by admin on 4 November 2018

There is an ongoing discussion in storytelling circles about whether to costume or not.

Some say it distracts from the story.
Some claim it adds to the story.
I’m afraid I come down on the side of ‘it all depends’.

If your storytelling gig ranges through stories from many lands and through many time periods, then being in one costume appropriate for one place and time will detract from the other stories. Stopping to change between each story will detract from the whole gig.

However, when one is telling a story about a particular time and are telling in character then of course a costume does indeed enhance the story. In fact, it can be key to the audience relating to both the character and the story.

This is what I do at HI. I have stories commissioned by a client. I take on that persona and am him for the whole day, not only for the telling but interacting with the public in character, answering any questions and conversing with them too.

I have created many characters, two C7 priests;


Various, 10 so far, medieval characters, each of different status and trade;


A Georgian knight of the realm and property developer


Mr Charles Dickens


I have re-created my grandfather as the first world soldier he was.

Each warranted an appropriate costume. Some I had, some I’ve hired. Each leant something to the client’s event.

I had various items of medieval costume from my re-enactment days which I put together as appropriate.

The costume that means the most is of course my grandfather’s.
I had nothing original apart from a section of his original kilt. Grandmother thought all the pleats would be a haven for moths so got rid, keeping only the flat ‘apron’ at the front. It’s now in a large picture frame hanging on a wall. We had, however, several photos of him in uniform. I built up the rest of the costume from these photos. My kilt is a genuine army issue from the 50s.
I love wearing it. It’s so comfortable. What people think of my legs is their problem.

Having a good costumier is vital to getting things right. Someone who can interpret your character’s requirements, provide advice, suggestions, and alternatives, and above all provide both the costume and accessories.

I am lucky to be able to work with who can provide all this to very good effect.

2019 is already providing new costume challenges.
Stay tuned for further news !

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2018 isnt over yet

by admin on 7 October 2018

Historical Interpretation is having a busy autumn.
The Kilted Tommy had an outing to Highclere House (Downton Abbey to most of us) giving talks about army hospitals and the special care offered by the House and family during WW1
We gave life to Sir John Cator of Beckenham Place Park for the annual Architecture open day.
We visited Canterbury Cathedral with Paladins of Chivalry on their annual pilgrimage to the tomb of The Black Prince
The Weymouth Pilgrim will be visiting Biggin Hill Probus.
The Kilted Tommy will be meeting Ditchling WI and Shifnal U3A.
Charles Dickens will be Celebrating Christmas in Bridgend.
Hopefully we will be providing some Victorian Street theatre for Christmas too.

2019 is already being booked with new clients and new exciting projects.


Comments and recommendations

September 2, 2018

  “A tour de force!” – The Kilted Tommy at Beckenham Festival “Well researched” – The Kilted Tommy at the Brighton Fringe “Beautifully performed” – The Kilted Tommy at the Oxford Fringe “We all really enjoyed your performance and it was great to have you involved in the day. We had lots of lovely praise […]

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Property Developers.. A recent phenomenon?

September 2, 2018

Property developers are generally an unloved bunch these days. Making money from the expanding London property market. Buying up land, then moving people off the land. Building extravagant properties. Tearing down other beautiful buildings for their own ends. Wanting to make a name for themselves. Becoming friends with the famous and intellectuals of the age. […]

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Mr Charles Dickens

July 15, 2018

The Rochester Dickens Festival is one of the biggest celebrations of this author in the country. 2018 marked its 40th anniversary. I was asked to appear as Mr Dickens and to relate stories about his childhood. Slightly out of my usual character. I have always chosen ‘ordinary’ characters to comment on and illustrate the great […]

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2018, the year so far!

May 28, 2018

The year has started off very well considering. The Agincourt Archer has had three evening outings, as had the Weymouth Pilgrim and the Kilted Tommy. One further Weymouth Pilgrim and 6 more Kilted Tommy evening performances are booked so far I have written and performed a new Templar story about the carpenter who built one […]

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Libraries or art galleries?

March 17, 2018

Where are the best sources of stories for storytellers? No doubt we each have our favourites. Are they libraries? Or are they art galleries? Personally, I find galleries can offer more stories than Aesop, Lamb, and all the others put together. All you must do is look for them, winkle them out, and invite them […]

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Libraries or Museums?

February 24, 2018

Where are the best sources of stories for storytellers? No doubt we each have our favourites. Are they libraries? Or are they in museums? Personally, I find museums can offer more stories than Aesop, Lamb, and all the others put together. All you must do is look for them, winkle them out, and invite them […]

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A storytelling evening

September 29, 2017

Stories aren’t only for summer events. As its October why not a ghost story too? A summers daydream in an old local country park leads to a scary happening. As its in a pub, why not also hear about another pub and another innkeeper from another age? Storytelling in Penge HOME BECKENHAM STORYTELLING CIRCLE BECKENHAM […]

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Kipling and the Kilted Tommy

August 8, 2017

Bateman’s is a wonderful house and it was a privilege to take part in their WW1 weekend this year. The Kilted Tommy’s first battle was Loos in September 1915, as it of was John (Jack) Kipling. According to trench maps they were no more than 500 yards apart before the battle. I reasonably amended the […]

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