At the National Theatre, London

Niamh Lunny, Head of Costume on Juno and the Paycock.

…I have spent the last 3 weeks commuting between The National Theatre in London and The Abbey in Dublin. The National is vast, trying to navigate the building you would find yourself wishing for a compass and a map! There are about 700 people working there, the costume and wigs department occupies 2 floors and employs about 27 people, the wardrobe maintenance employs another 20. The people I have met in my time there have been wonderful to work with. There is a pervailing ‘can-do’ attitude in the place that puts everybody at ease. ‘Never knowingly said no’ is a phrase you hear all the time, typically just after you have requested something you feel certain will not be possible! We have been busy fitting the cast of 18, mostly in ‘old tat’ we have brought from Dublin, but every single piece of costume needs to be worked on. It could be something as small as changing the buttons or it could be remaking a part of it, doing an alteration, mending it, dying it or breaking it down (making something look older or dirtier). Every pair of shoes has to get rubbered soles and every single item of costume has to get labeled, at a rough guess that is about 250 labels! This will be my last week in London, on Friday everything will be packed up and shipped to Dublin for Monday morning, when rehearsals start in the Abbey. All the cast and stage management are really excited about coming over, I hope we can make their romantic ideas about The Abbey and Dublin a reality!…

Read Niamh’s previous blog entry here

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