Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Moment in Time: The Illusion of Theatre

So we all know that Theatre is in my blood, blah, blah, blah and that I've been involved with it in some capacity since I was three years old, blah, blah, blah but that I haven't worked in it for several years having decided to concentrate on Millinery, blah, blah, blah and that if I had a penny for every time somebody had asked me if I missed it I would be a very wealthy woman.

Do I miss it? Well, I loved it and it formed a huge part of my life and without a doubt has had a massive influence on me as a designer, but I like new challenges and I like having a bit more control over my life.
I always loved touring, but you do live in a bubble, and that's not always terribly healthy.

So, for those reasons, I tend not to be one for Nostalgia, I think too much backward glancing can become rather suffocating and that dwelling on the pain and glory of one's own personal history is not particularly  helpful or fulfilling.

However, as we all know, life has a way of biting one on the derriere and so, last Friday, whilst visiting the 'Theatre and Performance Galleries' at the Victoria and Albert Museum (for the first time in their new home) I ran smack bang into my past and a huge emotional jolt.

There we both were, exiles from our own youth, me and The Theatre Museum (formally of Covent Garden) reunited in the eaves of the V&A, but with extra Adam Ant; we didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I had stumbled upon my first true love, entombed in humidity controlled glass cabinets, an incredibly poignant moment; I felt like I'd come home to a Ghost Town of myself.

I could feel the tears welling up, but decided that, with just me and a Museum Assistant present (the fact that the Gallery was empty and stuffed in the attic at the V&A probably explains why The Theatre Museum was forced to close it doors due to lack of public interest several years ago), having some sort of emotional episode/possibly being sectioned in front of Margot Fonteyn's Tutu wasn't necessarily a good look.

I did hold it together, but spent a long time in a somnambulist trance wandering around the exhibition, experiencing a combination of awe, wonder, pride and humility. It made me realise how truly magnificent, inspiring, powerful and magical great museums can be.

One of the first companies I ever worked for at the first Theatre I worked for, although not in 1961!

Black and Silver Odile Tutu worn by Margot Fonteyn in 1964, designed by Nicholas Georgiadis

Kylie Minogue's Dressing Room (exact replica) for the 2007 tour 'Showgirl:Homecoming'

Prince Charming Costume worn by Adam Ant 1981
Designed by Yvonne Swinden and Adam Ant

Valkyrie Showgirl Costume from 'The Producers' stage musical 2004
Designed by William Ivey Long
Star Trap Door
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London 1800-1900

Purple Velvet Showgirl ensemble, designed and worn by Annie Lennox
"No More I Love You's" Music Video 1995

Set Design for Ewan Hooper's 'Martin Luther King'
Roger Butlin 1969
Set Design for 'Rusalka'
Stefanos Lazaridis 1983
Goodnight Darrrhhhliings; I love you all!

Rockwife xx

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