The Covent Garden Tragedy: For my major, I chose to design The Covent Garden Tragedy by Henry Fielding. The 18th century tragedy deals with a love triangle between two prostitutes in a brothel in Covent Garden, London. The satirical play deals with dark humour in relation to characters and society. The decision to base the play in a brothel was quite controversial at the time, because of this it was only performed once in Theatre Royale, Drury Lane in 1732.
I wanted to take the play in a different direction, basing the story in a brothel/ bar in 1920’s Weimar Republic Germany, with a more cabaret style. I found the story was still relevant and suitable for this time period and also linked with elements of my dissertation. I had been researching this time period and the different views and idealism of women. My main approach to this project was to elaborate and exaggerate the visual look of these characters and their costumes. I was mainly influenced by Commedia Dell’arte and the paintings of Otto Dix. Henry Fielding’s uses of satire in his writing also influenced me to take a more humorous and stylized approach when designing the characters.
Showcased are just a few of my character/ costume designs from this project. I am also showcasing my constructed costume, a 1920’s two piece lingerie set for the character Kissinda, the younger prostitute entangled in the love triangle within the play.