Local Designer Steams up Shakespeare
Self-taught local artist, Nick Scotney is passionate about creating, whether it’s costumes, artwork, makeup, special effects or props.
As a youngster, Nick began making his own costumes out of necessity.
“When I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money – which made me a little more resourceful and taught me to see things as what they could be, not just as pieces of junk,” said Nick.
“My height was also a big factor; not many places make costumes for the freakishly tall so I began to construct my own outfits out of necessity.”
This month, audiences will be able to see Nick’s most recent creations; the costumes for the 2012 USQ Shakespeare in the Park Festival production of Richard III.
In his first professional engagement as a Costume Designer for live theatre, Nick has been set the challenge of creating over 33 individual designs.
“One of the biggest challenges has been creating costumes for seven actors playing multiple roles.
“Along the way, we’ve had to rethink some of the designs but it’s been incredibly interesting watching their evolution and I’m really looking forward to seeing them all come together on the amazing set in the park.”
Nick has taken inspiration for this show from both his own love of steam-punk and Victoriana and Director Scott Alderdice’s vision of a decaying industrial world, all mixed with a little bit of comic styling.
With so many strong and compelling characters in the play, Nick struggles to pick a favourite.
“Richard is one of my favourites because he has such a strong presence without being over-the-top and his mechanical arm is visually intriguing.
“Shakespeare portrays Richard as a deformed character with a hump on his shoulder and a shrivelled arm but in our production, we’ve taken this a step further and, running with the industrial steam-punk imagery, have given him a menacing yet ornate piece of machinery which fits over the deformity.
“The mechanical arm is made from plastics, timber pieces and an array of random everyday items including irrigation valves and joins, plastic gears and even pieces from broken toys and things with interesting shapes.
“I love looking at things, finding their unique shape and turning them into something completely different.”
Other costumes to look out for are Anne who has a wonderful clockwork doll look complete with a turning key and the assassin Tyrrell who (quite literally) glows and is both deadly and beautiful.
This year’s thrilling open-air season of Richard III will be presented at the University’s Toowoomba campus nightly at 6.30pm on 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 October.
Gates open at 5.30pm each night and audiences are encouraged to pack a hamper and bottle of wine (site licensed for BYO alcohol only), bring a blanket or chair and enjoy a picnic dinner during the show.
On-site vendors will also be selling a range of goodies including Phat Burgers, popcorn, butter chicken, satay lamb, chocolates, soft drinks, tea and coffee.
Tickets are $35 adult, $28 concession, $20 student, $25 each for groups of ten or more and can be purchased through the USQ Artsworx Box Office on 07 4631 1111.
For further information about the Festival visit www.usq.edu.au/shakespeare