Costuming Oz-Style

Joshua Service-Barratt is leading the costume design team for the Townsville Choral Society's production of Wicked, at the Townsville Civic Theatre from 24 August - 2 September. IMAGE: Sonia Warrell

From Hermione to Maleficent, you’ve gotta admit: witches have style.

With their funky hats and flowing gowns, it’s easy to see how designing costumes for a cast of close to 50 witches, munchkins and everything in between would be an incredibly daunting task. But this was the challenge set for Townsville Choral Society’s Costume Designer Joshua Service-Barratt ahead of next month’s production of Wicked.

“We are partially using a set of costumes [from Sydney’s CLOC Musical Theatre] but the team had to create approximately 140 extra costume pieces to support the set that is being used. In total, there are about 600 costume pieces in this show,” Joshua said.

“There is a specific design brief to make the set as well as the individual pieces – but as you will see in this show, the sky is the limit as far as what is able to be done, and I have really pushed myself to show this.”

Preparation for Wicked began long before auditions were held, with costume designing beginning in 2016.

“I have been working in the background of this show for roughly 12 months and, because I am Oz-mad, I have accumulated quite a collection of green pieces in my travels for my own personal collection, which will also be showcased on the stage.

“I believe there’s enough opportunity for me to design here in Townsville; I am booked pretty solidly for the next year and there is a lot of stuff I work on outside of Townsville that I can still manufacture here. All-in-all, where you are based isn’t an issue anymore.”

Catch the Townsville Choral Society’s Wicked at the Civic Theatre from 24 August – 2 September. Book tickets here.

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