We’re have just done our wardrobe rotation and I was the upstage right dresser on RADA’s incredible production of Sweet Charity.
It was such a busy show, in one scene I had three quick changes and there’s much more involved in dressing than I first thought.
To start we learned about different types of fabric, different stitches and about sewing machines so that we got a real understanding of the craft before we got going on to dressing. We had fun practising some gruesome special effects make up, learning how to put on wigs and picking up quick-change tricks of the trade!
We labelled every item of costume for the show (all three rails made it quite a feat!) and built up our emergency sewing kits for the dressing rooms. Dressing plots (cue sheets) were created through a process beginning in the rehearsal room during a run-through, then through the two day tech rehearsal and dress rehearsals. Our pre-sets were done an hour before every show to check everything was in the right place.
Out of the many, my favourite quick changes include a full bouncer costume with props into a Greek god costume, a dinner jacket into a policeman and making sure that cast all had band jackets and their instruments (sousaphones included!) for one of my favourite songs in the show, 'I’m a Brass Band'.
Sweet Charity was hard work, but it all paid off when we heard the audience’s reaction to the show and when I think about what we've learned and achieved in three weeks.