Re: Bat-Character Costumes for a High School Stage Play
ROBIN THE BOY WONDER
I’d like to get something out of the way before I get too deeply into discussing my creation of the Robin outfit.
I have always loved this character… the original Richard Grayson version, I mean. I think he is an integral part of The Batman mythology and a big reason for its success over all these years.
Having said that, I have NEVER liked any of the live-action depictions of Robin done either on TV or in theatrical films. To my mind, he has yet to be performed as he was originally presented in the comic books when he was introduced… as a laughing daredevil boy wonder COUNTERPOINT to The Batman’s deadly seriousness.
All of the actors have been far too old to portray a 13 year old Boy Wonder. And their portrayals of the character have been way off the mark. Even Burt Ward (back in the 1966 TV series) played a basically high-strung, (borderline) angry youth who was ready to spit venom at every villain in sight. And he was an age-inappropriate 20 years old at the time while wearing those pixie shoes.
It is my firm intention to remedy this matter within my own stage play by portraying Robin not only as The (classic) BOY Wonder that he was always intended to be, but also as the “laughing daredevil” that we have virtually NEVER seen depicted by any other actor.
As I creatively approached the creation of Robin’s costume for this school stage play, I (once again) prescribed a strong faithfulness to the original Robin costume design worn by Richard Grayson mixed with an occasional helping of artistic licence to help it come alive on stage.
As I see it, the purpose of Robin The Boy Wonder is to function as something of a startling distraction for hoods right before The Batman can efficiently take them out. There is something very unsettling and unnerving about a brightly costumed and masked little boy standing (all by himself) in a dark night time alley or rooftop DARING you to pull your gun on him… while he giggles as you. To me, it kind of functions like the creepy little ghost girl seen standing in the hallways of the Overlook Hotel in “The Shining”.
With that in mind, I decided NOT to mute the tones of Robin’s uniform, and to allow them to function in all of their garish, primary-colored glory. I also found myself taking some cues (in terms of textures) from Burt Ward’s 1966 costume which was actually very well- designed and executed.