Columbia Boa FROM THE PLAY


Last Updated: 7/4/2012

How I Got It:
In June 2012, I got an email from someone looking for information on a boa she acquired from the cast of the 1976/1977 Kings Road Rocky Horror Show production in London. (The RHS left the Theatre Upstairs for the Classic Cinema, then Kings Road. So this was during the show's original London run.) She had given it to an auction house, and was wondering if the boa was used in the film as well as the play, as they look very similar. She was open to purchase from the right individual buyer...and apparently I was the right buyer. I'm very grateful and thankful.

The person I purchased the boa from writes:
"[I] and college friends while studying Drama at Kingsway Princeton College London became really interested in the RHS then at the Kings Road Theatre Chelsea London, and became friends with some of the cast after watching the show so many times we were given comps to watch the show... we did this at least three times a week and even drank in the pub with some of them afterwards. This led to us being given permission to perform our own show with the use of wardrobe. We did this in aid of Multiple Sclerosis.
We rehearsed at the Kings Road in the day time for six weeks and performed the show for charity, for two nights back in 1977 not sure of exact date. I played Columbia and the Boa among other costumes were gifts from the original cast and wardrobe where I believe many original costumes where kept at the time.
The thing is though, I have just given the boa to a famous action house and was unable to answer one question; was the boa, designed by Sue Blane, used for the Kings Road theatre shows or is it a piece that was designed later just for the Movie. You see I believe all the costumes including those designed for use in the Movie were in wardrobe back stage during this time."

So yes, I can only confirm that this boa was designed by Sue Blane and used for the play, NOT THE MOVIE. It might have been used in the movie and does look very similar.
Larry Viezel owns a Columbia boa from the film with excellent provenance - he got it from the stage show costume mistress. His boa has black chiffon ends, then a red and black organza section (very short on one end of the boa; longer on the other end), a black, red and yellow organza section on each side, with a yellow and black organza center.
The Kings Road boa has black chiffon ends, then on one section, black, red and yellow organza, with a red and black only organza center, then a yellow/black and red organza section (essentially, the yellow organza overlaps a bit with the red strip from the center), then a yellow and black only organza section, finishing with the black end.
Looking at the Blu-Ray, it's incredibly hard to see the colors (still frames of fabric in motion under colored lights - ack!) but I think I see yellow in the back of Columbia's boa, and both ends before the black chiffon have some red in them. Rocky's boa appears to be red in the center only, as this one is, and it has a black-and-yellow only section on Rocky's left side prior to the chiffon end, so it's possible this boa was used in the film, but by Rocky. We'll probably never know. In any case, as one of the boas from Rocky's original London run, it's a piece of history and I'm delighted to share the pictures with you.

The boa construction is similar to Larry's:
The boa is made out of two different materials. The body of the boa is made out of black, red, and yellow sparkly slightly stiff fabric (organza?).
Each end of the boa is black only. The last approximately 6 inches of the boa on each end are made of black chiffon only (no other colors), which is softer and much less defined than the sparkly black fabric. It is joined by stiff sparkly black organza for the next 16-17", and then the red and yellow pieces are added.
There are two tassels on each end of the boa: one near the end of the organza portion, and one at the end of the boa. On one end, the "three bump" tassel is at the end of the organza and the fancy-topped tassel is at the end; on the other end, the tassel positions are reversed.
There are two separate yellow strips in the boa, one on one side of the body and another on the other. The center 18" has no yellow in it at all. The entire boa (chiffon and organza) has a black serged edge.

These photos are quite large and may take a while to load.

The Kings Road Columbia Boa


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