Events & Tourism

Behind the success of Civic Theatre's Hall Committee

Published: 19 Sep 2019 9:42am

Armed with a needle and thread, budding costume designer Claudia Spackman has taken a journey back in time to breathe new life into two, iconic eras of Australian fashion.

“I did a lot of research into what the costumes were for that year and I did a lot of talking to Damian Callinan about what he liked and what he thought,” she said.

“Basically, it involved a lot of shopping and seeing what I liked.”

While juggling her studies at Charles Sturt University, Claudia worked behind the scenes on the Wagga Civic Theatre’s original production The Hall Committee.

Over five weeks, Claudia created most of play’s eye-catching costumes, inspired by popular styles of the 1920s and furious ‘50s.

“The (blue) dress was really hard to make,” she admitted.

“It took a while, probably a week to put together.”

The fledgling designer was even challenged to construct her own patterns for the outfits stemming from the ‘20s.

“They are hard to get a hold of, you just can’t find them anymore,” she said.

“So, I had to make my own. But my mum really helped me, she’s very talented.

“I had a lot of help from her.”

Building the wardrobe for Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre’s sold out production provided Ms Spackman with invaluable, hands-on experience while she tackles her Bachelor of Creative Industries.

“You just don’t get those sort of opportunities very often,” she said.

Claudia wasn’t the only production member who relished an opportunity to showcase her skills in her own backyard.

Assistant Stage Manager, Emma Humphries, is also studying at CSU, while cast members Isabel Mulrooney and Stephen Holt, along with the majority of the Creative crew, are all proud Wagga locals.

Isabel took a break from carving out her career in Melbourne to return to Wagga to participate in The Hall Committee.

Written, directed and co-starring Damian Callinan, The Hall Committee took its audiences on an interactive, and nostalgic, journey back to the ‘golden era’ of small town, country halls’.