Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Twinwood Festival 2016 – vintage wear

This year the 15th Twinwood vintage music and dance festival was held from 27th – 29th August at the Glen Miller museum in Clapham, Bedford. 

The wartime airbase provides a magnificent backdrop for the live entertainment, with music and dancing from the 40’s, 50s and 60s.

With jazz, swing, blues and rockabilly being played in the hanger, army hut and at the control tower, the atmosphere was truly nostalgic of the wartime era.

Not only the performers were dressed in style, the audience wore clothing and accessories from the 40s and 50s and danced on the open dance areas. There is even a gorgeous woodland glade to dance in when the sun goes down, that is lit by lanterns.

Our store in Newton Longville, Milton Keynes, is only 10 miles from the Glen Miller museum in Clapham, Bedford where the Twinwood Festival takes place and we have lots of styles for hire at very reasonable rates.

If you need a fabulous vintage outfit for the Twinwood Festival, or other forties event, then visit Admiral Costumes in Newton Longville and choose from our extensive range of fashions from the 1940’s to the 70’s.

Choose from gorgeous 50’s spot dresses, 40’s vintage wear, land army girl dungarees, dresses, suits and accessories. For the gents we have a choice of military uniforms, double breasted suits, striped blazers, tweed suits set off with trilby hats and braces.

Come and take a look at what we have to offer and wear something unique and truly vintage on your day out.

Call 01908 372504 or visit our website www.admiralcostumes.co.uk

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

It's dark and we’re wearing sunglasses - Blues Brothers

Blues Brothers is a great 80s comedy film and now a fabulous theatre production with the opportunity to use a large cast and with great blues songs and sounds, Blues brothers makes for a popular choice for youth groups, schools and drama clubs.

When Jake Blues gets released from prison and finds that his old Catholic home is under threat, he teams up with his brother Elmwood to recreate their old blues band to raise money to save the boarding school.

Lots of opportunity here for cast to be police, prison guards, band members and of course ‘Penguin’ the chief nun and all the other nuns in the school.

We have lots of costumes suitable for this show, so do give us a call to help with your production. We have nuns, police and loud flowery shirts for Ray Charles.

Individual costumes supplied for Fancy Dress parties and events.

Call us now on 01908 372504 or visit www.admiralcostumes.co.uk 

When your pantomime horse gets stuck on the M25

When the telephone rings and a strained voice tells you that a pantomime horse is stuck on the M25, you can confirm that your occupation is not quite the same as most people.

I think I win the prize for the most bizarre phone calls and messages of all time – my answerphone is hilarious. There is no substitute for that exciting twinge of anticipation when you can see a new message has arrived and the mere pressing of button transports you to the potential joy of another totally ridiculous message.

It’s not only the recorded messages that produce hilarious results, it is often the one sided conversations you pick up on when a colleague is engaged in discussion about a costume requirement.

Topics freely under discussion and that cause endless merriment are horses and cows (to be fair) most animals), boobs, ears and sizing.

Sizing is a complete minefield and customers fall into two categories. Those who wish to reveal every intimate (and frankly too much) detail and those whose cryptic dialogue leaves all of us guessing.

I always find the ‘is that the costume shop?’ amusing….. as without pause there follows a launch into complicated costume requests for Batman etc – what a relief it is us then!

People leave the most bizarre messages at night. One can only assume that they are either tired after night work, have just woken from a deep slumber and aren’t quite with it, or heading home after a heavy night of drinking.

I suppose creative thoughts come to the fore in the early hours, but the bald answerphone message played back slightly distorted in the cold light of day is often misguided. A stage full of actors in onesies is but one example.

About 30% of message leavers forget to leave a number, so often there is no possible way of contacting them ever again. May be it is just as well, it will forever remain a mystery what the lady with the gravelly voice wanted with 45 light up skulls and 3 straw hats.

Here are our favourites; ‘I need ears – not just the tips’;  4 pairs of mutton chops please, 1 brown and 3 grey’; ‘will the skirt rip off quickly’; and stick on moustaches – actually, anything stick on is absolutely guaranteed to lift the spirits and create a hoot.

Other dangerous areas that cause inappropriate merriment are humps and paunches. We certainly have had some ridiculous conversations about those and calves….. Calves seem to be an issue with more people than you care to realise.  You can also get a huge amount of mileage out of hairpieces.

Masks are positively dangerous.  The group that ordered full face latex masks to wear for a laugh at the airport were never heard of again.

Kilts produce massive amounts of fun and of course dames. There are dames and there are a segment of the male population who don’t need much excuse to don a frock and under a small amount of false protest will slip into a bridesmaid dress without hesitation.

Today it has been Officer Crabtree and whether the cape should swing to the left or the right……….

Anyway, I’m just off to retrieve my messages.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Jungle Book on a budget

With a budget of only £500 and a cast in excess of 40, a school production of Jungle Book can be quite a challenge.

Jungle Book is the wonderful story of Mowgli the boy left alone in the jungle and looked after by the animals. Mowgli is befriended by Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther who protect him from Kaa the snake and the mad monkey King Louie, whose only ambition is to obtain man’s red flower (fire).

With a large cast of 9-14 year olds, many of the children portray the jungle itself with camouflage clothing and camo netting and masks.

The main characters we made ‘human’ with Colonel Hathie in his large grey trench coat and epaulettes, King Louie in a grass skirt and muscle chest and the vultures in sequin dresses, boas and capes.

Avoiding the onesie, children were able to portray their animal character in a human way and with clever face painting create a superb effect.

For more information on our costumes for Jungle Book, Wind in the Willows and Just So, contact us on 01908 372504 or visit www.admiralcostumes.co.uk

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

40s costumes for L’Atalier

Our range of 40s costumes were used to great effect once again in a wonderful production of L’Atalier.

L’Atalier (The Workroom) is set in post war Paris and explores the tangled lives of native Parisians alongside those misplaced by the war, who struggle to settle in a different culture. 

A poignant and often comic tale of survival and friendship in post-war Paris, the piece shares the ups and downs of those struggling to make a living in post-war and post holocaust France.

Our 40s costumes are ideal for this type of production with period aprons and overalls for the seamstresses and workers in the factory, suits, coats and smart wear for after work and the day dresses and clothing for the office workers.

We have an authentic looking collection of clothing for this post war period which looks great on stage for L’Atalier, Allo Allo, Dad’s Army and a host of other plays set in the 1940s.

Individual costumes can be hired for Twinwood, Goodwood, Sheringham 40s weekend and any other 40s event.

For more information on our 40s wear visit www.admiralcostumes.co.uk or call 01908 372504