Wednesday, April 29, 2020

457. Rediscovered Interviews (1)

Two interviews with Charles Ricketts were reasonably well known so far. The first, from 1896, dealt with the Vale Press books, and was held by Temple Scott, and published in Bookselling (December 1896), reprinted in Everything for Art: Selected Writings (2014).

The second interview about modern dress was undertaken by 'M.R.' for the Evening News, and published in the Daily Mail, 2 June 1928. This was reprinted in my blog no. 138. Charles Ricketts on Modern Women's Dress (19 March 2014).

But there are a few more interviews, including some with Charles Shannon. These will come later, first a very short interview with Ricketts about "The Mikado" for which he designed completely new costumes in 1926. He also wrote a short article about 'Why I Redressed "The Mikado"' (Daily Mail, 18 September 1926).

The interview appeared in The Sunday Times, 5 September 1926.

Cover for Souvenir of Rupert D'Oyle Carte's Season of Gilbert and Sullivan Opera (1926)

‘“Mikado” Re-dressed. Mr. Ricketts on Oxford “Bags” effect’

Mr. Charles Ricketts, A.R.A., who is designing the dresses and scenery for the production of “The Mikado” in the D’Oyly Carte season which commences at the Prince’s Theatre on September 20, told a Sunday Times representative yesterday that he has made no attempt to touch the heraldry side of the designs. “The Japanese might be offended if I did,” Mr. Ricketts explained, “because they are very particular on such points. I have, however, strictly kept to the seventeenth century as regards the costumes, and I can assure you there is no attempt at leg-pulling when I introduce the Oxford ‘bags’ effect. “Look!” and Mr. Ricketts produced a sketch in which Japan and Oxford meet on the subject of voluminous garments. “The scenery,” he added, “will be Japanese; at least, sufficiently so for Western ideas. The Japanese, I suppose, would regard it as European – and that is what is known as compromise!” Talking of the forthcoming production of “Macbeth,” for which he is also designing the dresses and scenery Mr. Ricketts exhibited a bizarre necklace of huge beads which Miss Sybil Thorndike will wear. “I am revelling in the ‘Macbeth’ designs,” he said, “and I am not sticking to any particular period for them. I am just letting myself go, in fact!”

[Thanks are due to John Aplin.]