Rachel gains work experience on Kenneth Branagh's Macbeth

Costume Design and Making student Rachel George has completed a work placement on a production of Macbeth, premiered at the 2013 Manchester International Festival.

I am so grateful to have been a part of Macbeth, everyone I worked with was so positive and made me feel really involved.
Rachel George

Costume Design and Making student Rachel George has completed a work placement on a production of Macbeth, premiered at the 2013 Manchester International Festival.

The play, which was also filmed as part of the National Theatre Live's programme, was directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh.

Final-year student Rachel found out about the opportunity through NTU Costume Design and Making lecturer Mary Charlton, who was working as Costume Supervisor on the production. Rachel had previously spoken to Mary about her interest in that particular role as a career path, so Mary invited her along to attend some fittings as her assistant and the placement began from there.

Rachel's placement started with almost weekly visits to London to attend fittings at Angels costumiers (where all the costumes were hired from), meetings and rehearsals. Her role was to assist the Costume Supervisor and Designer by taking down the measurements of the actors, picking out potential costumes, and attending production meetings.

Rachel then travelled to Manchester to assist during the technical week, the week prior to the opening of the show. She helped the wardrobe team to set up the dressing rooms, label the stock and make sure all the actors' costumes were prepared for each rehearsal. After a few days, Rachel was hired as Kenneth Branagh's dresser as it became evident that given the demands of the show and the size of the cast, he would need someone to help him personally.

"The best thing about the placement was how I felt my responsibilities escalate. I really felt part of the whole project as opposed to other placements I've done when you come and go within a week or two. This opportunity gave me the chance to see how a production develops from start to finish."

Rachel also said her experience on Macbeth had taught her skills that will help her in her studies: "I realised the importance of organisation and clarity in my work, as I can imagine it as if it were a real production and that other people would have to work from my designs or research."

She also said that the experience had helped her to understand and recognise the different career paths that are available and the involvement those roles have with different people and departments. Rachel said: "Having a taste of the world I will work in has focused me on my course and how to tailor it to show the skills I want to show."

Rachel gains work experience on Kenneth Branagh's Macbeth

Published on 15 January 2014
  • Category: School of Art & Design

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