Designer Kate Bunce discusses Snow Queen

Snow Queen at York Theatre Royal looks set to be a really interesting, visually stunning show. With the incredibly talented Kate Bunce designing the intricate costumes, it’s safe to say I think they’re going to be pretty amazing.

Here’s what Kate Bunce’s had to say about Snow Queen set and costumes:

Were you excited to design the costumes for Snow Queen? 

Snow Queen was a real pleasure to design. I was thrilled when tutti frutti asked me. Wendy Harris the director always finds fresh exciting new ways of telling a story and it’s certainly true of Snow Queen.

Tell us a little bit about the set 

The show is set in present day but has little twists so feels magical and magnified – like we are in another world. The set is a very simple pale backdrop with a huge spilt revealing a glittering backdrop. The set encapsulates themes of the story – bright, enticing, veiled, cold, ethereal, suspended, hidden.

What was your biggest challenge when designing the show? 

The Snow Queen story is episodic in that we meet characters and visit different places on Gerda’s journey to find Kai. There are three actors, two of which play multiple characters. My challenge was to make a big statement with costume whilst making them quick and easy for the actors to change in and out of. The characters are larger than life and have a big impact on Gerda’s journey.

What’s particularly unusual about the design of this production? 

We set ourselves a rule that when each new character enters stage they bring all props to create their environment. For example – we meet a Flower Woman on Greta’s journey. She wears a huge floral cape and carries her flowers in a huge basket so there will be a burst of clashing colour across the stage.

Do you have favourite costumes in the show? 

The Robber Girl was fun to design. Her entire world is strapped onto her. She’s like a magpie; all the treasures she has found are attached to her. From jewels to Lego, sleeping bags to plastic bottles and cutlery. Her ‘world’ unfolds before our eyes.

The Snow Queen costume is brilliant. I hope the audiences enjoy her costume – it’s silver and bright but unlike any Snow Queen costume I’ve seen before.

See Snow Queen at York Theatre Royal from 27th September to 13th October.

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