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Dressing the Beadle - Man Makes the Clothes

Traditional beadle garb. Ours will have leather pants.

By Ben Kaye

Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man.” I say, “Perhaps, but its Man that makes the clothes look GREAT.”

Mark Twain’s quotation was better.

Be that as it may, what does this have to do with Sweeney Todd? Trust me, it’ll make sense after this post. Maybe.

As was mentioned in the previous post, I’m playing the Beadle in Sweeney Todd, and as I’ve learnt over these first few weeks of rehearsal, the Beadle is an all-too complex character himself. In my understanding of the character, he’s a man from the lower class in 1800’s England who has climbed the social ladder to his courtly position as Beadle, and at this point, he occasionally goes on “power trips,” abusing his authority whenever he pleases. Obviously there’s a lot more to his character (which we’ll touch upon in later posts), but for the time being, I’ll just share with you all a fun aspect to the Beadle that I’m greatly enjoying: costumes and proppage!

As rehearsals have been progressing, I keep getting new “rehearsal costume pieces” and “rehearsal” props to play with. These include a bowler hat, boots, a whistle, a pocket watch, and GLOVES! Really awesome gloves, which I’ll be wearing when carrying out nefarious deeds, liking crushing birds (again, just you wait!)
As for the rest of my costume, it seems like I’m going to be a pretty snazzy Beadle. While I have a bowler hat for rehearsal, for the show,
I’ll be wearing a fancy top hat, a coat with tails, and leather pants! So be prepared to see a Beadle like you’ve never seen before!

More to come, devoted blog-readers!

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Ben Kaye is a Junior Theatre Arts/English Writing Major. He is the Artistic Director of the Redeye Theatre Project, and the Secretary for the Performance Collaborative. His Pitt Rep acting credits include Sweeney Todd, Gas Masks, and The General of Hot Desire. This spring, Ben will be directing Steve Martin's WASP, as well as Random Acts of Violence, written by Pitt alum Fred Pelzer.