The theatre world is nothing without costumes.
The ‘cover’ photos were taken in 2009 when we were still touring.
Naturally the puppets have amazing costumes, and I will show you more another time, but this article is about what John and I wear.
When we were travelling with the Puppet Shows, there was no time to change in between travel time and show time. John always wore black T shirts and trousers, and I usually wore white loose trousers and a top with half sleeves so the puppets didn’t catch on them.
Sometimes I would change colour to match the theme of the show.
For the last 4 years, we have had the luxury of a theatre changing room at The Rhumbelow Theatre.
For April 2017 “Seaside Suzy” I found a turquoise top decorated with sea shells and mother of pearl beads.
At Christmas time that year, we presented our first ever show ( Devised in 1987 ) “Supa Dupa Christmas Puppet Pantomime”.
I put together a red and white outfit with clothes I already had, and a wonderful red hat from Roland, with tinsel round the brim. Suzy wore her usual Christmas red velvet dress.
Finding fabrics is the fun part. Because I have been sewing for years, people are always giving me left over pieces from their creations, and the local charity shops have offcuts as well.
For “Suzy goes to the North Pole” in 2018, I wore the usual white outfit to do the show in, then changed into a beautiful “Snow Queen” gown to wear for the colouring in competition time afterwards.
This was great fun to make. I already had all the ‘layers’ of the costume from past shows and cabarets. Finding accessories and sequins amongst my treasure boxes, and spending hours sewing and creating as I went along brought me great joy.
The children were clamouring to have their photos taken with me.
My “Snow Queen” character has the most glamourous costume of all the puppets, and we looked fabulous together. I broke ‘tradition’ and made the outfit to match her, and not Suzy !!
In 2019, we put on Globe Trotting Suzy. This was more of a challenge, because Suzy visited 9 different countries, and it would be hard to find a costume to match.
As luck would have it, my friend had given me a bag of fabric. Inside was a small piece with the words ‘love and happy’ on it, so there was just enough to make Suzy and I tops for dresses, and I found some matching fabrics to make the skirt panels. A matching bow for Suzy and we were all set, with a loving message on our dresses to go with the theme of the show.
We obeyed all Covid rules last Christmas, and put on our “Supa Dupa Christmas Puppet Pantomime’.
This time I created matching outfits for Suzy, me and the doll Santa leaves in her stocking !! I had recently made a beautiful Kaftan out of a red sari, and the less embroidered part was left. With this I made the skirts of our dresses, and cut out motifs for Suzy’s top and hair clip. Once again the ‘scrap bag’ came in handy and there was enough red stretch fabric to make the tops, and oddments to make the tassles for my dress and skirt for the doll. An old necklace from my mum’s jewellery box, a lovely red flower, and we were ready to shine.
By the way, John is still happy with his T shirt and trousers, but doesn’t always wear black !!!
Now we wait to see what adventures we can come up with for Suzy and her friends, so I can design and make more costumes for us.
It’s great to have plans…….