The Alchemist (By Ben Johnson)
The medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.
This being my first design project really spurred me on to play with colour, texture and symbolism. The character of Subtle from the Alchemist is that of the classic con man. Here you see him at his finest. Donned in rich colours and lavish textures he portrays himself as the wealthy scholar. In doing so, he tricks the less fortunate into giving him all their money. The dramatic contrast between the gold and orange form a perfect lesson from the practice of Alchemy: Only true gold will not rust.
During this production, in collaboration with The Actors Wheel, I assumed the position of Assistant Designer. I played a part in the design and realisation of this piece, set on a pre-industrial revolution farm. Other tasks I under took including organising meetings and fittings. communicating between designer and makers, fitting, dressing and makeup.