Ben Hackett is a 22 year old Irish creative, who explores multi-disciplinary arts that include costume design and production, visual arts, and acting for both stage and screen. He has most notably worked as a wardrobe assistant on Riverdance in the Gaiety Theatre and Dancing With The Stars Ireland for RTÉ. Other projects he has been involved in include costume designing for IADT short films Bestial Ones and The Sallow Child (2022), and End Of The World Tour (2023).
For his final project, Ben designed for the musical She Loves Me, setting it in 1937 Vienna. The technical make was his design for the lead female, Amalia Balast, for the scene where she goes on a blind date to a romantic café. The dress was made in a medium weight viscose crepe, with a gathered skirt falling from a curved yoke at the waist. The bodice is gathered at the bust points, as are the sleeve shoulders, and the sleeves are cuffed with frills. The dress closes at the centre back with a row of covered buttons and loops, and the dress is accessorised with an embroidered belt. The purse was made with the same fabric and embroidery, and the hat was decorated with silk flowers in a matching colour.
Closely examining two specific texts, Ben Hackett's thesis is an exploration into the horror musical genre and how the idea of othering intertwines with the supernatural within this genre. Both texts appear on both stage and screen, so this thesis also assesses the physical elements present that aid in story-telling and execution of genre. The first text examined is The Phantom of the Opera, mostly focusing on the 1986 Andrew Lloyd Webber adaptation, but still referring to the original source material (Le Fantôme de l'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, 1910), as well as other adaptations. The second is Little Shop of Horrors, focusing primarily on the 1982 Off-Broadway production by Howard Ashman, and the 1986 film directed by Frank Oz. Both stories are very different in plot and tone, so are examined closely in separate chapters, however, they contain a lot of the same elements and themes, allowing comparison between the two.