Sorry, everyone, but Panto just happened in this neck of the woods and this year I volunteered to costume it. (My middle one was Principal Boy and is the tallest one in the middle of the shot (between the princess and Puss In Boots) with the dodgy medieval hat and my little one is the kitten closest to the camera on the left)
Even though I’m lucky enough to belong to a club with its own premises and huge stock of costumes, it was still quite an undertaking. Back in November, shortly after casting, I was creating a costume plot, liaising with the director to come to a shared vision of what these characters would look like on the stage. In this scene, the dame is cleaning, so I wanted to make a costume that reflected that. She has a duster bow on her mob cap, washing up sponge/scourer buttons and rosettes of j-cloths with pan scourers centres around her skirt.
Then there was hunting out and finding/sourcing and making. Luckily I didn’t have too many costumes to physically make, but the 17 children in the cast had 46 separate costumes alone (variously villagers, fairies, kittens, ghosts and skeletons) and they all needed hunting out of stock and fitting.
Since Christmas it has been crazily busy, and last week I sewed solidly for 4 days, making accessories and altering a whole load of costumes including this massive and very heavy dame’s dress (which had to have the pink modesty panel stitched into the front as well as a large insert in the back)
and a boiler suit for the dame’s Ghostbusters costume.
Unfortunately this is the best of several very poor shots of it – a friend of mine made the most amazing ‘screen-accurate’ proton pack complete with ‘gun’ to wear on the back and with heavy duty elbow pads, the Ghostbusters logos (which are on the tops of the sleeves) on full view, and marabou trimmed heavy gloves in the belt, it looked amazing.
Last Sunday was the get in – two trips from our Guildroom to the theatre to transport all the costumes and three plus hours steaming them (an alternative to ironing). Then I spent all week backstage mending and being the dame’s dresser until the get out last night.
Normal service will be resumed very soon. Surprisingly enough I’m not sick of a needle yet!