Yesterday at the gym, I came up with what I think is an awesome idea for a GBACG event next year. I can’t get to the planning meeting this Sunday, but I wrote up the idea and sent it to the Event Coordinator and Prez. last night so they could put it on the agenda. Hopefully it’ll get a positive reception, and if so, I’ll start work on it. Here’s my idea:
Around the World in 80 Days
Travelers of all eras, come join Phileas Fogg at the Reform Club in 1872 London and tell us of your journies! Mr. Fogg and his Indian bride Aouda invite you for an afternoon of fine British victuals, a wee tipple, and tall tales of travel.
Victorians on safari, Regency dandies on the Grand Tour, Renaissance Venetian traders, and even future travelers picked up by H.G. Well’s time machine are all welcome. Famous travelers, real or fictional, are also invited, from Marco Polo to Miss Lucy Honeychurch returned from Italy. Folks from far-flung locales who are traveling to London are encouraged to come dressed in their native garb. This is also an excellent chance to combine ethnic materials (such as saris, kente cloth) with historical costume. Guests should be prepared to share a story about their travels and/or explain their costumes.
Event: Afternoon social with a light buffet of British food and appetizers
Time: a Saturday or Sunday in September or October 2006, about 1-4pm
Costume: Any historical era, science fiction, ethnic
Cost: $25-$30, plus attendees buy their own alcoholic drinks
Location: British pub such as The King’s Head in Campbell, The Duke of Edinburgh in Cupertino, or British Banker’s Club in Menlo Park (while the BBC is a better location for San Francisco folks, the place gets really noisy, even on afternoons; the other two are quieter and more atmospheric).
Thomas was totally into it as soon as I said I wanted him to play Phileas Fogg. We saw a very nifty stage production of Around the World earlier this year, and naturally everything about the story fits with our travel passions.
Aouda is an Indian woman who Fogg and his companions rescue from being killed, and she and Fogg marry at the end of the story. I would, of course, make a Victorian costume from a sari. Quite probably use the grey and burgundy sari I’ve been hoarding since we went to India in 2001. That was going to be a more mid-Victorian costume because I thought that’d show off the pattern better, but we’ll see. I could go either 1860s or 1870s. She doesn’t need to be particularly fashion-forward. She had an English education and “European manners” but she still lived in Bombay which could be a little behind the times in clothes. And Fogg, while he’s precise and cultured, is also a stuffy fuddy-duddy, so he wouldn’t care so much if his wife wasn’t wearing the very latest styles.
Anyway, good excuse for a new costume for me! Thomas can wear his old wool frock coat, his grey tartan vest, black trousers, and a white button-down shirt (though I might get/make him a more period one), plus use his lovely silver-topped cane. I told him if he was extra nice to me, I might get him a top hat too. ‘Cept he wouldn’t be wearing that indoors, so what’s the point. Heh.
I hope other people like this event idea. I think there’s sooooooo many possible costumes, which makes it open to lots of folks. Any historical era works, just come up with a good story. There are always the upper-crust Brits and Americans who went on the Grand Tour of Europe. The Renaissance saw the opening of the New World. In the Middle Ages, Venice was the door to the East. Any kind of military costume could lend it self to travel stories. And any kind of ethnic costume fits too, as that person would be traveling to London.
Future and fantasy costumes work too. Jedis are rather like itinerant travelers. Star Trek’s mission was all about travel and exploration. A certain four hobbits did quite a bit of traveling. I think one of them even carried a bunch of travel gear on his back. All you really need is a good story, an explanation of why your costume qualifies as traveling gear.
The stories would be the afternoon’s entertainment. As hosts, Fogg and Aouda would ask each guest to tell their story. We’d also encourage travel talk throughout the event. Real travels, imagined or wishful travels, anything on the topic. Maybe we’d ask people to bring pictures or scrapbooks too. As a sort of souvenir, we may give out a discount coupon for folks to buy a T&T’s Real Travels DVD. A little subtle advertising never hurt, especially when I’m the one putting the event together 😉
Dunno what other events are in the works or what the Guild’s schedule will be, and I’m sure that will effect whether or not this one gets approved. I haven’t called any pubs yet, pending GBACG interest. My rough cost idea is based on their standard menus, and hopefully there’s no or minimal room fees. We shall see.
Finding spaces that don’t cost too much is always the hardest part of planning an event. After that, it’s all cake. Well, gotta make sure to find a date that doesn’t have football (soccer) or rugby playing too!