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Theatre costume

Theatre costume

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Lace, net, braid, wire, sequins, diamante

  • Museum number:

    S.959-1984

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Cabaret costume in several parts, originally worn at Murray's Cabaret Club, London.

Cabaret costumes are among the most intricate and lavish of all theatrical costumes, successors, in ingenuity and style, to pantomime costumes of the late 19th and early 20th century. At that time whole scenes were devoted to parades of costumes on a theme, like flowers, styles of porcelain, sweets or countries. In the 1960s the idea of parading spectacular and imaginative costumes continued in nightclub floor shows, though on a smaller scale.

Murray's Cabaret Club was an intimate London nightclub situated in Beak Street in Soho. Murray's opened in 1933 and finally closed its doors in 1975. Its founder, Percival Murray, established it as a respectable restaurant and club and it had a strict membership and admissions policy. Royalty and film stars were regular patrons. The club was known for its floorshows which featured girls in elaborate, if brief, costumes. Among the showgirls was one Christine Keeler, whose affair with the then Conservative Minister for War, John Profumo, ruined his career and may have helped bring down Harold Wilson's government in 1964.

Physical description

Cabaret costume in several parts with tutu and puffed sleeves.

Materials and Techniques

Lace, net, braid, wire, sequins, diamante

Object history note

Murray's Cabaret Club was an intimate London nightclub situated in Beak Street in Soho. It opened in 1933 and closed in 1975. The founder, Percival Murray, established it as a respectable restaurant and club and it had a strict membership and admission policy, though this did not stop notorious gangsters the Kray twins from frequenting it. Royalty and film stars were regular patrons. The club was known for its floorshows which featured showgirls in elaborate, if brief, costumes. Many of the girls were classically trained dancers.

Descriptive line

Cabaret costume in several parts including a Tutu style crinoline and puffed sleeves, originally worn at Murray's Cabaret Club

Materials

Lace; Net; Braid; Wire

Techniques

Stitched

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Clothing

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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