I have dressed up in silly and bizarre costumes almost all my life, most notably at science fiction conventions such as Eastercon and for Halloween events. This is a quick summary of some of the best and worst of the various costumes I have worn. Photo links are added where possible.
CADBURY’S MILK TRAY MAN – The first costume I ever used – a figure wrapped in bandages from all his broken bones, (The figure was a James Bond style stunt-man from a series of chocolate ads on TV. I decided he must have failed in many of his efforts to deliver chocolates to his girlfriend. I used the costume for a sponsored charity event bed push when I was still at school.
J ALFRED CTHULHU - THE MAN FROM THE LOVECRAFT DATING AGENCY My most successful costume,, designed by good friend, Tom Clark. It consists of a heavy latex mask, gloves and a giant crab claw which actually opened and clasped in its early years of use. The costume did well at Eastercon, only to be beaten to first place by a rival Cthulhu outfit, and won two prizes at the Toronto Worldcon in 2003. It has also been worn at Sealed Knot Events and Creatures of the Night poetry activities. J. Alfred Cthulhu being judged at Eastercon before receiving best newcomer award. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur141.JPG
QUAGMASS THE MAD VAMPIRE –Based on a role playing character, my Malkavian creation, Quagmass. I wore a straight-jacket, hired, and had to drink through straws all evening. Probably my most extreme outfit ever. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur19.JPG
ESKIMO FROM HELL A Satan’s Hollow Halloween Costume. I dressed as if it was very cold, with a heavy parka, and bearing a collection of dead fish, dolphins, whales, and sets of plastic teeth from joke shops. When asked, I told people I represented the day of ‘whaling and gnashing of teeth’. Too surreal to make sense, and very hot to wear in a crowded nightclub. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur16.JPG
THE GREAT BEAST – A minimalist costume – I just borrowed a lipstick and added three sixes (666) to my scalp)
MIRTH BEARING WISE MAN - With friends, we visited the proud parents of new born twins and we dressed as the Biblical wise-men, and the star of Bethlehem - I wore towel-cloaks and carried the gift of Myrrh, or as I called it, mirth, in the form of a Krusty The Clown doll. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur23.JPG
HEAR-NO-EVIL Monkeying around. Me as Hearnoevil in Dave W. Wake's stage version of 2001 A Space Odyssey, from the Eastercon 2001 convention in Hinkley, called 20.01 A Sunday Evening Oddessy. I'm the ape in Grey. The other apes are Simon Bradshaw and Dave Colter. The costumes for this amazing and very funny play were designed by Dave Wake. I played Professor Bernard Quatermass in the same production. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur20.JPG
TOULOUSE LE (STAR) TREK At Eastercon as Tolouse Le Star Trek with French can-can dancers Eira and Miche. The Star trek uniform parts were borrowed from Dave Wake. The strapping my legs back element with gaffa tape hurt like hell, especially doing the can-can on my knees. I had to rip the costume leggings to bits to get out of it in time to change into a fresh costume for later on that same event. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur21.JPG
NOT SO COCONUT SHY – Monster for a ‘carnival’ themed fancy dress party at SMS & Eira’s house. The costume serves for Halloween too. It was made from coconut matting plant pots and I thought it would look amusing but many found it looked primal and downright scary. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur50.JPG
ROCKY HORROR SHOW COSTUME – Me in basque, and suspenders, and sometimes with a green theatre coat too.
QUADDY FRENIA – MOD SCIENTIST – Quadrophenia skit costume of a punkish mod in a scientific lab coat, for a SMS-Eira house party event.
The Wacky Races team event costumes - I was in car 10 - Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth in the Buzz Wagon. Epic scale costuming event with a whole team of us representing each and every driver and car, done in cardboard cut-outs, which we wore as we restaged the races. I was the Lumberjack, with a sharp toothed squirrel buddy. .
