What to wear to the Theatre šŸŽ­

When I was younger, my biggest theatre experience was going to see The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House each Christmas. In attempt to fit in with the soft, crimson velvet, the gold brocade, the shimmering crystallised ballerinas, I would excitedly shimmy into my most special dress. Usually pink or purple, usually sparkly, chosen for maximum twirling potential. As you get older, though, tip-toed swishing into a theatre in a swirl of colour and sequins becomes slightly less acceptable (at least on a Monday night at a fringe theatre anyway… I reckon Kinky Boots would love it).

Having been lucky enough to see a lot of theatre, this idea of specially choosing what to wear has become rather redundant; a bit of a waste of time. We’re not quite at pyjama-wearing level yet, but after a long or difficult day jeans and jumper seems perfectly fine. Yet last year, when I invited many of my friends to the theatre who’d rarely been before “What shall I wear?” was often the first question they’d ask.

Part of this is to do with theatre’s image problem. Spanning back from the gentleman’s boxes and the wealthy audience sitting on the stage of the early modern stages all the way to the red carpets of press nights today, there’s a sense that you go to the theatre to see and be seen. This despite the fact that there seem to be fewer and fewer intervals in which to parade your finery for the masses; and if there are lots of intervals, it’s so much of a marathon that only comfy clothing will do (looking at you Angels in America). And added to this the fact that in most theatres, we’re sitting in the pitch black for the most part anyway.

It is only to be expected that no theatres have a set dress code anymore for everyday performances. A set of rules about what to wear necessarily excludes certain groups of people, and theatre should be open to all. Plus, the production will not fail because of your pair of grubby trainers. Actors may be a fragile group of people, but I assure you, their training is sufficient that they can carry on, whatever fashion faux par glares out at them from the front row. So rest easy (unless your clothes actually smell – but that faux par is not limited to the theatre).

P.S. When thinking about clothes can be helpful:

For some reason much of the time attendees feel the need to imitate the style of the performance in their outfits. The audience for Glengarry Glen Ross at the Playhouse Theatre last year had so many suited men I wondered whether I’d walked into some sort of regional conference by mistake – and sure enough, the play itself was about as interesting. Like draws like, at least where costumes are concerned. If you want to know what a show is like, checking out the clothes of the audience isn’t a bad idea.

Costume Ideas: My Dad Wrote a Porno

In honour of my upcoming trip toĀ My Dad Wrote A Porno (Live)Ā and based off of my mad panic today to brainstorm a costume at the last minute, I have compiled a list of ideas for all you Belinkers out there.

  • Alfie, the Smallish Man Dressed in Black.
    Simple. Be small. Dressed entirely in black. Looking vaguely like a tech guy probably helpful – you could hold some wires?
  • The Glee Team
    aka Belinda herself (think business but also wearing as little as humanly possible), plus Giselle (with half her hair ripped out) and who could forget the one and only Bella. Slash Donna. Just wear the sluttiest clothing you can think of, and if you’re Bella act incredibly dumb. Or if you want more of an obvious theme…
  • Ā The Glee Team on Giselle’s Hen Do
    See above, but add penis memorabilia, sashes, badges, and all that jazz.
  • The Duchess
    Wear riding kit – riding boots, jodhpurs, mole-hair jacket, helmet, and of course a riding crop.
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  • The Chocolate Fountain/Lake
    Cover yourself in melted chocolate/brown paint and look like you’ve just stepped out of the Chocolatā„¢ Chocolate Fountain. Or even dress as a Chocolatā„¢ Chocolate Bar.Ā giphy (2).gif
  • Pomegranate(s)
    The infamous hanging pomegranates. Who can forget them?
    If you have the time and energy to put effort in, this is an amazing how-to video

    If you can’t be bothered, you could simply bring along a few pomegranates, or make a T-Shirt with two of this image on it (you know where)

  • A Bottle of Chilean Chardonnay
    Another iconic image. Dress in green or white, make a cork with a cone hat of brown paper, and stick a big fancy wine label on your shirt.
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  • The Regional Managers
    Go as one or all of Dave Wilcox, Ken Doonesbury, Des Martin or Patrick O’Hamlin. Dress in suits and look slightly insecure whenever a woman with boobs comes near you. Be as stereotypically Irish/Northern etc. as possible.
  • Helga
    Everything woolen. EVERYTHING.
  • A non-stick tin wok.
    Enough said.Ā