Jane Eyre Norwich Playhouse

Jane Eyre Norwich Playhouse

Jane Eyre opens at the Norwich Playhouse Theatre from 11th April – 14th April

NYMT Jane Eyre

Thespis are again proud sponsor of the NYMT.    Jane Eyre Costume Hire

The Playhouse becomes Norfolk Youth Music Theatre ‘s backdrop for one of English literature’s biggest and best Victorian novels .

Jane Eyre is played by a remarkable young singer  Ellen Smith and supported by Alfie Mazzei in the role of Mr Rochester.

Music and Lyrics by PAUL GORDON
Book and additional Lyrics by JOHN CAIRD
Based on the Novel by Charlotte Bronte

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International

Charlotte Bronte’s great love story comes to life with music to lift your heart and set your spirit soaring. This beloved tale of secrets and the lies that secrets create, of unimaginable hope and unspoken passion, reminds us what it is to fall deeply, truly and completely in love. Nominated for five Tony Awards, Jane Eyre explores religion, sexuality and protofeminism, all while enchanting audiences with a timeless love story.

Jane’s story begins in Gateshead, where she is in the unfortunate care of her cruel Aunt Sarah and cousin John, as per her uncle’s dying wish. The miserable young orphan is finally rescued when she is sent away to attend Lowood School for Girls. After six years, Jane leaves Lowood and is shortly after hired as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here she meets Mr. Edward Rochester, thus beginning her passionate and heart-wrenching journey of love, loss and the struggles of morality.

Eastern Daily Press

EDP Review

Costume Hire Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre Norwich Playhouse

Rock of Ages Dennis Dupree Wings

Rock of ages costumes, costume hire angels wings,angel wings hire

Rock of Ages Dennis Dupree Wings

Julia Holland spreads her “wings”!

It never seizes to amaze me what Julia manages to do with any costumes or props!

This time we acquired a set of wings for the Rock of Ages musical and when I mentioned this to Julia and send her a picture, she jumped at the chance to use it in a shoot.

Two stunning photos!

Photo Shoot Julia Holland

Angels Wings by Julia Holland

M Bicknell.  BA

Victorian v Edwardian Period Costumes 2

Victorian v Edwardian costumes

Victorian v Edwardian Period Costumes 2  

1870  to 1910

Victorian or Edwardian Period Costumes part 2 ?

My apologies for taking so long to publish the second part of this subject but Christmas and shows suddenly came in between but finally found a few minutes to spare before the next rush.

So here goes:

I finished part 1 when the silhouette of the crinoline changed and rather than being bell-shaped it was now becoming flatter at the front and projected out more behind.

Link for Part 1 

The Bustle had arrived!

Fashions by the 1870s were softer and more delicate, with pastel colouring and frivolous trimmings and decoration. Bodice necklines were square with exposed décolleté for evening. Dresses had ¾ length sleeves with lace cuffs or could be sleeveless for evening wear.

By this time the sewing machine was rapidly becoming a desirable acquisition for home use and this aided the draping of fabrics and the layering around the hips creating

Victorian v Edwardian Period Costumes 2 continued

Read more…

Victorian or Edwardian Period Costumes


Victorian or Edwardian Period Costumes  

Part 1  

1837  to 1870

Victorianor Edwardian Period Costumes

Victorian or Edwardian Period Costumes ?

As a costumier I find that most people find it difficult to distinguish between Victorian and Edwardian period costumes which on occasion can lead to some serious confusion.

First of all, it is necessary to establish the periods we are discussing here. Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837 and reigned until her death in January 1901 so this period in the UK is generally referred to as “Victorian”. The Edwardian period followed the Victorian period with the reign of King Edward V11 from 1901 to 1910 so we are referring to two very distinct eras in history which ran consecutively.

Let’s examine the British fashions at the time of Queen Victoria’ ascension to the throne in 1837 also referred to as “early Victorian “. The fashion press looked to this young queen to endorse new fashions and generally become an icon for her age.

Contrary to general belief Victoria was, until Prince Albert’s death at least, interested in fashion. But she was not a frivolous royal leader and her belief in simplicity and demure elegance is echoed by the fashion plates of the day.

From the late 1830s dresses expanded slowly but surely to ever wider proportions, enveloping the legs and ankles completely. The bell-shaped skirts were worn over layers of petticoats. Lower shoulder lines and tighter sleeves restricted the range of upper body movements as did square shawls folded diagonally and draped around the shoulders.

These low -waisted dresses required long, heavily boned corsets to give them their shape.

The corsets of the 1840s were stiffened with whalebone and had a long front busk pushing down on the embonpoint (plumpness of the stomach), creating the desired narrow waist.

Picture: Fashions for August 1838: Image of a fashion plate engraved and hand coloured for an early Victorian ladies’ magazine.   Location: R. Crompton Rhodes Collection of Fashion Plates No. 80 Early and Fine Printing Collection

Large hats were to give way to smaller bonnets, plainer fabric colours were chosen over brights .

These demure day dresses stayed in fashion until the mid-1850s with slight variances to sleeves making an appearance.

From the mid 1850s for the next decade, the new crinoline frame provided some relief from wearing multi layered petticoats, but its buoyancy meant that long cotton drawers were now essential under linen. These cages were made of spring steel hoops, increasing in diameter towards the bottom, suspended on cotton tape.




Bodices and skirts were often separate items allowing alternate style of bodice, and front fastening for convenience. With the availability of domestic sewing machines home-dressmaking increased, as did the use of copious trimmings.


The crinoline craze reached its peak during the late 1850s and early 1860s.After about 1862 the silhouette of the crinoline changed and rather than being bell-shaped it was now flatter at the front and projected out more behind. The crinolettes and bustle pads took over.

Victorian+Costume hire,costume+hire,Thespis Costume Hire
Victorian Costume. Many items available to hire from Thespis

Victorian Petticoats,bell-shaped skirts,costume+hire,Victorian+costume+hire

Victorian or Edwardian Period Costumes.   To be continued.

Please feel free to comment on this subject.

M Bicknell


Elizabethan Costume

Royal Shakespeare Company Elizabethan Costume

A new acquisition to the Thespis collection.A beautifully made costume by the Royal Shakespeare Company.The bodice is beautifully corseted and fitting tightly into the waist and laces up at the back.It has a very full skirt and lovely shaped sleeves.Incredibly  heavy!



William Shakespeare 400 Years

Julia Holland,Costume+hire,

It has been 400 years since William Shakespeare died, leaving behind a treasure trove of plays, poems and sayings that still grip the imagination of audiences throughout the world.

The Bard of Avon is believed to have died on his birthday, April 23, in his native Stratford-upon-Avon in 1616.
Every year productions of his works including Othello, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet sell out thanks to the beauty of their language and universal themes of love, revenge, sorrow and comedy.

And the poet can even be credited for his use of common sayings which are still in use today, such as “dead as a doornail” from Henry VI and “fancy free” from a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

At Thespis we are celebrating his death with Julia Holland, a Norwich based photographer, who has taken our costumes and photographed her daughter in the likeness of Shakespeare.

Julia has used our white and gold doublet which is used for the Don Juan scene in The Phantom of the Opera.