Saturday, 25 May 2013

Hell Hath No Fury (like a woman with a broken sewing machine meeting a deadline for a costume).


On May 17th and 18th 2013 Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse participated in the national 'Museums At Night' event by running our third (and, I believe, our finest) Murder Mystery Evening. Its title was 'Hell Hath No Fury'. I've posted these pictures of me in my costume because I'm pretty darn proud of both it and the event.

The museum purchased a basic 'steampunk' jacket and skirt, and a real Victorian hat. It was my job to embellish each item to create a costume suitable for a wealthy-and-trying-but-failing-to-look-respectable brothel keeper called Fanny LeFevre! I then got to play the part too- one of my best roles ever...hmmm....

My alterations involved retailoring the waist on the jacket to fit my corsetted measurements, adding several layers of skirt, a bustle, a ruffle (of Which We Do Not Speak- it nearly killed me, along with my poor little sewing machine), an impressive train and a large quantity of bows, lace and bobbly braiding.

Because the v-neckline of the jacket was wrong for our date I inserted a false 'bib' under the collar to look like the top of a blouse. The mismatched brooch you can see on my left shoulder was a clue; it had to stand out.

The hat, though authentic, was too plain for my character, so I added copious amounts of  - well, whatever was in my cupboards that looked right. The museum happened to be given some red leather kid gloves too, so I snaffled those, and the finishing touch was of course, my crystal-topped cane, created for Marie Lloyd and banged on the floor to great dramatic effect as Fanny LeFevre.

Due to lighting levels, the photos don't show the details clearly- but they do pick up on the atmosphere and the character!

It looks like we'll be doing another Murder Mystery next year- I wonder if I can persuade them to invite Queen Victoria?!!

And in case you're wondering 'whodunnit'...well, with a profile like the one in the photo? Of course, it was me!

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