RSC Stratford-upon-avon


sawn theatre, southwark, london 1596

The Original Swan Theatre, London, 1596.

I like the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre as both are striking spaces with thrust stages and galleries combining modernity with the traditional form of Elizabethan theatres such as The Swan Theatre in Southwark, London, 1596 .

I Watched ‘Love for Love’, A William Congreve play, in the Swan theatre from gallery two. Although the galleries allow more people to see the performance and cheaper tickets, it was uncomfortable and we had to lean right over the balcony to be able to see the whole stage and even then sight lines were obscured. So as much as I like the idea of these open spaced theatres, they don’t provide clear view of the performance.

On a positive note, It made me consider the challenges I’d face as a designer. The lighting designer spoke to us about lighting the actors so that they could still be seen in the galleries. In ‘Love for Love’ gauze was used which I liked because it’s transparent quality allowed us to see behind it. The door used was stand-alone, also allowing the audience to see behind, adding to the comical nature of the play.


Costume Construction

This week we have been learning costume making skills in order to make a 16th century medieval jerkin. We took measurements of our model and drew up a basic block pattern which we then had to alter to make it appropriate for the time period and to fit our model well. I have followed patterns before and made clothes, but I found the task challenging because I had to draw out the pattern myself and really on my measurements being accurate, considering grainlines and seam allowances.

pattern laying and cutting:

I enjoyed the sewing machine work but my weakness was hand stitching. I sometimes find it difficult to hand sew in the same way as the instructions as I am left-handed so hand sewing is something I want to improve on.


The finished garment looked neat and crisp and although I am pleased with it, it would look much better if it was broken down to look like it is an authentic, worker’s jerkin from the 16th century. Bruegel’s paintings are a great example of how the jerkin would have been worn as shown in his painting ‘The Wedding Dance’, 1566.