The classic Thriller


by Leslie Sands
10 Nov - 20 Dec 2003

Tom Rand

Following an art school training and work in regional repertory theatres, Tom Rand began his London design career at the Royal Court Theatre and at The National Theatre at The Old Vic. At that time working as an Assistant Designer, he worked on a production of Hay Fever, starring Edith Evans, Maggie Smith and Derek Jacobi, directed by Noel Coward, as well as three pantomimes at the London Palladium, costumes for the Bluebell Girls in Paris and two plays directed by John Gielgud.

After a period at BBC Television he began to work with many of the leading directors of commercials for film and television, including campaigns for Hovis and Martini among many other, and with such personalities as John Cleese, Diana Dors, Rex Harrison, Joe Dimagio, Joanna Lumley, Jerry Hall, Ralph Richardson, Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter, Morcambe and Wise.

Tom Rand’s costume design career in feature films has included Ridley Scott’s debut film The Duellists, the filmed version of Joe Papp’s Broadway hit The Pirates of Penzance, the Edwardian The Shooting Party, the last film to star James Mason, Peter Yates’ film of Eleni and The Power of One, set in pre-war South Africa.

For Karel Reisz’s film of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, starring Meryl Streep, Tom Rand won nominations for a British Academy award and an American Oscar.

With Young Toscanini, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Rand became the first Briton to design the costumes for a film directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

Other feature films include Halcyon Days, D’une Femme à l’Autre, A Business Affair and the Regency fantasy Princess Caraboo among many others. Films for Television include Heart of Darkness, Only Love and Mirad – the directorial debut of Jeremy Irons.

Since returning to the theatre with Holiday at The Old Vic, directed by Lindsay Anderson in 1987, Tom Rand has designed costumes for, among others, in the West End of London, Burn This, What the Butler Saw, Always, the musical, at The Victoria Palace, Three Tall Women starring Maggie Smith, and A Letter of Resignation as well as It’s Only a Play in Los Angeles. At The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, he has designed the sets and costumes for The Moonstone, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Working with Harold Pinter, he has designed the costumes for The Hothouse, Twelve Angry Men, Taking Sides and Ashes to Ashes, as well as the sets and costumes for A Kind of Alaska, directed by Karel Reisz, and The Birthday Party, The Lover and The Collection, all directed by Joe Harmston.

Most recently in the cinema Tom Rand has designed the costumes for Un Pont entre Deux Rives, the first film directed by Gérard Depardieu, and the new feature film version of The Count of Monte Cristo, starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pierce, directed by Kevin Reynolds.

Recently in the theatre, Tom Rand has designed the sets and costumes for Noel Coward’s Relative Values starring Susan Hampshire, and the costumes for Medea, directed by Deborah Warner and starring Fiona Shaw, at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin and The Queens Theatre, London and Boston Marriage by David Mamet at The New Ambassadors London, starring Zoe Wanamaker and directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

His designs are part of the permanent collections in museums in Europe and America. As well as BAFTA and Oscar nominations, Tom Rand has been awarded the highest prize for the Bandiero D’Argento in Italy in recognition of his contribution to the art of set and costume design.