Director's Dispatch No 7: by Chris Rafferty, Bowness on Solway
I want the show to dazzle, literally. So costumes with sequins are on the agenda.
I have bought a range of clothes, mainly via eBay, with black sequinned leggings for the girls providing sparkle in the lights.
All the Dazzlers will wear glittery hats for the Fairground scene.
The costume for Primula Clackett posed a challenge, as she needs to be part of the choreographed routines, but as Murgy’s PA I wanted her to be different from the Dazzlers.
I found a black sequinned skirt with leggings, which fit the bill nicely.
Finding a suit for Murgy initially proved tricky to source cheaply (cheap is the operative word!).
However, we have acquired a number, one donated by parents, another loaned to us. So we have catered for Squeamish and Beakworthy as well.
I have a rather sharp silver sequin tie for Squeamish.
Chief Inspector Failsafe was one of the easier costumes. Black sequin leggings for the full cast songs, with a white work shirt.
Plus a striped tie, in black and yellow “hazard tape”, which went down well.
We now also have a Hi-Vis jacket with “Failsafe (H.S.E.)” printed on the back.
Hazel, one of our staff, is a marvel with a sewing needle and her challenges this year have included the three-legged, double-breasted suit for Parker and Guillemot.
She ran up the jacket out of an inexpensive blanket.
Hazel also had the task of making Skimpy’s chicken suit, including yellow dusters cut into feather shapes. She did a marvellous job.
Sarkky has a stretchy pink fabric adorned with white fill to create a candyfloss effect. It’s a poncho style, so easy on and off.
Needless to say, a Fred Flintstone-type outfit is perfect for strongman Monkeychunks, with leopard skin fabric found on the internet at very reasonable cost.
For the tango, Murgy will change into a dapper cream linen jacket with a navy bow tie, with Flossie dressed in a black evening dress and pink tights.
Sequinned boleros or jackets also feature in the costume list.
A grandparent has volunteered to make sequinned Ra-Ra skirts for some of the mini Dazzlers - a fabulous addition.
The cast are keen to see PC Bosun’s hat in action: a policeman’s helmet with the unusual feature of a built-in flashing light.
Searching these out has been entertaining. The occasional bad buy along the way, but most have been very successful - and cheap - eBay purchases.
After Dazzle, they will go into store for future productions. Nothing is wasted.
We have spent more on the show than on some previous productions. But if the show is truly going to dazzle, then I think it will be worth it.
Pictured alongside are some of the cast at the costume try out. Always an exciting moment!
Director’s Dispatch 8: Dress rehearsal
Director’s Dispatch 9: Last night