Les Miserables Costume Launch

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Les Miserables Costume Launch

Rehearsals NYMT

Photo now on our web site .   Click here to visit page.

Set in early 19th-century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole
and start his life anew after a kindly bishop inspires him by a tremendous act of mercy, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade.

This spectacular costume set will be available to hire complete with footwear / accessories / replica period flintlock pistols & musket rifles  from our studio in April 2017.

Our costumes for Les Miserables are made to reflect the period correctly with attention to the finer detailing which has become our number one goal.



Featuring the songs “I Dreamed A Dream”, “Bring Him Home”, “One Day More” and “On My Own” – Les Miserables is the show of shows.

Lead time for this collection is at least 2 months as there are so many costumes to prepare for you, so book early!


“Special Offer”

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Book “Les Miserables Costumes Hire” full show  before 31st July 2017

See current special offer on main page. Link Below

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Wiki Link

You Tube Clip 

“One Day More” performed by Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball, Judy Kuhn, Lea Salonga, Michael Maguire, Philip Quast, Jenny Galloway, Alun Armstrong, Adam Searles, full company and choir with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Charles Abell for the Les Misérables 10th Anniversary Concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, 8th October 1995

Contact us to book the new costumes.

Les Miserables Costume Hire


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…

Les Miserables Costume Hire

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Les Miserables Costume Hire

Les Misaerables+NYMT+Costume Hire+costumes+for+hire,Thespis+costumier+M Bicknell=N Bicknell

See the costumes at the Norwich play house 11th – 15th April 2017.

Set in early 19th-century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant, and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Valjean decides to break his parole

Read more…

Thespis Sponsor NYMT


Thespis Sponsor NYMT

Little shop,Little shop costumes,costumes for little shop of horrors,movie costume hire

Here at Thespis we are proud sponsors of Norfolk YMT and wish the cast all the very best with their production of “Little Shop Of Horrors” break a leg guys.


5th November Box Office 01603 620917

Book & lyrics by HOWARD ASHMAN  (IMDb)
Music by ALAN MENKEN   (IMDb)
Based on the Film by Roger Corman, Screenplay by Charles Griffith. Originally produced by the WPA Theatre (Kyle Renick, Producing Director).
Originally produced at the Orpheum Theatre, New York City, by the WPA Theatre, David Geffen, Cameron Mackintosh and the Shubert Organisation.

A down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon Audrey II grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination.

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a household name. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Little Shop Of Horrors never fails to entertain.

(Matinee 2.30pm on Saturday 5th November)

TICKETS £14, £12, £10

Madder Market Theatre Norwich

M Bicknell


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.

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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


Addams Family Tour 2017

Addams Family Tour 2017   (NEWS)

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Addams Family Tour 2017

A new production of this musical comedy The Addams Family will tour the UK and Ireland in 2017


Directed by Matthew White, the show will open in Edinburgh on April 20, 2017, before touring to locations including Northampton, Southend, Birmingham, Truro, Cardiff and Dublin.

It is scheduled to finish at the Lowry in Salford on September 9, 2017, with further tour dates to be announced.

It has music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The show, based on the characters created by Charles Addams, previously enjoyed a run of nearly two years on Broadway starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. Casting for the forthcoming tour is yet to be announced.

The Addams Family original stories were adapted into two Hollywood films in the ’90s, The Addams Family and its sequel The Addams Family Values, which starred Anjelica Huston, Raúl Juliá and Christina Ricci.

Plot Summary. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows; she’s fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family! Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents. All the usual clan are present – Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley et al.

The show is being produced by United Theatrical, Aria Entertainment and Music and Lyrics, through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

For further information, please visit www.addamsfamilymusical.co.uk. Twitter: @AddamsFamilyUK

Click for Tour Dates


2012 You Tube Trailer


M Bicknell

Countdown to Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016

Three days to go before I hit the road on my annual roadtrip to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival.The population in Edinburgh triples if not more for the 3 weeks of the festival. Every venue and every building that can be used from the smallest to the biggest will have been turned to a stage for the duration ( including several churches !).

I shall be joining the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre group at the Riego street University accommodation. We have provided the costumes for their production of Benjamin Britten’s Little Sweep. It is an opera written for young people and quite challenging.The action of the opera takes place in the children’s nursery of Iken Hall, Suffolk in the year 1810.The NYMT performed this opera in 2007 at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in its original version. My son Callum who was then 14 played Johnny Crome . Callum is now 22 and has just graduated from LAMDA.This show definately brings back memories.This time around Adrian Connell, the director of NYMT, has set the action in 1940  and the children play a “dress up” in Victorian/Edwardian clothes and re-enact the Little Sweep.
I attended one of their rehearsals and they are sounding amazing! NYMT have always manage to achieve 4 and 5 * reviews at the Fringe. They are an award winning group and definately worth going to see.

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Costumes for Little Sweep