ZAHRA MANSOURI – SET & COSTUME DESIGNER
What do you like best about working on Alice in Wonderland and Character?
Alice was a favourite childhood book, so it’s having the opportunity to rework it, as well as staying true to the aspects we know and love (younger people can see a reimagining of the piece, but adults can delight in finding details from the original). With Character I like the fact that it’s such a different challenge; the fun is in creating a reality that relates to real people and pinning down that level of detail in set and costume.
What was the last project you worked on?
The curious tale of Pablo Picasso at the Brockley Jack – a surreal piece about two historic events merging – Pablo Picasso discovering his Art whilst in prison for stealing the Mona Lisa. Absolute madness, with many of the props I made based on art of the time, oversized objects and detailed pieces, were a joy to make.
Besides Alice and Character, what’s your favourite past production? Blackshaw’s adaptation of Gormenghast (another favourite book of mine). I had a whole church to create the world in, whilst of course being loyal to Peake fans, I created detailed costume designs that really pinned down the larger then life characters within the story.
What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?
Best show I have been to was Faust at the Colosseum, by Terry Gillingham. We all loved his animations for Monty Python, and to actually see that level of interchanging madness within an opera was spectacular.
Not a lot of people know that…
It’s bloody hard work convincing young actors to wear their trousers on their waist and not round their arse if they want to successfully look like they are in a period drama.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Working in my pyjamas whilst listening to 80s power rock.
What really grinds your gears?
Young male actors arguing the toss about where the waistband should be worn if they are in a period piece.
See Zahra’s work at www.zahramansouri.com