Stiches in Time
Diane Crease from Sydney’s Bankstown Theatre Company reflects on how making costumes has changed over the decades.
Founded as ‘The Bankstown Opera Company’, our theatre went quiet during World War Two. Soon after the ‘troupes’ came home it was resurrected as Bankstown Theatrical Society. It was a time when actors were responsible for supplying their own costumes, so they would beg, borrow and steal to dress the productions, with varying results.
Over the next few decades things changed. Some individuals revealed their skills and talents for creating costumes and, inevitably, formed small costume businesses. One of these skilled individuals was Tony Stevens. Tony had been a professional adagio dancer and later became the company’s president. These were simpler times. You chose a show, booked the hall with the council, booked the scenery from Jim Peet, booked the costumes from Tony, and you used what you were given. If another company chose to do the same show you knew that the scenery and costumes would be old friends. Sometimes even the principals would be the same! Ah, the good old days.
In 1976 Bankstown decided to produce My Fair Lady. The regular costume supplier was no longer available and the logistics of sourcing decent, affordable costumes raised its ugly head. Pauline Paull, a long-time member, took a deep breath and volunteered to set up our own wardrobe. The rest is history.
Nearly fifty years later Pauline’s legacy lives on. The sewing machines are kept busy, the storage bins are full to the brim and the racks packed to overflowing.
If you are looking for something, don’t be surprised if we have it. We don’t have enough space to list everything here but a quick look on our website at our ‘Past Productions’ would give you a fair indication of our current stock.
Our costumes are available at very reasonable prices and we are often told that we are the best value for money in town.
Bankstown Theatre Company also has a great range of furniture and small properties for hire which would be suitable for many shows. Please visit our website www.bankstowntheatrecompany.com for information for both costumes and props.
Let us assist you in any way we can.