Friday, 25 March 2011

It's all going on!

The first installment of Mrs Brown's Diary is now online! This unfolding story reveals the significance of the items that make up the 1950's dressing room which has been created through my collabortive project with Stoke Pottieres Musuem and Art Galley. The diary is your chance to find out who this character is; the first post covers her visit to the Grand Re-opening of the Theatre Royal in Hanley and introduces her relationship with George her husband, but just why is he so upset?

Last Saturday was the official first day of  dressing room display and to mark the occassion a local burlesque performer called Lottie Applejack dressed in period costumes did a piece in the dressing room based around transformation which ties in well with my theme of artifice and the project's title, Making faces.

Photo by Craig Berry 

My project has also inspired other creative outlets! Members of City Voices writers group based in Hanley were invited by the museum to produce their own responses to the items from the Making Faces display and also other museum pieces from the same period picked out by myself. The result was a very ecelctic mixture of poetry and short stories. Here's two of my favourites which have really captured the essence of the objects and the era :
Rationed Reflections

Getting ready for a night of theatre,
A film, a dance, a romance.
Take night off from the week
For the war is still fresh in memory
In all young and old
And rationing still carried
But you do your best.

Improvement and alter the gown dress,
With ideas of the society magazines.
Pictures and varied types and varied tips,
From halls of Paris’s fashion houses,
To stars of West End and Hollywood.

A break from that time before,
And now a modern twist,
With compacts of small design,
Fit neatly into the purse,
Nylons from across the Atlantic,
Hard to find at this time.

Picture of the returning sweetheart,
Returned from the continent,
From aiding in Europe.
Soon the alarm will chime,
And it will be theatre time.

Martin Wilkes

A Rare Night Out

She sat before the mirror
Everything was to hand.
Powder puff and perfume
They made her feel so grand.

Her husband had bought tickets
For the Theatre Royal show.
Just a dab of lipstick,
Now she was ready to go.

“The taxi’s here, my darling”
Her husband called to say.
She hurried down to join him
Then they were on their way.

She wore the pearls he’d bought her.
Snd her high heels too.
She felt like a lady
Attending a posh ‘do’.

They didn’t have much money
So treats like these were rare
But oh, how good they made her feel –
Like dancing on air.

P.A. Sinclair © 2011

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