Thursday, July 25, 2013

Neverwhere Design - Part One

I don't think I've written about my senior project for Cornish yet, so here's the beginning!

Cornish is doing a stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and I have the honor and delight to be designing the costumes for it.  If you didn't know already, I am an enormous fan of Neil Gaiman's works (as well as his wife, Amanda Palmer's music) and was utterly over the moon with delight when Cornish announced what the show would be.
Neverwhere is a story about a Scotsman, Richard Mayhew, just moved to a new job in the big city of London, who ends up on the most peculiar adventure of his life.  He has it all, a beautiful (if controlling and stiff) fiancee named Jessica, a good job at a nice firm, and a smattering of friends.  What more could a chap want?
The more comes in the form of a ragged girl who appears out of nowhere, clothing torn, arm bloody, catalysing Richard to care for her.  She turns out to be from another place, London Below and leads Richard on an amazing adventure that ultimately leaves him asking himself; what does he want from life?  Is going to the pub, and marrying Jessica, and accepting the promotion to Junior Partner really all there is in life?  Is it really all he wants?
I can't tell you that, darlings.  You must read the book.

The world we're creating is based on inspiration of the layers that occur in life.  If you look across a subway platform, you can see several tracks, platforms, lines and layers.  Action could occur on a series of planes, each sitting on top of another.  London Below is a bit like that, it interacts with our world (London Above) but we don't always see it.  It lives in those odd people who live on the street.  The group of urchins who feel like kings and celebrate the little pleasures.  Perhaps in Below they are princes and kings?  You'd never know to look at them in Above.

For now I'll leave you with an idea of our main heroes.  The Lady Door, Richard Mayhew, The Marquis de Carabas, and The Hunter.

Lady Door

Richard Mayhew

The Marquis de Carabas

The Hunter

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