wholesale halloween costumes Inside the Belgrade Theatre pantomime wardrobe
Video wholesale halloween costumes LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in 8CancelPlay now Actor Iain Lauchlan’s costumes for Aladdin are a million times more outlandish than anything you’d see on a London catwalk.
And just as much time and effort is spent on Halloween Costumes Outlet creating them.
The Tweenies creator and former children’s TV presenter, who has written and directed Aladdin, is once again reprising the role of Widow Twankey at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. He also works closely with set and costume designer Cleo Petit. “It’s a collaboration,” he explains.
The seven outrageous looks Iain will be sporting this winter season include a Chinese Lampshade, a PVC Slosh outfit based on a bottle of Vanish called Vampish – Ready 4 Anything, a Chinese Temple and a recycling frock with solar panel shoulders and a revolving wind-turbine head-dress.
Three more ingeniously clever outfits are a blue-and-white Willow pattern cup and saucer which tips up, an Egyptian Cleopatra outfit with snakes sewn onto the bodice and Iain’s ‘Walk-down’ costume for the finale, a traditional Chinese lantern.
The costumes are tucked away down a side-street in Foleshill, that the 65 stunning costumes for Aladdin have been made from scratch by nimble-fingered head of wardrobe Margaret Lock and her dedicated team of seamstresses.
Outside it may look like an ordinary white-brick warehouse but inside is literally an Aladdin’s cave of bejewelled costumes in every colour of the rainbow, ornamental fabrics and glittering head-dresses, amid several sewing machines and reams of fabric.
Hanging from the ceiling are Iain’s PVC “Slosh outfit” based on a bottle of Vanish – renamed Vampish Ready 4 Anything – and an elaborate Chinese temple dress constructed with layers of brightly coloured oriental fabric.
Belgrade Theatre pantomime wardrobeView gallery Margaret leads a small team of five costume makers including two permanent staff, 17-year-old wardrobe apprentice Millie Branion and a couple of freelance seamstresses.
They are busy adding the finishing touches to new outfits for Iain and the rest of the cast to wear on stage.
Iain was panto dame for 12 years at the Belgrade between 1988 and 1999. He returned to appear in last year’s record-breaking production of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Over his 38 year career in the entertainment industry, Iain has worked primarily in children’s TV series but he is best known as the writer of the BAFTA winning series, The Tweenies.
For the wardrobe department the pantomime is the biggest show of the year.
They first started work on the costumes in July, in between working on designs for other productions.
“We make everything from scratch every year,” Margaret explains.
“We buy the fabric in Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush, in London. There are lots of fabric shops. You take the designs with you and try and reproduce the fabrics. We went to a Chinese shop in the Chinese quarter for accessories such as lampshades and lampshade earrings.
“This year there are probably 65 costumes, but the dame’s outfits are the most complicated and time-consuming. Each one takes around nine days to make. I like the challenge. I’ve had fun and games with the Willow pattern plate – but it’s one I like the best. I also like the temple.
“In terms of head-dresses Widow Twankey has seven, Spirit of the Lamp has one, Aladdin has three, Abanazar has a disguise, the Emperor has two and the genie has one. All the kids have Aladdin hats, the princess has tiaras and little headpieces.”
As well as Aladdin and Oh No It isn’t – Nick Walker’s adult pantomime in B2 – Margaret and her team have made 45 costumes for Beauty and the Beast at The Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.
Margaret, who lives in Rugby, has been head of wardrobe here for 17 years.
She trained in ladies tailoring and has a background knowledge of manufacturing. “I’ve worked in theatre for around 27 years,” she explains.
“The first panto dame I worked with was Tony Selby. Others have included the BBC local radio presenter Malcolm Boyden and Andy Hockley. I have worked with Iain (Lauchlan) a lot. It’s easier to work with a dame you know well. He’s lovely.
“Some years there are two pantos, one in the main and one in B2. This year we are doing three.
“For me the job satisfaction is when you see it all on stage.”