Monday, 16 January 2017

Panto season - It's behind you!

Hello there darlings…Gladys Costumier here, it seems pantomime (panto) season is upon us!! 

Oh no it’s not, we hear you cry…no it really is!!  

It does make Ruth and the Admiral Costumes team smile when the season hits the shop – it’s the enthusiasm panto generates by young and old alike.  We particularly like it when we get the Am-dram teams come in to finalise their costumes with the cast…and there’s Dame fitting.

There seems to be an air of naughtiness around the fellows playing the dame and they take on this amazing persona that normally has us rolling in the aisles – and that’s even before we’ve hitched up the striped socks!! (We have some of those by the way).

The best thing about panto is that it suits all ages – from the little first timers to the seasoned attendee, there’s always magic and expectation in the air as the lights dim, the audience hushes, the curtain begins to rise and the hero steps on stage (it gives me goose bumps).  

Let’s face it - who doesn’t love the moment that Aladdin steps out or when Widow Twankey bustles in (did you know she will be 156 years old this year – she’s looking good on it!!)

In the quest for knowledge, I hopped onto Wikipedia and found out that pantos, in a form, date back to the Romans – but panto, as we know it, really took off in the 17th century in the form of masques and music halls…who knew!!

Most pantos tell stories based on fairy tales and folk lore and there’s always a hero/heroine and a baddie (who doesn’t like a good boo at a baddie!!), songs and audience participation, but most of all don’t you think it’s about being able to be silly, no matter what your age and joining in, I mean who doesn’t like a good sing song and a rousing chorus of Do Wah Diddy!!

So if you are one of the many tens of thousands going to see a professional or local Am-dram panto production, whether it’s the ever popular Cinderella to Snow White, Peter Pan and Dick Whittington, remember the baddies deserve a boo, cheer for the hero or heroine and don’t forget, when it comes to the Dame - it’s normally behind them!!

Toodles darlings, until next time!!


Monday, 9 January 2017

Costumes for all the musicals

Hello darlings…Gladys here.  Well what New Year it was…Ruth and Admiral Costumes Team made sure we partied until we dropped.

Last year I wrote about the amazingly talented AmDram groups and schools we’re working with and it looks like we’re already getting a show line up for the New Year.

Over the Christmas period there was a programme on telly about the top 100 musicals and it was a real walk down memory lane for me.  From Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain to Chicago, the of Music (top 5) and on to the number 1 show…….GREASE (I totally rocked the black satin trousers Sandy wore!!) and it got me to thinking about the costumes the shows needed to bring the stage to life, with glitz and glamour.

There are a lot of costs to consider when putting on a show and that’s from scenery to props, and one of the most important props is the costumes… not only do they give the character depth, they can also portray the nature of the character as well.  For instance if Maleficent, the wicked witch in Cinderella wore a pink floaty dress (we have one of those by the way) would we have seen her as a baddie?  Or if AgathaChristie’s Poirot had been a shambling, untidy character, would we love him as much?  The value a costume brings to a production, I believe, is immeasurable… 

At Admiral, Ruth and the team will work closely with you and your production teams to make sure you have the very best costumes for your show, and if you want to see what it looks like – I’m happy to don the outfit as well!! 

Oh and don’t forget as well as a great outfit, we’ll also supply all of the accessories as part of the hire cost…so if you’re looking at the Roaring 20’s or going to Glorious Goodwood, we’re the team you want!


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Admiral Costumes – Quality Fancy Dress for the Three Counties

AdmiralCostumes is one of the best Fancy Dress Costumiers in the Herts, Beds and Bucks Three Counties.

Situated on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, the store is ideally sited to attract customers from Aylesbury, Buckingham, Leighton Buzzard, Bedford, Winslow and Oxford.

With an outstanding collection of quality fancy dress costumes, period clothing and theatrical outfits, Admiral Costumes has by far the best selection of costumes for any party, show, event or murder mystery in the region.

Supplying over 50 drama productions a year, our staff have an excellent knowledge of most plays and dramas and can help you select wonderful costumes for your event.

Our links with the West End enable us to share our experience of professional productions and offer costumes for hire that have been worn by the stars.

We can work to all budgets and supply individual or bulk costumes for schools, drama groups, TV, film, photo-shoots and themed events.

With costumes in all styles, sizes and genres, visit for all your costume requirements.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

2016 round up with Gladys

Hello darlings, Gladys Costumier here…well what a 2016 it’s been for Ruth and the AdmiralCostumes’ team. 

We’ve welcomed new Am/Dram groups and schools into the Admiral Costume fold and what an amazing group of people they have been and continued to work with established friends.  There’s so much talent out there that, whilst not making the headlines, they certainly deserve recognition…and the attention to detail that the groups strive for, is a true testament to every Am/Drams vision of their stage production!

We’ve had fun this year supplying costumes for a diverse collection of stage shows, from the always popular Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific (one of my favourites) to the less well known Vinegar Tom, that’s all about witchcraft and is named after a cat that features in the play (Who knew??) and the stunning Gilbert and Sullivan Princess Ida, which is essentially a battle of the sexes…I must say – I did enjoy being dressed for that show…I mean who doesn’t like to be dressed up like a princess!!

I will say though, one of the biggest highlights this year has been the call from StrictlyCome Dancing asking for us to supply our Sound of Music curtain costumes for the show (you can imagine the conversation over our morning cuppa when Ruth got the call) but it was amazing to see them on the small screen and even better, when Ore won – we think our lederhosen had something to do with his win by the way…!!!

So my dear friends with New Year fast approaching, Ruth, the team and myself wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year.  For those contemplating treading the boards – go for it, for those behind the scenes, you are the engine that makes the production amazing and to everyone, please try to make time to see a local stage production, there’s some amazing talent out there!!  

Toodles darlings and see you in 2017!!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful is a superbly evocative play set in WW1 and adapted from the novel by Michael Morporgo, who is also the author of War Horse.

Private Peaceful tells the moving story of two lads Tommo and Charlie, who were called up to the front during WW1 and the injustices that brought them to the front line in Belgium.

Sudden Impact Theatre have produced a WW1 themed play each year for the centenary period of remembrance and we are delighted to have helped out with our period costumes. Other plays include The Accrington Pals and Oh What a Lovely War.

Our WW1 authentic style tunics, boots, putties and helmets look great on stage and some wonderfully atmospheric images have been kindly sent by Sudden Impulse Theatre from their latest fantastic production.

For more information on our uniforms and WW1 period costumes, please visit or call us on 01908 372504