She stood gravely at centre stage looking simply stunning in her creamy coronation gown surrounded by church officials attired in crimson robes and golden crowns.
I saw The Audience at the Manitoba Theatre Centre on Saturday night and the costumes stole the show as far as I’m concerned. The Audience chronicles decades worth of weekly meetings between the Queen and the British primeministers. The play is not a fast paced or intense drama but what kept me riveted during the show were the marvelous outfits worn by Fiona Reid who played the role of Queen Elizabeth.
Whether dressed in her Scottish tartan skirt and soft sweater, a gorgeous evening gown, a smart suit or a finely tailored dress the Queen always looked just about perfect- her hair coiffed, her jewelery tasteful, her shoes fashionable but serviceable and her handbags handsome. And what is even more amazing is how a trio of attendants managed to help the queen change her hairstyle, outfits and makeup in just moments either right on stage, discreetly tucked behind the queen’s desk or hidden momentarily behind a small dressing room partition.
Almost magically Fiona Reid would reappear dressed for a new scene that often took place during a period in history decades before or after the previous scene. The hasty transformations in style were really quite fascinating. I admit I don’t usually read the program notes about the costume designer but this time I certainly did. Christina Poddubuik was responsible for the costumes and sets for The Audience. I looked her up online and she is a partner in a design firm called Punch and Judy. It was neat checking out her unique work as an illustrator, stylist and artist. Although the costume designer doesn’t usually come on stage to take a bow at the end of a play I think Christina should have. I would have given her a standing ovation. As far as I’m concerned she was the star of the show.
Other posts about theatre…….