Hansel and Gretel: Costume design (including hair and make-up)

Hansel and Gretel: Costume design (including hair and make-up)

Costume Design

Hansel and Gretel Costumes

  • Hansel’s outfit: He should wear old, mismatched clothes that reflect his family’s poverty, potentially oversized to emphasise his youthful nature. A cap or headpiece can symbolise his lower economic status.
  • Gretel’s costume: It should mirror the family’s poverty, featuring old, hand-me-down dresses, preferably in muted colours. Pinafores or aprons may be used as symbols of domestic labour.
  • Characters’ appearance changes through the play could signify their journey. Hansel and Gretel might start the play looking well-fed and neat, but their clothes could become dirtier and tattered as the plot progresses.

Supporting Characters Costumes

  • Witch’s costume: Visual elements can portray her dual nature. She might wear a colourful, eccentric costume when pretending to be kind. Once her true nature is revealed, a darker aesthetic would be appropriate, resembling old, tattered clothes.
  • Father’s costume: His outfit should include elements of a labourer or woodcutter, such as boots, a hat, and worn-out clothing. This signifies his working-class status and his inability to provide for his family.
  • Stepmother’s costume: It should contrast with the rest of the family, possibly being more refined to show her antagonism. This can symbolise her neglect and lack of empathy towards Hansel and Gretel.

Hair and Makeup

  • Hansel and Gretel: At the beginning, they should appear well-groomed, but as they journey deeper into the woods, they’d get progressively disheveled, with tangled hair and smeared makeup.
  • Witch’s makeup: Starts sweetly delightful with rich colours to present a seemingly-kind elderly lady. After revealing her true nature, transitions to something sinister — heavy dark makeup around the eyes, exaggerated wrinkles and maybe even warts to signify transformation.

Lighting and Effectiveness

  • Lighting greatly impacts the visibility and effectiveness of the costume design. The witch’s transition, for example, may be more striking under darker, eerie lighting.

Key takeaway: Costume design should be utilised as an additional tool to reveal character traits, show character development, and help tell ‘Hansel and Gretel’s’ story.