When Liz and I first began going to stage door, one of the first ways we learned how to spot theatre people was their sense of fashion! And I'm not going to lie, we tried so hard to replicate that fashion! Because whether they realise it or not, a lot of theatre people tend to have a certain look to their outfits which is hard to pinpoint, but once you've spent a while at stage door, you can just recognise it. One key aspect of this theatre wardrobe though? The scarf!! Theatre people seem to love their scarves - and as a result I've come to love them very much too! I love a good bit of theatre trip outfit planning and, with a potential November trip to see Dean Maynard again in Billy Elliot, I'm already on the lookout for a good outfit for my first winter stage door of the year. Accesorize are my go-to shop these days and I am absolutely spoilt for choice as to which scarf to choose for this trip!
This first snood is nice and simple, and I like having such bright colours at a winter stage door, especially if I wear my plain fit-and-flare black dress (which has done me good service at several stage doors now.) I also love the fact that it's called 'Copenhagen' and is in the Fairisle style - the style of knit-wear made in the Faroe Islands, which are part of the kingdom of Denmark. My Danish obsession gives this scarf a slight edge over some of the other possibilities, but I have to try and think more stage door. As for the second snood - it just love the autumn colours of it, it looks nice and cozy, but perhaps wouldn't be colourful enough to stand out in a London stage door crowd!
These three are very 'theatre-person' style, and again I like having the bright colours against all the darkness and greyness of a winter stage door. Rainbow stripes always remind me of John McManus (my Cats cast's Skimbleshanks) and his impressive scarf collection. He always used to have extra-long scarves which he would tie in all sorts of crazy knots and they were always in bright colours, stripes and rainbows. I don't even know how I'd begin choosing which rainbow I like best though...
Tartan is another theatre-persony look and I do love trying to emulate that sense of style they all seem to be gifted with. I'd miss the brightness of the rainbows, but on the other hand, these are scarves which can go with anything; a last minute outfit change, a new bag, anything. I love how wintery and cozy the tartan look is too.
So yes; stage door tip? Look out for stylish scarves and coffee-to-go. A much less obvious thing to be looking out for when in London, but for touring productions? It's often a dead giveaway. And if you want to look stage-doorish? A scarf is always a good start. As for choosing what scarf to wear? As a scarf addict...I am really not the person to come to! My annual scarf budget is ridiculous! But seriously, if you have some cash to spare, try Accessorize's scarf range - I can't recommend them enough.
One thing I am always fussing about before a theatre trip? What on earth to do with my hair! The thing is with a theatre trip, you often want to look dressed up and fancy, but you also know you can't do anything too intricate or fancy as you might well need to run for a train or have a long journey to make it through in tact - also, if you go out for a pre-show meal or a matinee, it's just odd to be wandering around town with your hair all done-up for the opera when everyone else around you is just out for a Saturday afternoon walk, and if you're going on the train down to London for a West End show then you'll be on the train with commuters. So anyway, given all these factors, I usually end up just leaving my hair loose and rarely do anything special with my hair - it saves time to leave it, even if I feel sometimes like my look isn't as theatre-ready as I would like! To me, going to the theatre is a real even though, and I'm always on the look out for solutions which tick all the boxes. Anyway, recently, I went out for dinner with some friends and, as I had a little time on my hands, was messing around with my hair accessories in front of the mirror once I'd got ready. And I might have stumbled on a new idea for a theatre/stage door look.
Basically, I just took two sections of hair from the front on both sides of my face and twisted them round as tightly as I could. My hair was already slightly wavy from having had it tied up in a plait that day, and I think if I were to recreate this for a theatre trip then I would definitely plait my hair tightly whilst wet to emphasise that effect. Anyway, once the two pieces of hair were twisted tightly enough, I pulled them around the back of my head and twisted them together before tying them tightly with two relatively thin bobbles so that they came together into one ponytail which sort of blended into the rest of my hair which was still loose at the back.
