I've just realised how long it's been since I last wrote a new entry, and I do apologise - I've been so incredibly busy recently and will explain all...
This is my first proper day of relaxing and doing nothing in over a week - and God has it been good! Now, back in January I agreed to join the King's College London 'Gilbert & Sullivan Society' and help out with their production this year, which was 'Princess Ida'. Having done Drama at GCSE during my schooldays I knew a little about being on stage, but nothing really prepared me for what I had got into - namely, having so much fun; even if in the last week before perfoming I regularly didn't get home from rehearsals until midnight! Basically I was part of the Male Chorus which as I soon found out didn't just involve singing, but acting and dancing too - the perfect workout really!
Something that really impressed me about the production and the people in it was just how friendly everyone was, and particularly how willing they were to let an outsider like me (I am not, and have never been, at KCL!) come in and participate as fully as them. I had a fairly bad experience of Drama at school, because frankly the majority of stuff we did was utter rubbish (sorry to anyone I was at school with and Drama too during this time who might read this!) and badly put-together and organised. 'Princess Ida' was so much fun because, well, William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan did a bloody good job at writing a comic opera that is as good today as it was back in the 1880's; their songs and memorable lines are still easily able to make people laugh, and their storylines are imaginative and clever. I'd happily perform again...but maybe I'd like a few months off first! ;-)
I continue to persue my vintage bits and pieces with vigour, and have just added a few new items to my ever-increasing wardrobe: a 1950's-dated White Tie tailcoat and evening trousers, a double-breasted white marcella waistcoat, (for wearing with White Tie) and a black silk top hat complete with its leather carrying case.
I think it's safe to say that I'm a little bit addicted to good vintage clothes - but then, as I have covered in a previous post, too few of us appreciate them these days anyway; and I like 'doing my bit'. I also can't resist a bargain: tailcoat and trousers were but £27; waistcoat £20; and top hat £195. Now though you may think this expensive, when you consider that Moss Bros. Covent Garden sell full White Tie rig of rather inferior quality for a mere £995 there's really no contest is there! I also like going for things that are a bit different, even in the vintage sense. For example, the tailcoat has watered-silk facings; double-breasted waistcoats are really quite unusual compared to their far more common single-breasted brothers; and the top hat (a 7 3/8ths, in case you're wondering - which is positively huge by vintage standards!) comes with the original leather box, easily worth £100 on its own. Now I just need an excuse to go forth and wear them!
I enjoy having little projects to do - when I'm not working, it keeps me occupied and doing interesting things. Having pretty much completed photographing and catalogueing my vintage items, now I've moved on to attempting to assemble complete Morning Dress, i.e.: Black silk topper, Morning Coat, double-breasted grey/buff waistcoat, and striped Morning Trousers. As you've read, I now have the top hat; I also have the coat - so only the waistcoat and trousers left, and it's really rather fun hunting for it all - sometimes you have to wait for ages for something good to come your way, sometimes it's frustrating, but overall for these reasons it's jolly good fun!
As I said, this is the first day I've had in ages to properly relax: performances were on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night; the show after-party also on Friday night (getting home at 06.30 and having to be up by 09.00 is 'interesting'!) then a good friend's birthday party on Saturday night - in which, apparently, I couldn't be a Hipster even if I tried... ;-)
Right, time for bed I'm afraid - well, that or a spot more conquering the 18th Century world on 'Empire: Total War'! I promise I won't leave it so long now 'til I write my next entry. And here's a little something to amuse you until then...
The amazing Teddy Brown
Cheerio for now!