Archives For Costumes

Fantastical Offbeat costumes

Fabulous Alice!

Barbara —  April 11, 2018

I just love this photo of the King and Queen of Hearts and OFFBEAT playing cards! We sent a few costumes over to the New Theatre Royal Lincoln for their recent (fantastic looking) production of Alice In Wonderland!

Alice in Wonderland New Theatre Royal Lincoln

This is more like it! We did a production of Beauty and the Beast a few years back and I created/assembled steampunk costumes for the musicians, stage crew and narrator/singer (pictured). About to create a whole lot more for a steampunk Alice in Wonderland costume hire. Watch this space…

One of the things we do at Offbeat HQ is make costumes and props. We usually start with a production of our own and then, if there’s a demand, we hire them out! After a production of Alice’s Adventures last year, we decided to make some of the costumes available. Tigerlily, Violet and Rose are 3 of the Talking Flowers in the ‘Looking Glass’ part of Alice and these are the ‘mark II’ costumes (yes I did airbrush the mannequin’s arms out). A production, featuring these and other Offbeat costumes, will be taking place at Retford Little Theatre in a couple of weeks… (can’t wait for production photos).

Moody gangster shot!

Barbara —  December 14, 2016 — Leave a comment

I absolutely love this wonderfully moody shot of a few Hoods from York Musical’s production of Bugsy Malone.
Treasured photos indeed! I have more than a few myself, but this is special.

Which is just as well as it’s booked out in February!
A sneak preview of some of the costumes that made it onto the stage last year in a lovely production by St Richard’s School, Bredenbury.

Alice and the Red Queen

You can see more wonderfulness on the Offbeat Wonderland page

The set (and costumes/lights) for 'After Juliet'. by Sharman Macdonald. Rich colours and fabrics, moody lights. Beautiful.

The set (and costumes/lights) for ‘After Juliet’. by Sharman Macdonald. Rich colours and fabrics, moody lights. Beautiful.

This was a fantastic set to work on. After Juliet is a moody, brooding beast of a one act play set just after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. It deals with the anger, pain and frustration of Romeo and Juliet’s family and friends as they wallow in the aftermath of the tragedy. It’s dark, hot, stuffy, moody and dramatic. The set, costumes and lighting had to reflect that. It is also set within the homes of various families and friends and also, crucially, in a central meeting place – a place for romance, friendship and fighting. We wanted a multipurpose set where homes were overlooking the meeting place – the plaza. We wanted different levels, colours, hiding places, narrow alleyways. We absolutely did not want a single set change to interrupt the action (actually, I never do). Enter scaffolding towers. Continue Reading…

Dramatic Dress Time

Barbara —  March 27, 2014 — Leave a comment
Don't skimp on costumes - they matter!

Don’t skimp on costumes – they matter!

This is my idea of a dramatic dress! I just love to take an existing plain dress and make something completely different and rather unusual out of it. I confess, I’m not much good making clothes from patterns. In fact, that’s an understatement – I’m a non-starter. But if I have an item of clothing to begin with I can happily cut, sew, glue, spray and staple my way to something that would look fab on stage. This one rook me ages, but I loved it.

A long black dress with big puffy short sleeves (ball gown)
A variety of patterned red material
Mixed gold / red braid
Red velevt for ‘overdress / robe’
Gold and copper 3D fabric paint
Gold chains and jewellery

To cover the arms I used a pair of red tights worn as a top (cut a hole in the gusset – brilliant for punky looks)

To get the effect on the front of the dress I cut out pieces of red material and glued or sewed them to the dress. The braid weaved its way in-between the patches. The result was rather stunning and there wasn’t much of the black dress showing at the front. The overdress/robe added an extra layer of richness to the outfit and meant I didn’t have to cover the whole of the dress with the red material.
I left the sleeves black, but lined the edges with the copper and gold 3D paint.
The chains and jewellery added more glitz to and already scene-stealing costume.
One of my favourites without a doubt.

Yes, it is for hire!

I’ve just had a great time sorting through all the Bugsy photos and 1920s style photos that I collected when we did our own production of Bugsy Malone a few years back. We had so much fun doing that show. In fact, there’s nothing like a musical with a live band, dancing, singing, a great set and glitzy costumes to really create that amazing feelgood factor you get in theatre. I think we had a 9-piece band, a fantastic set (see the board!), a great choreographer, excellent singers and .. I had a brilliant time directing. I do remember that when it came to sorting out the costumes though we ran into problems. I asked locally (we had a large drama store serving the county with costumes for youth groups and schools), and they politely refused to costume the show (that really took me by surprise). Splurge, of course, is the problem! No one wants their costumes splurged and how can you do Bugsy without the mess? I looked around online and yes, there were places that would supply costumes but they were WAY out of my budget and comfort zone. We had a big cast – of course we did, you can’t do the show without! Also, I wanted really good costumes – boas, beads, sequins, glamour, fringed dresses – everything! The choeographer went to the West End to see Chicago and came back with large ostrich feather fans on the agenda. So, we decided that Offbeat Theatre (run by myself & my partner Jim), would costume the show … (yes that did include large ostrich feather fans) and Jim would make the splurge guns that Offbeat would finance. So, over the months that folowed we made costumes and bought 1920s style everything I could find on Ebay! Well, to be honest I didn’t actually make any costumes – I’m not safe with a pattern and a pairs of scissors, but I knew someone who could and did. In the end we had a huge amount of costumes and an enormous bill that we carefully ignored until it was all over. We had a tearful standing ovation (me and the choreographer – we were the tearful ones) on the last night and then it was all over. Continue Reading…

Beauty – photo by Tom Flathers

Barbara —  February 20, 2013 — 2 Comments


Our lovely Beauty from the Offfbeat play ‘Beauty and the Beast’