The lavish aesthetic of the show is the work of designer Vicki Mortimer, who has brought to life more than 160 costumes, 62 headdresses and 129 pairs of tap shoes – each adorned with more than 600,000 Swarovski crystals.
As you can imagine, this level of opulence is absolutely spectacular when viewed en masse – and is especially impressive when seen on the big screen, where the array of crystals, feathers and sequins can be ogled in extraordinary detail.
Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect:
The show is staged in both past and presentSet in New York, Follies opens in 1971 with a fabulous party held inside the once opulent but now crumbling Weisman Theatre. It’s been thirty years since the final Follies performance and the showgirls have gathered to drink, dance and look back on the past. As they reminisce about their hopes and dreams, their lost loves and disappointments, the story flashes back to a visual feast of the original showgirls singing and sashaying in all their feathered glory.
Historical accuracy was paramountTo ensure the costumes were accurate from a historical point of view, Vicki Mortimer researched previous Ziegfeld Follies acts, paying particular attention to the avant garde European productions from 1918 to 1941. "I wanted to honour the artistic aspirations of the original shows, so that the dreams and hopes of the characters would have real importance: not seem trivial or trite," said Mortimer in an interview with Vogue UK.
The costumes are so much more than just clothesFor the scenes set in the present day, the audience witnesses the characters returning to the now crumbling Broadway theatre in 1971 for a reunion for former Follies performers. "For this group,” said Mortimer to Vogue, “the decisions were primarily internal and emotional – why did each character decide to attend the reunion? What is at stake, and how much does this evening matter to their sense of self? We aimed to present each woman as a clear individual, with a real life outside the event of the party."
Fast factsThere are more than 50 wigs used in the show, all with real human hair
There are roughly 1,800 pins and clips used in every performance
The cast goes through three jumbo size cans of hairspray each performance
It takes 30 hours of manpower to get all the wigs ready for just one performance
12 sets of eyelashes are used in each performance
Don???t miss the show that everyone is talking about. Experience Follies as it deserves to be seen, in sumptuous, dazzling detail captured in the highest definition.
Get Follies tickets and times.