Thursday, 2 February 2012

Walk Tall

Walk Tall is a community theatre group set up by Anne Duke originally from her kitchen table.  They use local children and adults in their productions to give an experience of achievement and difference to those whom otherwise might not experience it.  They are based in Northfleet, Kent and have premises that include offices and a small theatre.
After my initial contact by telephone I met with both Anne and Robbie Humphries (artistic director) to discuss what help if any I could provide.
A Midsummers Dream in da Club - 2009
(Image from Walk Tall gallery)
 There were several projects in the pipeline that needed costume and one in production.  The deadlines for Murder Mystery were short but not unachievable and a quick prioritizing resulted in:

Deadline of 16th February
2 Teddy boy Drape Jackets (one blue, one red, black trim, 1970's revival style) with bootlace ties
2 Circle skirts in plain black with trims to match the jacket colours with petticoats
3 matching headscarves
1 plain 'mumsy' 1950s dress with petticoat

Jackets to be made to a 44" chest and skirts to be flexible up to size 18

The next production in the pipeline was for the Manor School

Deadline of 10th March
4 childrens oompa loompa outfits (from 1971 production)
4 adults oompa loompa outfits


Teddy Boys 1950's
These original images show that the original Ted's were more concerned with looking smart than a refined 'look' jackets were different lengths and ties varied from a windor knot to a bootlace bow.  The trousers were narrower than standard and the quiff or D.A is starting to make an appearance.
Teddy Girls - 1950's

The girls in these images seem much more rebellious with their capri pant trousers and casual look.  Most women and girls in the 1950's wore dresses or skirts and trousers were seen as home wear.  The neckscarves are an iconic 1950's look.

Wedding 1970's
Pub 1970's
 These images from the 1970's show the standardisation in the Teddy Boy Drape.  The jackets are all longer mid thigh frock coat length, everyone has narrow or bootlace ties and everyone has the hairstyle.

Based on these images I have sourced a few patterns that might be suitable or can be adjusted to suit the style.

simplicity 2895
Burda 2767
Burda 8186


  1. hi fiona,
    this project dovetails nicely with the recent set design project, both being around the subject of youth culture/subculture - i like the idea that you're developing a body of work with a kind of consistency.
    also - your essay on postmodernity is a great read. very insightful.

  2. Thankyou for those comments. When self directed I do seem to follow a theme, they say you write what you know. I feel priveleged to have grown up in an era when independant expression was so diverse and to have had parents brave enough to let me be unusual and still walk down the street with me! The subject of signifiers such as clothes and gender is one that interests me hugely and I have enjoyed the freedom that university gives me to explore those from both a theoretical and historical angle.