Costume

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 www.largerthanlifestagewear.co.uk 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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