Thursday, 22 November 2012

Cinderella, designed by John Macfarlane

Well I think I've just found my favourite designer!

John MacFarlane's designs for Cinderella by the Birmingham Royal Ballet are just incredible -  and his costume illustrations are just as inspiring.

The production, staged in 2010 and aired on the BBC was directed by David Bintley and Ross MacGibbon and created to celebrate the Birmingham Royal Ballet's 20th Anniversary. It is currently being staged again this month at the Birmingham Hippodrome, until the 9th December.

Take a look at the trailer:

John MacFarlane studied at Glasgow School of Art, and is a leading opera and ballet designer, known for his work on the BRB's The Nutcracker, amongst other productions. He works as a painter alongside designing, a technique which he employs often in his costume illustrations:

The Wicked Stepmother, Costume 1

Ugly Stepsister

Ugly Stepsister


Frog Courtier

I really like John Macfarlane's use of colour, and how he includes pencil sketches of costume details around his character drawing. These really give a sense of the whole character, in 3D, rather than just a face-on drawing of the front of a costume. 

Macfarlane also sketches every detail of his sets and props, to ensure a continuous design aesthetic throughout the production.

Here's a video from the 'Everything Birmingham' Youtube channel about the set painting/construction process:

To book tickets to see Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome on the BRB website: here

Photos of the show are from the BRB website. The sketches are from Creating Cinderella, the BRB's backstage blog for the production.

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