Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Agony and Ecstasy A year with English National Ballet

Swan Lake
picture from ENB website

A brief posting while I am still in the middle of unpacking in the new flat and working on English national Ballet's Swan Lake at the Coliseum.

Those of you who have access to BBC4 or the Iplayer I implore you please, please, please watch the 3 part documentary about ENB. To see what those dancers go through on a daily basis is astonishing, you will be enraptured.
I have seen the first two episodes and am desperate to find time to watch the third. Then I shall get back to some proper blogging. I haven't finished talking about Strictly yet for heaven's sake!

Do tell me what you think of the programme too. 

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Touring bonus

Apologies for not posting recently, I am in the throes of moving abode. I'm treating it as an extra special load out and load in.  Most things are packed or ordered for delivery so we are in high spirits. Both my fella and I have a love of old things so we are trying to furnish the place with second hand goodies. Which brings me to the subject of this post. This is slightly off piste as far as costumes go but if you like being thrifty stay with me. 

Great finds in Belfast

On the rare days off on tour I will often make a dash around the city centre visiting charity and vintage shops. As we go to the same cities often I have a few favourites. For instance Belfast has a great Oxfam bookshop. Newcastle has an amazing vintage shop called Attica and Nottingham has great charity and vintage shops. Manchester's Oldham Street is close to our hotel so I always pop along there too.

I have a Lloyd loom ottoman that was my parents wedding present and I found this laundry basket to match in a Nottingham charity shop near the arena. It had a photo in the bottom with the caption 'India 1942'.

Found in my Lloyd loom

This year Strictly visited Dublin for the first time. I fell in love with that city after spending 7 weeks there  with Mama Mia years ago and it didn't let me down this time. I bought 2 skirts and a very funky blouse from a charity shop there. Plus 2 dresses from a vintage shop called Harlequin which had 3 floors and a very friendly owner.

Dublin swag

Considering many high streets in this country are identical I get a real buzz being able to visit these one off places around the country. My next 2 jobs are London based and considering my new home has 2 charity shops a 5 minute walk away and one sells furniture, I shan't be missing touring just yet!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

It's all in the details!

The picture above is of Ola Jordan and Colin Jackson in their latin costumes.
The body of Colin's shirt was sheer to show off his perfect athletes body. The cuffs look long here but I think the cufflinks hadn't been fastened yet.
Ola's costume had the fringe cascade in to a V shape front and back. This could be achieved by sewing the fringe on at an angle but apart from the top layer each piece was glued on separately. This creates a much more even waterfall effect rather than rows of fringing. The effect when she was moving even just walking was mesmerizing.

photo from

One of my favourite costumes this year for pure sparkle value was one of Aliona's. The body was completely stoned and the skirt a mass of Navy and black ruffles. It was extremely heavy, these kind of costumes are usually hung over the hanger like a pair of trousers or from the gusset so that the weight isn't all on the shoulder straps. Hanging loops are too much of a risk as they could poke through and be seen. I can't seem to find a good photo of the front but I will keep looking.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

New Zealand

One of the wonderful paintings in the museum at Auckland

I have been extremely lucky in my career working in wardrobe to visit many places around the world. Last year French and Saunders ended their tour in New Zealand. We only played Auckland so we didn't have time to see the rest of the country. The small amount I saw and the people I spoke to  made me wish to go back sometime in the not to distant future.
We are all aware that it is a week since the devastating earthquake hit Christchurch.  So this is just me taking a moment to send my love to New Zealand.