Elizabeth Whiting

Costume Design

“I was interested in a design metaphor for the lethal machinery and machinations of the political intrigue of Elizabethan courtly life. A documentary series aptly entitled MACHINES OF MALICE triggered my exploration of contemporary torture instruments.

The Iron Maiden became the inspiration for my set design. I wanted to evoke a world of daily uncertainly where allegiances change radically when personal survival is foremost. I wanted to suggest life lived out inside an unseen baited trap, a sort of period landmine waiting for an ill placed foot.

The open diamond grillwork references Tudor leadlight windows; while at the same time could be a trellis, a confessional or a gibbet cage. The movement of the lattice screens allows us to present the constricted environment of political house arrest, the openness of the grounds of a castle, as well as the formal splendor of Elizabeth’s Royal Court.”

John Parker is an award– winning set designer and is as well-respected in the world of ceramics as he is in set design. He has a long history of designing for Auckland Theatre Company.

His set designs include STEPPING OUT, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, THE WIFE WHO SPOKE JAPANESE IN HER SLEEP, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, END OF THE RAINBOW, SWEET CHARITY, DOUBT, MUM’S CHOIR, TAKING OFF, EQUUS, CALIGULA, THE BACH, MIDDLE AGE SPREAD, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, NOISES OFF, WAITING FOR GODOT, ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDERNSTEIN ARE DEAD and INTO THE WOODS.

Other works include THE SCENE, CREDITORS, IL

“The costume design for MARY STUART has been a dream project. This is a subject matter I’ve studied from the time I was a young girl, reading historical romance novels. The relevance of the history and situation to the recent times as seen in radical fundamentalism (Catholicism), guerrilla warfare, women positions of power -- all challenged by male prerogative has led me to search for contemporary interpretation of the period styling. I have referenced the ruff but given it a new look by using modern materials such as plastic, polyester and lace. The colour range is very restricted -- black, red, white with a little purple and grey. The women provide a burst of colour and pattern at the garden scene. The men wear modern street wear with period references, ruffs, brocade, waistcoats, jewellery and facial hair.”

In New Zealand Elizabeth has designed costumes for Auckland Theatre Company (including the 2011 production of WELL HUNG), The Silo, Court Theatre, Red Leap and Okareka, Black Grace, Douglas Wright Dance, Michael Parmenter, Atimira and Shona McCullagh and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She also designed a play for Pop-Up Theatre in London, which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival. This year she is designing CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and PAGLIACCI for the NBR New Zealand Opera 2011 winter season.

Theatre design credits include EQUUS, CABARET, INTO THE WOODS, SWEET CHARITY, HAIR, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, THE PILLOWMAN, MY NAME IS GARY COOPER? (ATC), THE COUNTRY WIFE, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, THE GREAT GATSBY and CABARET (Court Theatre), THREE DAYS OF RAIN, IRMA VAP, THE SCENE, HOLDING THE MAN, WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING and ASSASSINS (The Silo).

In 2010 she won the Chapman Tripp Costume Design Award for THE ARRIVAL (Red Leap Theatre). She represented New Zealand at the Prague Design Quadrennial in 2003 with her costumes for FALSTAFF, and again in 2007 with a team of designers who created the exhibition BLOW.

Other works include Red Leap’s ILLUMINA and World of Wearable Art 2011.

Related Shows

The Bone Feeder.   Hedwig and the Angry Inch.   The Miracle Worker.   Shortland Street - The Musical.   The Daylight Atheist.   Joan.   Under the Mountain.   The Cherry Orchard.   Nell Gwynn.   Venus In Fur.   The Lady Killers.   Rupert.   Jesus Christ Superstar.   The Good Soul of Szechuan.   The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate.   Anne Boleyn.   The Glass Menagerie.   In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play).   Little Shop of Horrors.   Mary Stuart.   Well Hung.   The Importance of Being Earnest.   She Stoops to Conquer.   The Thirty-Nine Steps.   Design For Living.   The Pillowman.   My Name Is Gary Cooper.   Twelfth Night.   Doubt.   Sweet Charity.   The Duchess of Malfi.   Equus.   Up For Grabs.   Caligula.   Goldie.   The Talented Mr Ripley.   The Shape of Things.   Middle Age Spread.   The Songmaker's Chair.   Ladies' Night.   The Bellbird.   The Vagina Monologues.   Take A Chance On Me.   The Rocky Horror Show.   Waiting for Godot.   Stones in His Pockets.   Noises Off.   The Daylight Atheist.   The Play About the Baby.   Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.   Hair.   The Blue Room.   Secret Bridesmaids' Business.   ART.   Collected Stories.   The Beauty Queen of Leenane.   Wit.   The God Boy.   Serial Killers.   The Judas Kiss.   Into the Woods.   Cabaret.   Foreskin's Lament.   Death of a Salesman.   Twelve Angry Men.   The Wind In The Willows.   Honour.   Vita Virginia.   The Herbal Bed.   Arcadia.   Molly Sweeney.   Skylight.   Master Class.   Social Climbers.   Travels With My Aunt.   Market Forces.   Uncle Vanya.   Oleana.   The Learner's Stand.   Angels In America.   The Seagull.   Night Light.