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I first became really interested in costume after completing a short course with the National Youth Theatre. I knew I wanted to explore costume further, but didn’t know which area within it.

I was so happy when I came across the Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume at RADA. It gave me the chance to explore costume in a really hands-on way, from altering patterns for historical dress to working with professional designers to supervise the third-year shows. Skills I learnt in my first year whilst doing alterations and fittings gave me confidence when working with professional designers.

In my final year I was glad to take on the role of costume supervisor as much as possible. One of my favourite moments was supervising the production of Strange Orchestra. There were lots of quick changes meaning I had to lead a team of dressers to ensure smooth and speedy changes. I also worked on the short films that RADA produce. It taught me a lot about continuity, working on set and how the demands of costume for film and TV are different to theatre.

The experience RADA gave me on set has been really helpful since graduating whilst working in the costume departments on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice.

Florence Dempster, Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume, 2017