Deep within the heart of West Yorkshire lies a wardrobe & costume department like no other!
Based above our studios, our costume staff work their socks off round the year to design, craft and prepare hundreds of spectacular costumes to be shipped around the world to our entertainment teams. From touring theatre shows, live events, daring ‘freerunning’ outdoor events and of course the multiple shows onboard Thomson Cruises, we do it all – and everyone needs to be dressed!
It’s vital that every performer gets carefully measured for the outfits they need for each show. Conveniently the wardrobe department adjoins our rehearsal studios so performers are often whisked off the dance floor to try on shoes or jewellery, even to donate a tendril of their locks to colour match a hairpiece!
We have a huge store of costumes and accessories that we have built up over the years both in our main building and in our large warehouse. This is our ‘go to’ location when we start designing costumes for new shows, to see whether we can adapt existing costumes as well as designing new ones.
At the end of the run this is the home for all costumes which are returned from the performance site to the warehouse for unpacking, checking and cleaning.
There’s no question that the team who work in the costume department are extremely multi-talented. With years of combined experience they need to be able to design, source items from all over the world, keep track of budgets, label, pack - and let’s not forget about the sewing!
It’s physical work at times, getting everything packed and ready to go to the ships. Some get loaded onto freight lorries because they are simply too big to be taken on a plane, but we are well known at airports for turning up with a fair few bags (our record is 83 holdalls!).
Packing sets of beautiful feather outfits presents its own challenges with huge amounts of bubble wrap, ‘sandwiches ‘ of heavy cardboard and lots of mega-strength tape regularly employed.
We have stores of shoes, tights, jewellery, hairpieces, haberdashery, coat hangers, sewing and pressing requisites, plastic bags, portable rails, bolts and bolts of fabric, and much more – but our prized possession is still the kettle!
However frazzled it might seem, our motto is ‘it gets there in the end’ and no one has gone onstage naked yet!