Far Away by Caryl Churchill with design by Dann Barber

I have had the honour of working with set and costume Dann Barber on a number of projects and when he asked me about this project I jumped onto it.  What was the challenge?  Create the largest hat in the world!  Okay, that isn't proven but it felt like that.  The hat is designed for Patalog Theatre's production of Far Away at fortyfivedownstairs.  

Dann came to my studio and bought a beautiful rendering of the design we spoke about how the hat would evolve over the course of the show. 

Costume drawing of a hat in three stages, the finished hat is green with a large brim and tassel trim

The description of the show reads "In a house far away, a child wakes to the sound of screaming. Who will tell her what is really going on? And where will the discoveries she makes that night take her in the years to come?"

As part of the performance two of the characters construct showcase hats and headpieces.  It was wonderful to host the performers along side designer Dann Barber and his team in my studio to demonstrate the process of hat making so they could use some of the tools and technques as part of the set and performance. 

Two performers are on stage working on two large hats as part of the production of Far Away by Patalog Theatre

The piece I created that appears in three stages throughout the show features a textured green velvet rounded crown and shaped brim trimmed with grey fringe trim.  The scale of the piece was quite a challenge creating a piece that could hold the weight of the material but be able to move around the stage for the full run of the show.  

A performer in a black poncho stands in a set of hat boxes wearing a large green hat with fringe trimming as part of the production of Far Away by Patalog Theatre

If you are in Melbourne check out the amazing work by Dann and his team including this fantastic green hat. Far Away is on at fortyfivedownstairs from the 13th - 30th of July, 2023.  Get your tickets here.

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