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Gormenghast


 The Gormenghast Collection: Lord Groan's Wardrobe
Lord Groan
Estelle Daniel, producer:
Odile needed to enter the world of the court, making rules for the rituals, so that when a character faced a situation, she would know what costume to choose. Lord Groan is most often seen in the interminable rituals which punctuated his life....

Ian Richardson, actor:
Groan is without question the most complex character I have ever undertaken in my entire professional career, which is over 40 years. Groan is groaning under the weight of the tyranny of protocol and ritual that has remained unbroken like the British Raj for so many years....

Owl Claw Motif from Dressing Gown
Gormenghast heraldic symbols, the owl and the snail, appear on much of Lord Groan's clothing.

Detail of Lord Groan's Owl Buttons
Ian Richardson, actor:
When I first took the part, I suggested that it might not be a bad idea to ask if there was any material available on owls that could look at on videocassette, since the BBC has this Natural History Unit.... In a week a package arrived in my Devon house full of owls. I found four owl idiosyncrasies and I used them all, but I am glad my owl acting is over. I had to sink myself into Radox baths night and morning. I was hunched over, and there were quite a lot of physical high jinks which, for an old age pensioner, is not as easy as it used to be....

Designer's Sketch for Ceremonial Cape
Estelle Daniel, producer:
Odile gave him a cape made from latex, moulded and sculpted to look like leather, and covered with the Gormenghast heraldic symbols, the owl and the snail, woven into an intricate pattern with other quasi-religious motifs.

Lord Groan's Ceremonial Cape
Estelle Daniel, producer:
Ian Richardson made maximum dramatic use of the cape when he turned into an owl, running along and flapping it like a pair of wings.... Ian Richardson also wore contact lenses to give him the eyes of an owl.

Detail of Sleeve of Groan's Nightshirt
A 17th-century English design inspired the patterns on Lord Groan's nightshirt.


Some text excerpts courtesy of HarperCollins Entertainment, The Art of Gormenghast by Estelle Daniel (2000)
 


 Costume Design:
Fuchsia | Lord Groan | Gertrude | Prunesquallors | Steerpike | Twins

 Analyze a Scene | Costume Design | Set Design | Producer's Diary

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