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Dundalk theatre-goes to get fashion fix with The Hollow



Siobhan de Bhal has sourced the costumes for the Castle Players production of the Agatha Christie play The Hollow as well as playing the part of Doris

Agatha Christie plays continue to fascinate audiences, with her most famous play, The Mousetrap celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, which prompted The Castle Players to bring another of her whodunits, The Hollow, to Dundalk audiences.

As evidenced by the success of recent tv and film productions of Christie’s murder mysteries, it’s not just the gripping plots that fascinate audiences but also the scrumptious costumes and settings of a bygone era.

The Hollow is no exception. It’s set in the late 1940s just when the fabric restrictions that came in during World War II were easing. Upper class people enjoyed dressing for an occasion with Hollywood glamour beginning to influence trends. Each outfit was carefully accessorised with hats, gloves and jewellery. Women’s dresses were feminine, skirts were fitted or A line, always below the knee. The wide trousers that had become popular during the war were still in vogue and typically worn with short, fitted knitwear. Men were smart, donning black tie for dinner and country tweeds for weekend recreation.

The task of providing costumes for the twelve cast members, most of whom have three or more costume changes, fell on Siobhan de Bhal, who has been very busy indeed as she also plays the part of Doris.

Siobhan sourced most of the outfits and accessories in Dundalk’s charity shops and was amazed at the fabulous finds she came across, including a gorgeous Jenny Packham evening dress, as worn by Kate Midelton.

Siobhan is double jobbing in this season’s production as she also makes her stage debut in the role of Doris.

She got plenty of help from Angela Hanna who previously worked as a Costume Technician with The Abbey. Angela, who is also making her stage debut in the role of Henrietta, was on hand to assist, advise and ensure costumes remained true to the era and to adjust the odd hemline.

Directed by Pat McKenna and Nigel Clinton. The Hollow from runs opens on Wedensday April 17 in An Táin Arts Centre and runs for four nights. Tickets can be booked at

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