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  #1  
Old 29-07-18, 04:51 PM
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Default Unusual Request - Theatre Production

Well friends, this may be one of the strangest posts the Forum has seen, but here goes: In addition to a lifetime interest in history and collecting militaria, I have also been very active in community theatre, or, as it is known in the UK, amateur theatricals. For some time, I have been trying to persuade our local group to allow me to direct R. C. Sherriff’s classic First World War play, Journey’s End. For the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, they have called my bluff and put the show on next season’s schedule. I am starting to appreciate the magnitude of the task I have taken on. Casting and rehearsal will not be the biggest challenge; this is the normal work of the theatre world. Much more daunting will be the construction of an accurate representation of a WWI trench system in an arena theatre and costuming 10-12 actors in authentic-appearing uniforms and equipment.

This post is to request any help, suggestions, or advice the membership can provide. British field equipment and uniforms of any period are scarce in my part of America. I have odds and ends, a SMLE No. 1 Mark III rifle, a .455 Webley revolver, a couple of helmets, several leather belts with shoulder straps, a set of P37 gear, a leather jerkin, and that’s about it. Any suggestions regarding a source of equipment or uniforms would be appreciated. Obviously, I realize that given the constraints of finances and availability, I will not be able to make everything perfectly authentic. With that thought in mind, I am planning to buy later canvas equipment and uniforms that will look close enough to be acceptable. I expect I may have to hold my nose and buy some reproductions, as well. Finally, any ideas regarding the accurate portrayal of the British army of the First World War period are also welcome.
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  #2  
Old 29-07-18, 05:22 PM
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Hi Dob, might I suggest browsing EBay Canada. Also 2 Canadian Militaria dealers:

The Canadian Soldier
Marway Militaria.

A lot closer to you in Wyoming and much of the field equipment, uniforms etc...
were very similar if not identical to British issue.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Len.

Last edited by Leonard D; 29-07-18 at 05:23 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #3  
Old 29-07-18, 11:11 PM
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You can try What Price Glory for repro for P08 equipment.
Jo

https://onlinemilitaria.net/products...-Sets-Package/
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Old 30-07-18, 02:35 PM
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May be some living historians/ reenactors who portray the period in the states that might advise? Regards, Paul.
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Old 30-07-18, 03:52 PM
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Many thanks to Len, Jo and Paul for useful and practical suggestions. I've now checked the recommended sites, trawled through eBay, and have made a few preliminary purchases. Accessing a reenactor group doing the WWI period would be ideal. Unfortunately, the reenators I know of in this area concentrate on Indian War period units. My first impression is that authentic WWI equipment is out of sight price-wise; even a set of reproduction gear runs around $150.00. Keep in mind that I have 10-12 actors to outfit and we haven't even started talking uniforms. Theatrical costume houses are a possibility, but they are expensive and, based on my experience, not necessarily authentic. I'm starting to think that I will use P37 gear, rather than the correct P08 stuff. P37 gear still seems to be readily available at a much lower cost. I think it will still look British to the audience and most won't known the difference. And finally, when the show is over, I'll be left with authentic equipment rather than a pile of repros. I still don't know what I'm going to do about uniforms and helmets...
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Old 30-07-18, 06:36 PM
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Hi Dob, perhaps this will be of help.
Len.

http://www.greatwarassociation.com/g...rted/index.htm
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Old 08-11-18, 04:57 PM
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In case anyone was wondering how this turned out:

https://trib.com/entertainment/arts-...1ffe6981f.html

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions!
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  #8  
Old 08-11-18, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobw View Post
In case anyone was wondering how this turned out:

https://trib.com/entertainment/arts-...1ffe6981f.html

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions!
Clicked and got.

451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact online@trib.com or call (866) 981-6397.


Marc
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Old 08-11-18, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54Bty View Post
Clicked and got.

451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact online@trib.com or call (866) 981-6397.


Marc
Once again, I am mystified by the internet! I'm fairly sure there are no military secrets in there. Maybe if you just google "Stage III produces WWI play to commemorate 100th anniversary of armistice," the article would turn up...
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Old 08-11-18, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobw View Post
Once again, I am mystified by the internet! I'm fairly sure there are no military secrets in there. Maybe if you just google "Stage III produces WWI play to commemorate 100th anniversary of armistice," the article would turn up...
Nope. What ever I click on after searching your quote I get the same message. Maybe it is my settings, I don't know.

Marc
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  #11  
Old 08-11-18, 11:36 PM
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For what it’s worth I can view it in Singapore
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  #12  
Old 08-11-18, 11:38 PM
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Well, I am flummoxed! I regularly read articles in British papers, and I've never had any problems at all. You've probably already expended more energy on this than it's worth, but you can also access information about the play from the theatre's website:

https://www.stageiiitheatre.org/

Sorry about that! I wasn't intending to add annoyance to your day...
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  #13  
Old 09-11-18, 10:18 AM
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Default Am Dram

The World War 1 jacket/ trousers are very similar in cut and colour to the British Army Number 2 dress ( now called FAD or Future Army Dress), or for officers the "Officers Service Dress" (OSD). During WW2 and for a while thereafter the Battledress would be completely wrong in appearance. I see from one of the photos above that a leather jerkin would also have been worn, or even a heavily modified sheepskin rug as evidenced by WW1 photos.
The WW1 "Gor blimey" caps are going to impossible to find, but again the Modern OSD caps worn with a brass cap badge would be "close enough for Government work".
Officers would have worn a Sam Browne leather belt with leather holster and shoulder strap. The same now as then.
Obviously the WW1 Tommy Helmet was worn throughout WW2 and also by other nations post war.
I have had bits from my collection lent to Am Dram productions and never had any problems, but I was careful not to lend out irreplaceable items.
Best of luck,

Ian H
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Old 09-11-18, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobw View Post
Well, I am flummoxed! I regularly read articles in British papers, and I've never had any problems at all. You've probably already expended more energy on this than it's worth, but you can also access information about the play from the theatre's website:

https://www.stageiiitheatre.org/

Sorry about that! I wasn't intending to add annoyance to your day...
It has not been any trouble, just annoying, I did get an image similar to the one above, but when I tried to read it, up comes that mystery message.

Marc
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I am still looking for the Army Formation sleeve badges from the Sultanate of Oman.
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  #15  
Old 09-11-18, 03:25 PM
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Thanks for your interest, Marc, John, and Ian! Compromises had to be made. You'll notice a complete absence of insignia and a hodgepodge of uniforms. I realized early on that it would not be possible to outfit one, let alone eleven actors, in authentic period uniforms and gear. In the end, we've had to rely on a terrific story and brilliant acting. I do believe, though, that we are the only theatre group in the world performing "Journey's End" on the actual 100th anniversary day of the Armistice!
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