Much Ado About Nothing Design Sketches

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Photo: Dog Berry

Our vibrant new production of Much Ado About Nothing opens this Friday!

Set in 1914 revolutionary Mexico, designer Anna Fleischle shares her original set and costume sketches with us to give you a flavour of what’s to come.

After her initial talks with Matthew Duster (Director) and his idea about setting the play in revolutionary Mexico in the early 1900s, Anna started researching the period, the people and the circumstances.

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Photo: Benedictine

“We were very interested in the rebel troops making use of the railway lines as a means to move their armies,” says Anna. 

“In order to make this work for the ordinary people of Mexico they did not only carry the soldiers but whole families, belongings, animals, literally everything you need was with you on that train.”

In our version, a train carriage is present on stage and the production happens in and around it.

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The design mixes European style with Mexican traditional clothing, also war-time adjustments and equipment. 

“Looking into the clothing of the period was fascinating.

Depending on the character’s status they have more Mexican or more Edwardian items,” explains Anna. “One of our points of interest from the beginning was that women took part in the fighting as well as men.”

“They were an integral part of the revolution and this allowed us to empower the female characters of the play and give them pastimes other than needlework and cooking.”

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Photo: Child Soldier

One of Anna’s focuses was looking at the detail in costumes. The traditional-cut jackets, for example, are always very small and seem to have been cut at the sleeves as well as the hem, in order to allow easy and un-obscured access to weapons. 

“Everything is well worn and sun bleached with the dust of the Mexican desert,” describes Anna. “Men as well as woman wear bullet belts, knives and pistols over their ordinary clothing. I tried to be extremely authentic to this unusual and interesting style.”

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Photo: Juana

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Photo: Don Pedro

For the festival and wedding scenes, Anna had the opportunity to delve into abundance of colour and pattern found in Mexican clothing. 

“So daring and unapologetic and vibrant. Full of joy, history and heart,” she describes.

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Photo: Hero

“Like Matthew has pointed out during the process, Mexico has been portrayed so negatively in the past year or so – this felt like a real privilege, a chance to celebrate its incredible culture and identity, and invite our diverse audience to share into this celebration with us.”

Here are a few of our favourite sketches, browse Anna’s full collection on our Facebook page.

Much Ado About Nothing plays from Friday 14 July – Sunday 15 October 2017 in The Globe Theatre.

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Photo: Beatrice

Posted in costume, Design, Much Ado, Much Ado About Nothing, MuchAdo, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Globe, the globe, William Shakespeare