RED DEATH






"Have you missed me, good Messieurs?"


This costume is greatly influenced by Lon Chaney's Red Death from the original "Phantom of the Opera" movie, though minor changes has been done. And the Death's skull cane is used in Wandering Child instead of "Masquerade".

The Phantom wears an elaborate Cavalier costume. The name "Red Death" derives from Gaston Leroux's original novel, which again was borrowed from Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Masque of the Red Death". The Leroux novel gives quite detailed descripotions of the look of this costume, yet there's many ways of intepret what he's written. "...a person... whos gruesome appearance were causing a sensation. It was a man dressed all in scarlet, with a huge hat and feathers on the top of a wonderful death's head. From his shoulders hang an immense red-velvet cloak, which trailed along the floor like a king's train; and on this cloak was embroidered, in golden letters, which everyone read and repeated alound: Touch me not! I am Red Death stalking abroad!".

The slashed bodice and trousers are made of rich red velvet with black and red silk/brocade details. There's also metres and metres of gold trims and appliqués., ostrich feathers and elegant bead work. The costume takes app. 4 weeks to make, and uses 30 metres of red silk for the cloak. The fabrics come from London, Germany and Hong Kong.

The heavy costume, latex deformities, the hat plus the mask makes it very hard for the actor to both move AND see. In fact, he is almost blinded. So he is hoisted up to the top of the "Masquerade" staircase by a forklift, and he moves with stiff legs down the stairs, before vanishing through a trap door. The number of actors injuring their back at some point because of this scene, is quite long....