*What you will* is a confusion comedy and plays with the gender roles of the characters. As was customary in Elizabethan times, all figures are represented by men. Thus, the female figure Viola, posing as a man in the plot, is played by a male actor. Princess Olivia is also played by a man. When Olivia experiences that her*his lover Viola „is wearing“ a different gender, she*he loses the love for him*her or her*him. Fortunately, Viola also has a male*male twin brother who appears at the escalating peak, disintegrating the chaos of gender identity and sentimentalism and becoming the new *lover* Olivias.
CONCEPTION COSTUME DESIGN
To find a link to the present, I was inspired by icons like Freddy Mercury, Elton John and Drag Queen Violet Chachki. Furthermore, I wanted to use the figures of the piece to outline a phenomenon of our contemporary society: the gender-specific coding of our clothing.
So I designed the costume for Malvolio, as shown here, with clip-on earrings on which braids hang, lipstick, skin-tight body and high heels.
As a further indication to question the development of fashion in terms of gender-specific codes is the historical slit leather jacket, as well as Olivias pink and baby blue finger nails.