Blood Brothers: Costume design (including hair and make-up)

Blood Brothers: Costume design (including hair and make-up)

Costume Design in Blood Brothers

  • Costume design in Blood Brothers is crucial for illustrating the social and economic disparities between the characters. The clothes worn by the Johnstone and Lyon families should contrast sharply, with the Johnstones appearing lower class and the Lyons upper class.
  • The creation of costumes must also reflect the time periods covered in the narrative. The span of decades includes the late 1950s to the early 1980s and therefore, changes in fashion throughout these periods should be appropriately shown.
  • At the start of the play, Johnstone family costumes should portray poverty. Mrs Johnstone, for example, could be dressed in a worn-out work apricot intended to show her struggling condition. Her children could be shown wearing clothes that are too small or visibly secondhand.
  • Contrastingly, the Lyons should be dressed in an affluent manner. Mrs Lyons, for instance, could be portrayed in comfortable, stylish, and well-kept outfits. Edward’s clothes should also reflect this wealth.
  • The costumes should also evolve as the characters age. When Mickey and Edward grow older, their clothing styles evaluate their distinctive personalities and conditions of life.
  • Mickey and Edward’s outfits should also help illustrate their changing circumstances. When Mickey loses his job and falls into depression, his costumes could become shabbier. In contrast, when Edward goes to university and later becomes a councillor, his outfits should reflect his upward mobility.

Hair and Make-up in Blood Brothers

  • Hair and make-up are also important elements in Blood Brothers. As the characters age, changes in their physical appearance should be depicted, such as the pimples on teenage Mickey’s face or graying and maturing of Mrs Johnstone’s hair.
  • Maintain continuity when using make-up, ensuring that characters look realistic in their age progression.
  • The look and feel of the characters should work in tandem with their costumes to aptly express their social status. For instance, Mrs Lyons’ superior social status could be expressed through her hair maintained professionally, smoothly coiffed and her make-up elegantly understated.

Overall Considerations for Costume, Hair, and Make-up

  • Overall, costume, hair and make-up are not just aesthetic considerations but narrative tools. They’ll inform the audience about the characters’ personalities, their social-economic status, age and personal developments throughout the play.