MAD SCOTTISH ROBOT – I snook into the Beyond Cyberdrome event without a robot. I went as a robot myself, made of cardboard boxes and wielding a broken bottle, threatening to jump up and down on the real mechanical entries, before I self destructed my way out of the boxes. In preparation for entering the arena, I was hidden in a pantry with a hand-maiden, who was Heather, dressed in a skimpy leotard, as various pastry chefs and kitchen crew walked by wondering what we were really up to.
BELL CHILD With SMS & Eira as the now very grown The Bell children pretending to be a junior entry in the fancy Dress Masquerade.- Silly Costume idea - we went on as an official masquerade Eastercon entry wearing nothing but cloaks over our heads pretending to be a junior entry as children always get Easter eggs and other prizes just for entering Eastercon competitions. We were disqualified by the judges and cheered by the crowds when we insisted ‘we wuz robbed’. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur60.JPG
URBAN LEG END Me in orange depicting a man who has eaten nothing but carrots for an urban legends party, This was my first costume to use the rubber chicken. (Don’t ask). Eira is a cat in a washing machine.
EMINEM Eminem with Friday the 13th hockey-mask
GUMBY From Monty Python's Flying Circus with Mike Hubbard dressed as a Droog from A Clockwork Orange. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur32.JPG
TOGA Me in a sexy red toga at the 2005 Eastercon science fiction convention. I first used the toga at a Xena-Warrior Princess costuming event, where I made the toga from a hotel bed-sheet, for which the London based hotel management threatened to throw me out. . http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur77.JPG
* ELMER J. NAZGUL Me as Elmer J Nazgul, singing ‘Kill Da Hobbit, Kill Da Hobbit’. unrecognizable - best 'ring cycle' spoof prize winner in the fancy dress event. The costume was designed by Tom Clark, who also has one just like it. Together we won first prize at Satan’s Hollow in these costumes one Halloween. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur22.jpg
RICHARD 3RD – EDWARD 1st COSTUME – Designed for a Richard The 3rd play based on Jasper Fforde’s spoof of Shakespeare’s tragedy as mentioned in his Thursday Next books. The play was written by Dave Wake with additional material by myself, James Steel and Others. I played Edward 1st in the play Dave Wake was Richard 1st. Jasper Fforde also participated as a prologue. . My costume was a mix of my Sealed Knot uniform and various costuming props added on the day. On dying I was led off by the Valkerie (Eira Latham in a Xena Outfit), and later returned as a ghost in the same costume wearing a sheet over my head.
OLIVER CROMWELL – A Heroes and villains party at which I was originally assigned the role of Calamity Jane. I was asked to swap with another entrant who knew I had English Civil war clothes anyway so from a private foot soldier in re-enactment groups I became Lord Protector and regicide Oliver Cromwell overnight.
ODDGOB - JAMES BOND 007 - A James Bond Casino theme party at which I learned to play Roulette and did quite well (shame no real money was involved). My costume was arch enemy Oddjob, but done with silly teeth, hence the name Oddgob.
WE’LL HAVE NUN OF THAT Me as a dubious nun at among others dressed likewise (I am the one with the luminous green Crucifix and beard) for an Eastercon 2003 Beyond Cyberdrome event. I use dthe same costume for a Satan’s Hollow Halloween event. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur72.JPG
EXPEL ME! – School Uniform party at which I went as the bad kid from School, even smoking in class (with fake cigarettes as I am naturally a non-smoker). The event was hosted at FAB Café by Mr. Bronson himself, Michael Sheard from TV’s Grange Hill. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur34.JPG
MILKY BAR KID – The popular child star of the chocolate bar adverts as an octogenarian (as he would be now) – Basically a cowboy outfit, a clutch of real Milky Bars, and a walking stick as I walked round like I was aged about 90. http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur27.JPG
MIME ARTIST (MARCEL MARCEU) Dungarees / Overalls, Red beret, stripy jumper and white face paint. I stay totally silent at events where I have worn this one. Runner Up at Te Satan’s Hollow Halloween Party 31st October 2006. A few people think it makes me look like The Mario Brothers. Photos at http://arthurchappell.me.uk/arthur117.GIF
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