E. Mallin Parry is a designer of sets and costumes for theatre, opera and live art, and a cross-disciplinary performance-maker with a background in devised work.
A previous winner of the Jocelyn Herbert Award and a Linbury Finalist, they trained at Wimbledon and Motley, and are currently pursuing a PhD in Performance & Queer Studies at the University of Brighton. Recent and forthcoming work includes Hamlet and As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe; Translyria, Sogn og Fjordane Teater, Norway; Rotterdam,Arts Theatre & Trafalgar Studios, West End, 59E59 Theaters, NY, national tour; Winner of Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Associate Theatre; Grimm Tales, Unicorn Theatre; The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme; Posh, Nottingham & Salisbury Playhouses; Magna Carta, Salisbury Playhouse, and Neige, Grand Theatre de Ville, Luxembourg. Mallin is an associate artist at Shakespeare’s Globe, maintains a personal practice in live and installation art, and is a cult favourite on London’s queer cabaret circuit as drag king Mal Content.
As You Like It
As You Like It played with gender expression and the slipperiness of identity and desire. In both plays, the power of the court was embodied in stiff Elizabethan formality, pressing and moulding the bodies of the characters into their prescribed roles even as they struggle for autonomy and self-knowledge.
In the Forest of Arden, this rigidity gave way to the kind of temporal, spatial and gender-blurring that the text also performs. Escaping the confines of stays and farthingale, Jack Laskey’s Rosalind/Ganymede wooed Bettrys Jones’ Orlando first in leather doublet and hose – originally worn by Naomi Frederick, playing Rosalind to his Orlando in 2009 – then in jeans and sneakers, finally appearing – ‘human as she is’- in wedding outfit of embroidered Elizabethan bodice, cropped hair crowned with flowers, and a flowing skirt removed for the final jig and monologue in which Rosalind undoes ‘her’ gender. Much virtue in ‘if’…
Translyria is a collaborative devised project commissioned by Sogn og Fjordane Teater, Norway, using fragments of Shakespeare texts translated into modern Norwegian to explore embodiments of gender, trans* identity, power and desire.
R&D workshops and rehearsals involved the acting ensemble and creative team exploring the sculptural qualities of costume, the prosthetic gender construction of Early Modern clothing and identity, and the haptic, kinesthetic knowledge available from costume. Observational exercises such as drawing were included alongside movement work.
Putting stories and bodies on a public stage, and choosing how to frame, contextualise, dress and present those bodies, those stories – this is inescapably political, and I think as designers we need to be constantly aware of that responsibility – mindful, listening, communicating with our collaborators and educating ourselves. ”