‘The Luminaries’ props, costumes given to museum

Lead characters, from left: Anna (Eve Hewson), Lydia (Eva Green) and Emery (Himesh Patel). Photo:...
Lead characters, from left: Anna (Eve Hewson), Lydia (Eva Green) and Emery (Himesh Patel). Photo: supplied
Hokitika Museum will be home to a collection of set elements and main character costumes used in the BBC adaptation of the Hokitika gold rush inspired novel The Luminaries.

The Westland District Council announced on Monday production material from the television series had been given to the museum and was expected to join the collection early in the new year.

Producer Lisa Chatfield said the bulk of that was costumes including those worn by lead characters Anna (Eve Hewson), Emery (Himesh Patel) and Lydia (Eva Green) - all international prospector characters who converged on New Zealand seeking their fortunes in the 1860s.

It also includes the dress that Anna discovers with gold dust sewn into the hem in the story.

‘‘The Hokitika Museum is the natural home, and it is a great opportunity to ensure the experience of The Luminaries TV series has an ongoing life beyond the screen.’’

The gold rush drama following the Booker Prize-winning book by Eleanor Catton aired earlier this year on TVNZ 1. The final days of filming on the West Coast were at Crooked River and Lake Kaniere.

At the moment the donated items were safely held in storage in Auckland. The items also include props from the House of Many Wishes set, designed by Felicity Abbott.

The House of Many Wishes was set in Dunedin, where Lydia Wells ran her gentlemen’s parlour/gambling house and possibly brothel, before she moved to Hokitika.

It was a pivotal part of the book and screen adaptation.

Hokitika Museum said it was looking forward to assimilating the collection into future displays.

Te Papa adviser and former Hokitika Museum team leader Judith Taylor said the donation would be a wonderful basis for developing museum programmes and exhibitions.

Last year, museum staff also secured period costumes worn by supporting cast members including a butcher, grocer, and diggers. These went on display to celebrate the series hitting the silver screen.

Westland Mayor Bruce Smith said the collection was a coup both for the museum and Hokitika town.

- By Janna Sherman of the Hokitika Guardian


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