Amorous Congress – Aqueous Humour

DPP_0065_webBatty, Nutty and Away with the Fairies…

Aqueous Humour Theatre company were commissioned by Action Factory Community Arts to create a new strolling piece for Blackburn Festival in June 2013. We worked closely with one of their women’s groups to explore attitudes to female mental health. In particular we looked at obsession, delusion, name-calling and slang. The three characters are searching for a husband, for acceptance, for a contract of care. They may be utterly bonkers and desperate but they try hard to maintain a sense of poise and decorum expected in a convivial society.

As the event was being held at Witton Country Park, the grounds of a now demolished old mansion, we chose to go with a historic theme/look. We felt the elaborate wigs of Marie Antoinette gave great opportunity for a visual message. I took the wigs as high as I could by using a withy base to reduce weight. These were ornamented with literal interpretations of the slang phrases. I followed through down from the wigs into the costumes with a feel of the same era. As making these from scratch would have been extremely costly and time consuming, I adapted full-skirted wedding dresses, in particular, by adding pannier style underskirts to give the correct silhouette. The creams and golds of the dresses were chosen to stand out against the green of the park as will be performed at other festivals and historic houses/gardens, but also add a hint of ghostliness of characters from a bygone time. 

It has been added it to the Aqueous Humour portfolio of strolling shows available for booking.  Photographs by Carl Gibson.