Joanne studied fine art and read theatrical costume design in the UK. Specialising in historical clothing and accoutrements she worked in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre as costume designer upon her graduation.
Joanne moved to the prestigious Black Country “Living” Museum (As seen on the recent TV hit “Peaky Blinders”) where she stayed for five years occupying several important roles. She was initially responsible for making authentic clothing for the costumed guides and this allowed Joanne to develop her interest in social history as well as textile and fashion. Jo was soon giving historical tours and presentations.
The museum environment enabled Joanne to advise on historical costuming and period etiquette, working both behind the scenes and in front of the public. One particularly memorable project themed on “Jack the Ripper” saw poor Jo get murdered no less than 26 times.
Joanne has also turned her talents to TV appearing in period crime dramas.
1940’s Exhibitions at the museum allowed Jo to expand her knowledge (and indulge her interest) in WW2 and in particular the ‘Home Front’, rationing, “Make-do-and-mend” and wartime fashions.
Joanne relocated to Berlin to take up positions teaching English, working in theatre and as a historical tour guide. In 2014, the call of the Alps was too much and Joanne relocated to Munich where Dark History Tours were lucky to find her and engage her services.
One of Joanne’s key areas of ongoing historical research is the role and experience of German women in the Second World War. Her extensive knowledge really shows on her Third Reich tours where she is able to present unique and alternate angles to the history of that period.
When not guiding with Dark History, she spends her time creating bespoke tailored Dirndls – the beautiful traditional female dress of Bavaria, – further expanding her horizons and travelling.