Designing the play within a play

  • Set design

    Set for a play within a play
    Mark Ravenhill's new play, Candide, is made up of five separate parallel worlds. The opening scene is a play within a play – a performance of Voltaire's 18th century story of Candide. This gallery explores the set and costumes for this opening scene.

    Pictured is the set for the play within a play, designed by Soutra Gilmour.

  • Cunegonde's dress

    Cunegonde's dress
    This is the dress worn by Candide's lover, Cunegonde, played by Rose Reynolds, during the play within a play. The dress is made from blue and white Toile De Jouy using a Pastorale scene fabric, in our costume workshops in Stratford-upon-Avon. All the characters in this scene are dressed in costumes made either in this same toile material or blue denim.

  • Cunegonde 200 years later

    Cunegonde 200 years later
    The character of Cunegonde returns after 200 years are elapsed, this time played by Susan Engel. This dress is a replica of the one worn by Rose Reynolds, but has been passed through our dying department, to give it the distressed look, as if it's been worn for 200 years.

  • Hooped skirt

    Hooped underskirt
    This hooped underskirt will be worn by actor Ishia Bennison, playing the Countess, in the opening scene of the play. The skirt was made precisely to Ishia's measurements, in our Costume Workshops. Over the underskirt, Ishia will wear a wide skirted orange dress.

  • Pads and petticoats

    Pads and petticoats
    Pictured is a rail of bum pads and petticoats, to go underneath the ladies 18th century period costumes for the play within a play in Candide. They fill out the dresses to give them the authentic shape for the period.

  • Bodice

    This bodice, made from Toile De Jouy in the same design of Cunegonde's dress, will be worn by Badria Timimi. The skirt the actor wears with the bodice is made from the same demim material as the cuffs in the picture.

  • Toile jacket

    Toile jacket
    This jacket, shown in an early stage of development in our Men's Costume Workshop, will be worn by actor Steffan Rhodri, playing the Baron, in the opening scene of Candide. It is made of the same toile material as many of the other costumes in this play within a play scene.

  • Denim long jacket

    Denim long jacket
    This jacket and breaches, made of blue denim, will be worn by actor Harry McEntire in the first scene of Mark Ravenhill's Candide. The jacket is shown here halfway through the making process, with the tacking on the front still visible. On each of the pockets our Costume team has added a handstiched detail in white cotton.

  • Toile waistcoat

    Toile waistcoat
    Laid out on a table in our Men's Costume Workshop, this is a Toile De Jouy waistcoat, for Kevin Harvey, playing Jacques. It's made with the same blue and white pattern as the jacket worn by Steffan Rhodri, and Cunegonde's dress.

  • Hat

    Pictured is one of 12 reversible tricorn hats, to be worn by the Abarian and Bulgarian Army. The crown of the hat is made then the brim attached, before the whole hat is pinned, as shown.

  • 12 hats

    12 tricorn hats
    These are the other hats, worn for the opening scene of Candide. All 12 hats are made from denim and canvas, by our Millinery Department.

  • Denim waistcoat

    Denim waistcoat
    Sophie Brassington in our Costume Workshops, makes a denim waistcoat for actor Ian Redford, playing Pangloss, to wear in the first scene.

  • Wigs

    These three wigs, pictured stored on a shelf in our Wig Room, were handmade by our Wig Department, using human hair. They will be worn with the toile and denim 18th century period costumes in the opening scene of Candide.

  • Powdered wig

    Powdered wig
    This powdered wig is still in progress. You can see the outline of a hairnet on the crown, and the curls still in rollers. It will be worn by Katy Stephens, playing the Baroness.


Mark Ravenhill

Swan Theatre
29 August - 26 October 2013

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