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Costume design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (designed)

  • Date:

    1951 (Painted, Drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heeley, Desmond, born 1931 (costume designers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil, white paint, and gouache on paper

  • Museum number:

    S.104-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This design was executed for a production of A.A. Milne's play Toad of Toad Hall at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, December 1948. The play was adapted from Kenneth Grahame's 1908 book The Wind in the Willows. The original cast included Michael Hordern as Toad, Bertram Shuttlewirth as Mole, William Squire as Water Rat, and Gwynn Michael as Badger. The production was produced by John Kidd; the music was composed by H. Fraser-Simson; the scenery was designed by Reg. W. Sayle; the costumes were designed by Desmond Heeley; and the dances were arranged by Pauline Grant.

The production was revived at Stratford in December 1949 and December 1951, and at the Prince's Theatre, London, from 23 December 1954 until January 1955 when Edward Atienza played Mole, Brewster Mason played Badger and William Squire again played Ratty. Meg Simmons was in the London revival, billed as First Fieldmouse and Lucy Rabbit to the Harold Rabbit of the young Ian Holm.

Physical description

Costume design for Meg Simmons as Mrs Duck in Toad of Toad Hall. The design depicts a full length female figure wearing a stylised costume representing a duck. The costume consists of a pair of extremely large white bloomers ending below the knees, with upstanding frills on the posterior; and a white bodice with wings in place of the sleeves. The figure also wears a fitted green hood; a straw hat with veil; a false beak fastened over the nose; and a pair of yellow striped leggings.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (designed)

Date

1951 (Painted, Drawn)

Artist/maker

Heeley, Desmond, born 1931 (costume designers)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil, white paint, and gouache on paper

Marks and inscriptions

' 'TOAD' / 13 / MRS DUCK / new hat / bigger tail '
Textual information; Down the right hand side of the design; handwriting; pencil; Heeley, Desmond

' Desmond Heeley '
Signature; Lower right hand corner; handwriting; pencil; Heeley, Desmond

' frill and / bow round / hood. / these / very full '
Textual information; Down the left hand side of the design.; handwriting; pencil; Heeley, Desmond

Dimensions

Height: 239 mm, Width: 176 mm

Object history note

This costume design by Desmond Heeley is part of an extensive collection of designs purchased by the Theatre Museum directly from the artist & designer Alix Stone in 1994. It was executed for a production of A.A. Milne's play Toad of Toad Hall at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, December 1951. The play was adapted from Kenneth Grahame's 1908 book The Wind in the Willows. The cast included Raymond Westwell as Toad, Michael Bates as Mole, William Squire as Water Rat, and Peter Norris as Mr Badger. The production was produced by John Kidd; the music was composed by H. Fraser-Simson; the scenery was designed by Reg. W. Sayle; the costumes were designed by Desmond Heeley; and the dances were arranged by Pauline Grant.

The production was revived at Stratford in December 1952 and 1953; and at the Prince's Theatre, London from 23 December 1954 until January 1955 when Edward Atienza played Mole, Brewster Mason played Badger and William Squire played Ratty again.

Descriptive line

Costume design by Desmond Heeley for Meg Simmons as Mrs Duck in Toad of Toad Hall, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, December 1951.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Commission

Materials

Paper; Pencil; Paint; Gouache

Techniques

Painted, Drawn

Subjects depicted

Costume design; Ducks; Plays

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Designs; Scotland

Production Type

Unique

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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