Wednesday, 15 February 2012

We Happy Few

The current in house show I'm working on is 'We Happy Few' by Imogen Stubbs. It's about a group of enterprising women that start a theatre troupe called The Artemis Players and tour around the country performing Shakespeare to the masses during World War 2. To say it has been a challenge from the start would be putting it mildly!

The play has a cast of 12. The 7 main female characters not only move through '39 to '45 changing costume accordingly but also have their theatrical costumes, dance costumes and some film costumes. Most of the girls in the cast have about 12 changes each and a majority of them super quick too. In addition to this we have a male and a female actor that take 12 bit parts each. Once again, quick changes so under dressing and over dressing required. The remaining 3 characters only have a paltry 3 or 4 changes so I make that a grand total of approximately 118 costumes! Phew!!

However, one of the great things about having the Maddermarket wardrobe at my disposal is that I don't have to start from scratch and pretty much all of the costumes are genuine 30s and 40s clothes. Some of them are even authentic CC41 government issue Utility designs.

Check out these gorgeous shoes. They are in fantastic condition and hardly look worn at all. Beautifully made and very comfortable. About a modern size 6 (39) and Dawnie gets to wear them as Hetty.
Suede with leather broguing

Check out the CC41 Utility stamp

Another exciting find was what at first seemed like a rather dull, nondescript blouse. But closer inspection revealed it to be unworn and in mint condition, complete with labels. Another utility garment. This one has a distinctive label so it must be fairly easy to date. 

The fabric is Moygashel and has a linen appearance

Never seen a colour woven CC41 label before

On the other side it has a 'Garlands of Norwich ' Label. Garlands was a department store on the site of the now  defunct Habitat

More war time fashion to come along with some glorious 1930s gowns

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