Hi, my name is Ciara and I am a designer and maker with a focus on costume and set design for theatre and film. I just finished a BA Hons degree in Costume Design. I am passionate about design and love the process of bringing characters to life, from the initial research and sketches to the finished costume. Recent productions I have designed include the NFS short films 'With Love From Aidan' and 'Thicker than Water' in which I worked as costume designer. I also co-costume designed the award winning music video 'Nightmares' directed by Ian Fallon. Throughout my degree I have also worked part time in film and tv as a costume and art department trainee.
For my Major Project I chose to design the life of Granuaile, the legendary Irish Pirate Queen for film. Although there has been a Broadway musical and several attempts at stories and
scripts written about her life, I feel that none capture the adventure of her story better than the real historical facts and legends. That is why I decided to use Granuaile’s biography written by Ann Chambers as my text. When designing this text I wanted to try do as much research as possible into the customs and costumes of Ireland in the 16th century and then expand on
this research to create costumes that fit the personalities of each character. For Grainne’s character in particular, I wanted to make sure I stay true to referencing the type of dress, fabrics and colours of the era, while still putting a spin on it that makes the costumes fit for a Pirate Queen.
This thesis looks at the image of the showgirl in Hollywood films from the 1930s to the 1940s, through the lens of metatheatre and self-reflective cinema, to examine to what extent these showgirls act as figures of resistance to the voyeur/ exhibitionist exchange that takes place between the viewer and the performer. I focus on three films in this thesis, Gold
Diggers of 1933 (1933), 42nd Street (1933) and Dance Girl Dance (1940). This discussion looks at how theories such as Lionel Able’s metatheatre, Erving Goffman’s theories on impression
management and Brecht’s concepts concerning self-reflective theatre to examine the awareness the showgirl character in the film or the director of the film has in the image they put forward to the audience and to what extent do they have power and control of the exchange. I have considered the social, political and cultural concerns of Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s as a basis for my discussion. There is an on the one hand and on the other hand approach to my argument in this thesis in that, on what hand I believe the showgirl characters' body are seen as commodity and objectified for the pleasure of the male
voyeuristic audience, however on the other hand, through their awareness of this commodification they are able to take control of their position in the exchange and act as
figures of resistance.