Self-proclaimed ‘dance mum’s’ creative input into national touring show

PUBLISHED: 13:49 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:49 18 September 2019

Mary Hunt is the costume designer for a national touring show which comes to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft next month. Picture: Marina Theatre

Mary Hunt is the costume designer for a national touring show which comes to the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft next month. Picture: Marina Theatre


A new national touring show is set to hit the stage at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft next month.

And for one Lowestoft lady, it will be even more memorable - as Mary Hunt costumes the stars of Come Dance with Me.

Mrs Hunt is a regular member of the theatre's 'Next Stagers' drama group, and has taken on the role of costume designer in the new professional production, Come Dance with Me, which will be performed at the Marina on October 2.

As a self-proclaimed 'dance mum,' she has always had an interest in costumes and fashion and over the years has helped out in community and amateur productions in Lowestoft and across the region.

This private passion has become a professional sideline in recent years, and has included working with Film Suffolk.

Proving, as she said, "that it's not what you know, but who you know," word of mouth around Ipswich brought her to the attention of writer-producer duo Karen and Graham when they were looking for someone to design and make costumes for their passion project, Come Dance with Me.

The show, set during the Second World War, begins at a dance school in a working class area, with young students that dream of a better life.

As the play develops, the characters are drawn into the dream-like world of movie dance routines, performing numbers inspired by Fred and Ginger.

Mary's design ideas reflect this, beginning with costumes which depict a humble way of life, but as the story develops a much more glamorous image emerges.

Mary, working with local seamstress Sally Ann Sims, has recreated dresses worn by Ginger Rogers in the 1940s and 50s using vintage patterns to give the play a real sense of authenticity.

Although now a pro at designing and making costumes, Mrs Hunt admitted that creating clothes for dancers has been a new challenge.

As well as supporting her own children through dance classes, Mary was herself an aspiring dancer however she had to give up dance training as a teenager due to a problem with her knee.

It is fitting that she now joins the creative team for this show, which - as writer Karen puts it - shows how everybody dreams, but not everybody gets what they want.

Catch Come Dance with Me at the Marina Theatre on October 2 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

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