Deco delights in store at theatre celebration

Alice Lockwood, Susan Stephenson and Ellen Mann. By Richard Ponter 143933c
Alice Lockwood, Susan Stephenson and Ellen Mann. By Richard Ponter 143933c

Gothic glamour is this year’s theme in the annual art deco-inspired festivities at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

In celebration of its 1936 Odeon building, the theatre is inviting the public to a packed Deco Days event on October 31 and November 1.

Across the two days there’s everything from free architectural tours of the building to clutch bag design and hair and make-up workshops, musical entertainment, a chance to see some iconic monsters from the golden age of horror and to have a spot of cream tea.

The staff are getting in on the act too; ushers will provide a period welcome dressed in original 1930s outfits. Visitors are also welcome to dress for the occasion.

Wardrobe technician Ruth Hill-Beeley said: “In the Get The Look workshop, guests will be guided on incorporating 1930s hair and beauty secrets into their own every day look, or they can choose to go all out on a Hollywood glamourpuss look, to channel their inner vamp or film noir femme fatale, as well as learn how to create the horror classic, Bride of Frankenstein.

“We’re extremely excited to see the enthusiasm for the workshops already which gives us great hope and motivation to run more in the future.”

Rebecca Cartwright, wardrobe assistant, said: “Art Deco style was bold, bright, exciting, at times exotic and always glamorous and the clutch bag was a staple part of any 1920s or 1930s fashionista’s look.

“In Bag a Bit Of Deco Style, our participants can learn more about the influences of this eclectic style from the minimalist to exotic, the traditional to the avant-garde, and the social pot that made it all flourish, before designing their own clutch on the day.”

As this year’s event falls on Halloween, the theatre will be scaring audiences the 1930s way with screenings of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, and James Whale’s Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein in the McCarthy cinema at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm respectively on both days.

In the Get The Look workshop on 1 November, 1.30pm to 4.30pm, wardrobe technician Ruth Hill-Beeley will teach art deco era hair and make-up techniques, help to apply a chosen look and makeover her assistant into the Bride of Frankenstein. Rounding off the event is The Pasadena Roof Orchestra who will be playing classics from the Great American Songbook on 1 November, 7.30pm.

To book, call box office on (01723) 370541 or visit Limited tickets remaining on some events.