KEVIN DARBY started his career as a singer/dancer, followed by a number of years in stage management. In due course, at the end of a successful national tour as Company Manager of EVITA for Bob Swash, he formed his own troupe of showgirls - THE KEVIN DARBY DANCERS - working in cabaret venues in Portugal, Japan and South Korea.


Kevin's spectacular sequin and feather costumes were brought to the attention of  P & O Cruises, so, around 1993, it was not long before his company turned into KEVIN DARBY COSTUMES. Supplying world cruises for Canberra, Victoria, Oriana and Aurora quickly outstripped the capability of the dining room table and workshops were taken in Cardiff Bay. 

Creations from the KEVIN DARBY COSTUMES workshops were being seen in floating theatres across the world, and images were beamed around the globe when Kevin supplied the 1999 Rugby World Cup with costumes & masks for the Opening Ceremony at the Millennium Stadium.

In 2002, Kevin designed and supplied costumes for the European premiere of LES MISERABLES SCHOOL EDITION, performed by Stanwell School in Penarth as part of the first 
Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre. 

Although undertaken as a 'one-off', the level of talent displayed by youngsters in the production was so astonishing that Kevin was more than happy to make the costumes available to other schools and youth groups. It was exhilarating to be able to contribute to the development and confidence of young people for which Les Miserables School Edition is so eminently suitable. 
As requests for help grew, so did the dedicated stock, to the point at which the team has supplied to as many as six productions at once.

Titanic the Musical

Side by side with this development  came a surge in demand from amateur operatic societies for other shows on hire. Kevin took this in his stride, designing a variety of popular shows and making them to a high standard. It was inevitable that at first he started with titles such as Copacabana, 42nd Street, Crazy For You and A Chorus Line, all of which demand spectacular sequin and feather sets. The hire stock quickly took over - and there followed another move to larger premises at Ely Brewery Workshops.

Sadly, at the height of his creative ability, Kevin was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2005 and he passed away serenely in September 2006. Since then, his partner of 32 years, Michael Grensted, has run the business with the team, both fulfilling all commitments and honouring Kevin's achievement. But the storeroom is once again jam-packed, retirement (for the second time!) beckons, and the entire stock and effects are now for sale by tender, in whole or in part.


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