15 April 2024

Wagga costume designer takes out international Olivier Award in London

| Chris Roe
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International recognition for Wagga’s Marg Horwell at the Olivier Awards in London. Photo: Supplied.

Wagga’s Marg Horwell has won one of theatre’s most prestigious gongs, taking out Best Costume Design at the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The award-winning designer was celebrated for her outstanding work, creating 26 unique looks for the Sydney Theatre Company’s version of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is playing on London’s iconic West End.

The show’s high-profile star, Sarah Snook was also recognised with the award for Best Actress for her multi-character performance.

“It makes your job incredibly easy when every single character is played by Sarah Snook,” Horwell said as she accepted the award.

“It’s been a joy making the show with you.”

READ ALSO From Kooringal High to the West End: Wagga designer nominated for Olivier Award

Snook’s work has been roundly praised and the rising Aussie star paid tribute to Wilde along with the show’s production staff and director.

“It’s billed as a one-woman show, but it’s not,” she said during her acceptance speech.

“It’s the crew who are on stage with me all the time every night and they are a vital and constant support and inspiration. So thank you to the crew for being there in this show with me.”

The show is a unique multi-media experience that relays the actor’s performance live across multiple screens and from several camera angles.

“Coming from Australia with what was an incredibly ambitious show, we never really imagined it would reach such huge heights, so we’re super proud of it,” Ms Horwell told Region after learning of her nomination.

“It was a pretty exciting prospect to be able to approach the ambition of making somebody 26 distinct people on stage.

“With the costumes, a lot of it is mashed up and referential from other shows or from films or from contemporary fashion.

“And of course it’s a story about someone who doesn’t age, so in my mind, that means anything from fashion in the last 100 years and it should feel like someone who has lived beyond what is possible.”

Marg Horwell has won an Olivier Award for her costumes on Dorian Gray. Photo: Dorian Gray play.

The play was adapted and directed by Kip Williams, who announced he would step down from his role as Sydney Theatre Company artistic director this year.

He and the crew are preparing to take the show to Broadway in the US after their west end run finishes in May.

READ ALSO Sepia-toned historical photos inspire second novel for Valerie Volk

Horwell explained that the show was part of a trilogy of classic Victorian tales.

Dorian Grey is the first part of a trilogy that Kip has put together,” she said.

“The second was Jekyll and Hyde that Sydney Theatre Company put on in 2022, and the one that I’m literally at my desk making a model for right now is Dracula.

“So we’re deep in the process and after Dorian opened, I went on a quick trip to Transylvania to go and see Dracula’s castle, which was the best!”

Horwell said the phone has been ringing off the hook with job offers since her nomination for the Olivier Award and she was also recognised this month with two Green Room Awards in Melbourne.

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