When considering this question, I cast my mind back to the last time I received an invitation to a Murder Mystery Party. I responded with an unbridled enthusiasm that delighted and unnerved the party host in equal parts. “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Who’s my character, what’s my angle – the theme? Goldrush America? Love it, someone do up my corset there!” Now, not that I’m an actor per se, more one with a penchant for the theatrical, but seemingly my over eager RSVP was glaringly set apart from the other terrified guests who couldn’t cope with the role-play and could barely endure the silly costumes.
Is Halloween the same as that mid-April Murder Mystery Birthday Party? I would venture to say no. This holiday that revolves around the donning of grotesque and glamorous get-ups, seems to be considerably less intimidating and far more palatable for the general public. Maybe, it’s the fact most people have been dressing up to traipse the streets of a cold evening in October since childhood? Or most likely it’s the reassurance that, even if you are trussed up in the most ridiculous of Bananas in Pyjamas costumes, you are still allowed to go about your business – no character, no role play, no fuss. And even then, for some out there with the more conservative day job, there is no doubt a slight thrill in embracing the ridiculous, slapping on the face-paint and unleashing the silliness that I am certain dwells deep within us all.
So while actors are certainly more accustomed to costumes, it being an integral part of their trade – are they then the opposite? When you spend your life in various forms of “dressing up” is Halloween merely a bus-man’s holiday? This article showcases celebrity costumes through the years and seems to offer evidence to the contrary (it also is great for ideas for those of you struggling!), with many from the acting profession going all out in honour or the season of spook.
We’d love to hear what you think – is Halloween a time to up your game in the costume stakes, or will you be allowing the non-actor types the time to shine?

Image from Cirque De Reves, Showing at Smock Alley Theatre until the 31st of October.