Designing the Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat

Posted on 15 February 2017

The talented cast of The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat will soon be in the spotlight of our B2 stage bringing lots of nonsense, chaos and fun for all the family! However, we’ve taken a moment out of rehearsals to talk to the very talented Libby Watson, who is the set and costume designer for the exciting new production.

Here she explains some of the reasons behind her creative design choices:

I looked at a lot of Edward Lear’s drawings in order to get the flavour of the style of his work and his humour. I wanted to be as faithful to this as possible but without hiding the actors expressions behind costumes that covered too much of the face or the physicality of the body. Lear’s drawings are in pen and ink and have a wonderful clarity to them. I wanted to keep the costumes as unfussy and as clear as his drawings are.


I decided to blend human and non-human components into the costumes, mainly to keep the audience engaged and in touch with the human forms on stage, whilst using the imagination to fill in the gaps not represented in the costumes.

I am most pleased with the Firelord’s costume. He is influenced a lot from the book, but I also have developed it a little further in an old school Bond villain style.


Both the Owl and the Pussycat costumes took the longest to develop as they are only represented as full animals in Edward Lear’s book. I wanted them to be very characterful and playful with only elements representing the animals that they are.

Each of my ideas grew in stages, so it’s always difficult to compare my initial ideas to the final design. However, I worked through a few drawings on each character and gradually modified the ideas until they all fit together as a coherent way of storytelling.


The theme of nonsense had a large influence during my creative process. It has meant that we are using digitally made projections that are influenced by the illustrations we have looked at. We created our own Lear world, adding a lot of colour and using all the stage surfaces as screens so that the whole world can come alive.

The most important part of the design process is always the collaboration with others. From the director’s response to the play and the inclusion of the rest of the creative team. This all influences the look and feel of the production and only makes it richer when we all work together.

For more costume sketches, have a look at our image gallery on the right hand side of this page.

This chaotic new musical adaptation takes to the stage from Sat 18 Feb – Sat 4 Mar and is set to be the perfect half term family treat!

Tickets for The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat are available to book now. Call our friendly Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or book online at: