Saturday, 16 July 2011

Pride and pre-theatre drinks

Another delayed post - I feel like I'm constantly in a timewarp! Aside from the 1940s clothes that is...

Last week was Pride week in Bristol, a week of arts and culture events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people in Bristol and culminating in a day long festival with parades and live music on Saturday. It's only the second time Bristol has had a Pride festival and the organisers were aiming to beat the 25,000 people taking part last year, not such a daunting prospect when you realise that Bristol has around 60,000 LGBT people living and working in the city, giving it one of the largest urban LGBT populations in the UK. Despite this, the 'gay scene' in Bristol isn't that obvious, unlike Brighton, London or Manchester, say, and it's nice to see the cultural contributions made by the LGBT community given some promotion.

So it was that I came to hear about a play with a 1940s theme on Tuesday - The Darkling Plain. It's based on the sort of slightly ridiculous humour of the era, sighting Noel Coward as a major inspiration. It follows the fortunes of 2 families as war (The War Against Terror, spelt out as an acronym) is declared and their young men go off to fight for their country.
I'm not normally one to go out on a school night, but this was absolutely worth it. The play was funny and silly in all the right places, but had enough weight to the gender and political issues to make it feel like a mature production and the love story between two of the boys fighting at the front was sympathetically developed and very touching.
Interestingly, the casting was done with a total disregard to gender, and do you know what? It absolutely worked. The twon men playing one of the mothers and her daughter were superb, they restrained themselves from being too camp and delivered their parts with depth and skill.
It all made me want to go to the theatre more often!

Sadly the promised '1940s takeover' of the theatre was limited to 2 swing dancers, some bunting and a woman doing victory rolls, but for Bristol it was about as vintage as it gets (maybe I should start a vintage pride week?) and added to the fun of the trip out for me.
I wore my red shoes and bag again (can you tell they're my new favourites?) and my Vivien of Holloway sarong style dress. I've had this for ages, but didn't like how massive it made my bust look. I realised that the sleeves were partly to blame and so I cut them off! I used the fabric to make bias facing for the sleeve holes and stitched them back together in about 10 minutes. I'm really pleased with the result and seem to have ended up with a very flattering dress (which the play's writer complimented me on! How cool do I feel?!). I left my hair down, this is at the end of day 2 of a set which is why it's looser curls than usual.

So, more fun during the week. Think I need some more evening wear...


  1. I love you glamorous hairstyle and red and blue outfit! =)

  2. You can't beat live entertainment! love the re-working on the dress.X

  3. You look very glam, especially with the matching bag and shoes.

  4. The play sounds great. Loving your outfit too- so co-ordinated.

  5. Hi! I'm your newest follower. I love how glam and chic you look!
    Much love Amie

  6. Hello, I'm the writer/producer of The Darkling Plain and just wanted to say that I'm glad you liked the play and it's a shame you didn't come on Monday! Unfortunately on Tuesday half the people I had booked for my vintage fair pulled out and I spent the whole afternoon desperately scrambling to find replacements! Ah well, thanks for coming and making the effort to look so glam too! Bea x