Q & A with Emma Bailey – Costume Designer

1 October 2016

Over the next two weeks, as we countdown to the World Premiere and UK tour of Witness, we go behind the scenes and introduce you to the creative team who are helping to bring the show to stage. First up, we talk to Costume Designer, Emma Bailey, about her role and her work on Witness.

Q.1. How did you get into costume design?

I began my design career in architecture at the Bartlett Institute in London but after leaving realised there were many directions my degree could take me. Whilst working as an architect I spent a month collaborating on a theatre fringe show and had a great time, it was way more exciting than being sat in an office. I left my job and enrolled at Motley Theatre Design Course where I spent a year learning all about theatre!

Q.2. What is your creative process?

I usually get a very instinctive response to the themes or text of each production. Chatting through with the director/choreographer fires off lots of reference images and ideas and then I go away and research design avenues that interest me, and hopefully the collaborators too. I love drawing, sketching, and model making so use these tools to describe ideas and moments of the show.


Q.3. What is interesting about Witness to you and how will you add to the production?

It explores a very timely subject in a sensitive and tender way. Hopefully the costume design will make the characters believable and relatable to the audience, impressing upon them that mental health can affect everyone. 

Q.4. What are your top tips for an aspiring designer?

Meet everyone! And watch everything! Even if you are not sure you like their work that one conversation could spark many more…

The World Premiere of Witness takes place on Weds 19 Oct at The House at Plymouth University. We then tour the work to Studio B, Falmouth University (Fri 21 Oct); The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University (Tues 25 Oct); Mumford Theatre, Cambridge (Weds 2 Nov) and Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (Sat 12 Nov), before heading home to Manchester for two nights at The Lowry, Salford Quays (Tues 29 & Weds 30 Nov).

Find out more about Emma and her work here: www.emmabaileydesign.com

Follow Witness in the rehearsal process and on tour.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitterand on Instagram for rehearsal shots, behind the scenes vids and interviews with the company and the creative team.

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"10 was such a wonderful experience - I cant wait to see more of your incredible work!" "Effortless grace, strength, humour and athleticism - a visual treat!" "We brought 65 young people to your performance tonight - every single one loved it! What an amazing show!" "This show reminded me why I dance and what I’m constantly working towards! Thank you for this experience!" "Such beauty in the small moments of this show - please don't stop doing what you’re doing"

Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!