The reason that I used thin bobbles was because I thought I could make the hairstyle that tiny bit more fancy (without being OTT) with the right accessories, so I wanted the bobbles hidden to emphasise my next step: my rose hair clips. I have several pairs of these clips in various colours. My pale pink and dark pink ones came from my old friend Accessorize and my blue and purple ones came from Tesco (and are, admittedly, cheaper.) I thought adding just one of those in a colour which matched my outfit would make for a really pretty but simple look and I was pleased with the results, even if I do say so myself! My very final touch to the style was two or three hair grips, also from Accessorize, with flower shapes to match the flower theme I'd already started. I added these at the sides and they also helped keep the hair twists in place.
I think the Accessorize hair accessories really did give the look a nice finish and made it feel like something for an occasion whilst not being over the top. I definitely want to try out this hairstyle on a theatre trip and see how it holds up on a long day going down to the West End and back. I know that the pretty clips and things wouldn't be seen on stage door pictures but the point of doing my hair is more for the feeling of going to the theatre being an occasion than anything else.
I cannot recommend Accessorize's hair accessories range enough to you though, especially if you're looking for durable, good-quality stuff that even works with longer hair. I've often had a problem because my hair is longer and also very very thick and a lot of clips and hair bands just wouldn't stay in place because my hair weighed too much, but Accessorize's things are always up to the task and very durable. The specific items I used for this hairstyle you can find here and here if you want to try them out for you own theatre trip look. The prices are sometimes a little expensive, but it's well worth it I promise!
When I went to London and saw Chris in Wicked back in March, he told me he was involved in the workshop for the new Andrew Lloyd Webber. And now the casting has finally been announced for the show and he's made the cut! Of course, because he's amazing!! He said how honoured he was to be involved so I'm sure he's excited and I really hope that I'll be able to go and see him in it once it opens. It's based on the events of the Profumo Affair in 1963 and they're going to begin previews December 3rd. Chris is listed as playing 'Murray' and I can't wait to see him in another Lloyd Webber, as we all know I love me some ALW!
So, I'm currently still working through tonnes of old trip reports, diary and blog entires, programmes and photographs, trying to get more of the pages on this site up and running. I'm about to head out to join my parents in Seychelles where I will be working on several writing projects, helping my father at his office, but also, hopefully, getting this website fully up and running. However, I am still right back at the beginning of my stage door days in terms of uploading of photographs right now, and it will be some time before I manage to write up about my most recent trip to see the always-lovely Dean Maynard in Billy Elliot on September 5th. So whilst I play catch up and continue building this site, I thought I'd leave you a little teaser-collage of my latest stage door adventure! I don't even know where I will begin writing this one down when the time comes. I won't do a full-on trip report right now, for many reasons, not least because honestly, I was a total idiot at stage door and I just don't want to go into it! hehe I don't know what's wrong with me at stage door, I get bold and sarcastic and I say stuff that makes me want to facepalm later - it's odd that such a shy person should be so brazen when put in front of people she is in awe of, I'm sure it shouldn't work that way! But anyway - Dean was having one of those days where he kept making mistakes which was so funny and adorable (he tripped UP the stairs to the stage, hit himself on the head with his policeman's helmet and then to cap it all off he screwed up an intricate dance routine with rolled up newspapers by accidentally flinging his newspaper into the wings at the start of the song and so he had to mime his rolled up newspaper and the dance involves people holding each other's newspapers and swapping newspapers so there was a whole line of people having to mime because of him and it was so funny and precious!) First thing he asked me was 'Did you see all my mistakes?!' Afterwards, when I was at Euston, waiting for my train back to Stoke, I wanted a vanilla Coke, so I went into Smiths and just as I was about to walk away with my vanilla Coke...I saw it out the corner of my eye: a share a Coke with Dean label!!! The same thing had happened the last time I went to London to see Dean, so I think it's going to have to become a full-on tradition now that I find a 'Share a Coke with Dean' bottle every time on the way home from seeing him. When I got on the train, as it pulled out of London, I was there with my stage door playlist on and 'Memory' came on my iPod and I nearly cried [happy] tears right in the middle of first class...but I didn't coz I was there on a cheap ticket and didn't want to make a show of myself in front of the posh people! hehe So yes, that almost turned into a full-on trip report didn't it...oh well! Just look at the pictures and hopefully this website will be fully up and running soon so that I can tell you more about the marvellous Mister Maynard and me!
My Theatre Diary