

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This costume was worn by Adrian Lester as Rosalind in Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Declan Donnellan for the touring theatre company, Cheek by Jowl, which staged the production in 1991-1992 and 1994-1995. Adrian Lester appeared as Rosalind in both tours.

Cheek by Jowl's all-male production of As You Like It was one of the company's greatest successes. Founded in 1981 by the director, Declan Donnellan, and the designer, Nick Ormerod, Cheek by Jowl was one of the most innovative British theatre companies of the 1980s and 1990s, specializing in Shakespeare and the little known European classics. Its productions were notable for their simplicity of design and for their focus on the actor as storyteller and As You Like It was a perfect illustration of this style. Nick Ormerod's simple, timeless and sexless costume for Rosalind in Act I is a good example of a designer's response to the creation of character through costume and to the challenge of dressing a man as a woman.

Following its first staging in 1991, As You Like It toured extensively, and was revived in 1994 and taken on a further world tour which ended in London at the Albery Theatre. The freshness of the approach, and Lester's fine Rosalind, won it critical plaudits: Nicholas de Jongh of the Evening Standard wrote that it would "define the play for the 1990s".

Physical description

Full-length long sleeved princess line dress of scarlet artificial satin, with high cut slightly v-shaped neck. The long sleeves curved at the lower edge and the edge of the neck and the lower sleeve edged with scarlet piping. Fastening up the back with a nylon zip and lined with black synthetic fabric.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (designed)

Date

1991 (made)

Artist/maker

Ormerod, Nick (costume designer)

Materials and Techniques

Synthetic satin, piping, nylon zip fastener

Dimensions

Weight: 1.5 kg Dress, weight, Width: 67 cm Dress, width, Length: 164 cm Dress, collar to hem

Descriptive line

Costume designed by Nick Ormerod for Rosalind in As You Like It, Cheek by Jowl tours, 1991-1992 and 1994-1995

Materials

Synthetic satin; Nylon; Synthetic fabric; Piping (trimming)

Techniques

Dress-making; Machine stitching

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Theatre costume

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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