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LOVE NEVER DIES Blog: In Costume

Today, as the cast prepare to move from the rehearsal space into the theatre, we paid a visit to the workshop where Nicola Killeen and her textile team are busy bringing to life some of designer Bob Crowley's fantastic costumes, including a gorgeously extravagant - and very long - garment that one of the characters will wear in one of the show's key scenes.

With costume such an important part of this and any musical theatre production it is pretty incredible to see the amount of work that goes into creating what we will see onstage in a few short weeks. You would not believe how much energy is involved in making just one item of clothing - albeit in this case, one item of clothing that looks like it's going to be a real showstopper.

Although for many stage plays costumes and fabrics can be sourced from specialist or vintage shops, or in some cases are hired in from theatrical costumiers, when the production is a large scale spectacular period piece such as Love Never Dies the costumes are designed and created as unique pieces. This often requires the fabric itself to be created and specially printed, painted, stencilled or treated which is where Nicola's team step in.

Working from Bob's original drawings, Nicola and her colleagues liaise closely with Irene Bohan - Love Never Dies' costume supervisor who oversees the process of getting Bob's designs from page to stage - by preparing the fabric that will then be turned into a wearable costume. This particular item is the biggest piece Nicola has ever created so working out the measurements, selecting the appropriate material and then preparing the panels of fabric are all time-consuming jobs. Nicola's first meeting with Bob Crowley was in early December and the fabric is only now in its final stages of being put together, after samples were created and tested for length and colour. The fabric also needs to be able to withstand the daily wear and tear and constant handling that a theatrical costume endures and yet fall correctly and be in keeping with the period look of the piece.

Because this particular garment is so large, it is being created in several panels. Each panel is prepared separately, with the fabric being digitally printed (by an amazing piece of equipment which is a huge specialist version of your every day colour printer ) before it's steamed dry and further decoration is added. Nicola then has to work out how the panels will fit together, although these final stages are done in the costume workshop, where this beautifully prepared fabric makes its final transformation before it will appear onstage...

 

From the LOVE NEVER DIES Blog at www.loveneverdies.com

The World Premiere of "LOVE NEVER DIES" will take place in London on 9 March 2010 at the Adelphi Theatre. Previews begin on 20 February. The show will subsequently open in New York on 11 November 2010 and then in Australia in 2011.

March 2010 sees the Polydor/Universal release of the album of "LOVE NEVER DIES", the long awaited follow up to "The Phantom Of The Opera" (the eighth best-selling album of ALL TIME, unprecedented for a musical theatre album). The album release will coincide with the opening of the show in London's West End and will be available in both deluxe and standard versions.

Performances in London at the Adelphi Theatre will be Mondays - Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets, priced from £25.00 - £67.50 (to include 75p theatre restoration levy and inclusive of booking fees), are available from the Adelphi Theatre Box Office on 0844 412 4651 or online from www.loveneverdies.com.


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