A DAY IN THE LIFE: COSTUME HIRE WITH SHELLEY AND KAREN

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The following is a typical, that is, atypical day in Costume Hire. Every day is different, and that’s the joy of the job. It’s always good to start the day with a coffee while we check emails and our diary; sometimes we don’t get the chance for another drink. We’re a team of two but we’re frequently supported by several volunteers who help with running repairs and individual projects. They’re affectionately known as The Stitch and Bitch Club.

Wednesday, 3pm: Coffee and emails. With only one appointment in the diary we may be able to start selecting costumes for a large forthcoming show we’re working on for The IDOLS, Musical Scrapbook.

3.15: Doorbell rings. A customer who’s booked a slot two weeks hence drops in on the off chance we can see her as she’s concerned about her costume selection for a themed wedding. It’s literally a Fairy Tale Wedding so glamour and fantasy are the order of the day. She is delighted with a Genie of the Ring ensemble in turquoise and an Aladdin costume for her husband. Meanwhile, we’ve received a call from a regular client who requests an immediate appointment to select costumes for his self-penned production of Alice in Wonderland.

3.30: Wycliffe Drama Society arrive to approve clothes  Shelley has selected for their show Murdered to Death. The costumes get the thumbs up and are taken away to be fitted.

4.30: A couple arrive unexpectedly in the hope we can kit them out for the Cosby Victory Dance. The gentleman makes a dashing RAF officer and his wife looks a dream in a vintage dress and accessories. Their baby daughter, after a few tears, watches the process with bemusement.

6.00: Time for Alice. Our client teaches drama and we have great fun costuming the annual pantomime he writes and directs. The order today comprises a Queen and King of Hearts, Knave, White Rabbit, Caterpillar, Mad March Hare, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and of course Alice.

6.45: Time to tidy up! Our last client compliments us on being a great double act (hope he wasn’t thinking of Tweedledum and Tweedledee) and, with our supporting cast of volunteers, we make a pretty good team.

If anyone reading this would like to join The Stitch and Bitch Club, our opening hours are on The Little Theatre website. Please give us a ring; we’d love to hear from you.

Karen Gordon & Shelley Branston