As you know, we try and look back into history to give you some different reasons to hold your own fancy dress party. On September 8th 1966, the first motorway bridge over the River Severn was opened, making it a lot easier for the M4 to get to Wales (and for the Welsh to travel to England). We were going to say that a Bridge Night might be on the cards but that would lead to some flippant card-game puns and people who couldn’t deal with it might lose their Patience (told you!). Instead we could celebrate one of the other good things to come out of Wales – Harry Secombe who was born on this date in 1921. Some will remember him for his singing – he was a regular on ‘Songs of Praise’ and starred in the Dickens-based musical ‘Jorrocks’ – but most will know him as one of the Goons, and as, coincidentally, his co-Goon Peter Sellers was also born on this day in 1925 (both Goon, but not forgotten), we thought a Comedy Night or Joke Karaoke might work.
Now holding a comical fancy dress party really opens up the theme (as most fancy dress cotumes once worn are very funny, no matter the theme), but we are thinking more of really stupid costumes. For example, last weekend I attended a fancy dress party as a Wacky Tourist. The costume is hilarious anyway, but I made it even more funny by wearing socks and sandals and I made up my face so that it looked like I had terrible sunburn (complete with huge panda eyes). I carried a phrase book (which I made up myself, with all the standard phrases a typical stereotypical Brit would need abroad) and I also had some St. George flags. It is the little details that you can add to a standard costume to make it truly fantastic!
As regular readers of this blog will know, we try to give you different reasons for having a fancy dress party based on history and we try and use some fancy dress ideas that you may not have thought about. In past years August 19th has seen the loss of great comedic talent. On this date in 1976, Scottish actor Alistair Sim, probably best known for the early St Trinian films but also involved in classics such as ‘Green for Danger’ and ‘The Green Man’ (often shown in the ‘afternoon film’ slot on telly) passed away. A year later, in 1977, possibly the best known of the Marx brothers, Groucho, died. The two actors had contrasting styles – Sim’s droll, lugubrious delivery against Groucho’s quick-fire wit – but their work has not dated as much as that of some other comedians and continues to entertain. As mentioned in a previous blog, Groucho is commemorated in one of the ‘O’s in the famous Hollywood sign, as his death coincided with the appeal for donors to renovate the iconic symbol. The rock star Alice Cooper ‘bought’ the letter in honour of the comedian, with whom he was good friends.
To broaden out the comedy costume theme, you could include the ‘Carry On’ films – which gives you a huge range of costumes to choose from. We are preparing an information page on all the cary on films – so watch this space!
There have been so many iconic comedy masters, Tommy Cooper, Laurel & Hardy (for a couples fancy dress choice) & Charlie Chaplin to name just a few. We are sure that you can think of some more.