Yes, I am a fan. It’s a film that splits RHPS fans down the middle (or off to the side, I’m not sure). The RHPS fans who mainly just love Tim, the underwear, camp and audience talkback are often less enamoured with Shock Treatment. The RHPS fans who include The Big Three- Pat, Nell and Richard- in their list of what they love tend to be pretty nerdy about Shocky.
I am pretty nerdy about Shocky.
I first dressed up for the film in 1989. I went as Nation, my sister went as Bert.
The next time I dressed up was in 1992 at the Prince Charles. This time I was Bert.
Fast forward 22 years and in 2014, I found out that Shock Treatment was going to be performed as a stage show in spring 2015. I bought tickets straight away. Oh my goodness. I was excited. As the show neared, I realised that I was going to have to put together some kind of costume. As I was pretty much finished with my leather jacket I wanted to wear it. I figured the place was going to be full of Rocky fans, so, yea, OK, I wanted to show it off!
But… it was Shock Treatment… So I decided on a costume that was a combination of Rocky and Shocky…
I decided on a Frank/Nation mash-up.
I LOVED THE SHOW!!! It was a total and utter joy. I love these guys.
As I’d bought tickets for three performances, I quickly decided that I was going to do a ‘Stage Show Nation’ costume.
I found this photo online and used it as a costume ref. Nation is on the right.
First thing I got.
I couldn’t work out what was on her tie from any of the images I found online, but could see it was blue. I decided that as she is a “doctor”, a blue stethoscope tie would work just fine.
Nic Lamont who played Nation posted these photos of her hair and make-up which made things LOADS easier for me.
My first attempt at Nation.
It went down well at the show!
Brian and I went on the final night. Of course, I dressed up. I refined the make-up a bit.
It was around this time that I’d decided to go to the RHPS 40th Anniversary Convention in New York. They were doing a screening of Shock Treatment… with a shadowcast. Holy hell. I was so up for performing in that, but was unlikely to get cast as any main character as there were loads of people with miles more Shocky performing experience than me. So I decided to go for one of the smallest parts which has the BEST costume in the whole film (yes, she does).
The Wardrobe Mistress played by Imogen Claire.
I started to get some things together, including creating a fabric sample for the cardigan at Spoonflower.
I found an amazing blouse with huge balloon sleeves and put glitter stripes on it.
I decided that I should go NUTS and actually knit a striped cardigan for it. I can’t knit. But a Rocky friend I know knows someone who can… So I commissioned one. While I was waiting for her to get started, I started work on the clipboard and the box of Fab detergent she carries.
The clipboard was easy… though I did go a bit over the top by making a crew ID and a running order for it.
I found a couple photos online of the Fab box from the right time and used these as references.
I created the elements in Photoshop, printed them out and ModPodged them onto an old cereal box. They were a bit lumpy, but it was for the stage and so I thought they’d be fine.
I made this brooch when I made the brooch for my Flapper Frank costume, just for fun.
Then I got the first photo of the cardigan being made. I’d ordered all the yarn for it online and had it delivered directly to the woman who was making it. The first thing I noticed is that the red was more ‘raspberry’ than ‘red’. Red is very difficult to photograph, so I didn’t think much of it.
A few weeks later the cardi was finished. The red *was* more raspberry than red. Gah! The place I’d ordered it from had clearly had as much difficulty as I did photographing the colour. Here it is next to a red jumper. You can see it looks a bit dark, but not quite raspberry.
And in slightly different light in which it looks *red*.
I needed to fix this. But how? After lots of thought, I decided that patching over the raspberry stripes with bits from a red jumper just might work. I scoured my local charity shops to find a red jumper to use.
My first attempt. I wasn’t happy with the stitching.
I bought some elastic thread to try and avoid the ‘pulling’ from the stitches. It worked a bit better and I was happy with the end result.
Yes, I went to this level of detail with the costume.
It was time for my first test run of the costume.
Yea. That works.
Then I got this.
OK. This was serious. I was going to be performing as the Wardrobe Mistress at the convention. In three and a half weeks.
I’d arrived on Thursday night and immediately went out for dinner with Patricia Quinn. When I first moved to London as a MAD, teenage, RHPS fan, she was my neighbour. (I know.) I told her that I was going to be doing the Wardrobe Mistress on Friday night. She was very excited and said she’d come and watch.
Right before Shocky on the Friday night, there was a ‘VIP reception’. I went to the reception in my Frank jacket. Here I am with Pat.
I’d met Nell there for the first time. Pat had told her that one of her old neighbours was coming and mentioned that I was married to Brian… Brian and Nell had met at a party a while back so Nell said she wanted to meet me. (I know.). While she and I were chatting I told her that I was going to be performing in Shocky as the Wardrobe Mistress and I had to go off and get changed. She was excited and said she’d watch Shocky.
I ran up to my room and got changed. This is when Pat first saw me.
I think she liked my costume.
I took a quick selfie before the film started.
Then it was showtime.
Best Shocky ever.
This was my favourite costume to make so far. Mainly because I went into extreme screen-accurate detail for such a small and obscure character. Nerdy-overload.
More photos from that performance of Shocky can be found here.
More photos of the VIP reception can be found here.