Meet Jess Wood – Deputy Wardrobe Mistress, London

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How did you get involved with Phantom and how long have you been working here?

I’ve been working in this building for a year – I’ve done lots of touring previously, and before this job I was in fact working on The Phantom of the Opera UK Tour.

Can you give us a brief description of your role?

My role is to look after and maintaining the costumes and looking after the running of the show on a day to day basis. We have a lot of dressers so its case of making sure they are all where they need to be and everyone’s ready and set for the show.

Do you look after the actors then?

It’s more of a case of making sure the dressers are ready to look after the actors. I also look after costumes, order new costumes, remake costumes, looking after shoes and doing the laundry!

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Jess’ colleague, Craig Rowledge

Can you describe your typical day?

They are all very different but generally we come in at 11am on a one show day and do any repairs and alterations that are left from the night before (we write them down in a book). Once they are out of the way we then get started on ongoing long-term projects such as making new things. Then at 6.30pm all the dressers come in to start the pre-set (someone will have done the laundry during the day time so everything’s ready) and then we start the show.

Have you ever had a last minute costume crisis?

There are quite often costume crises! There’s always something that crops up. A costume can rip or you’re missing something or you get to a quick change and you don’t have a part of the costume or it’s damaged and you have to stitch someone into a costume to make it possible for someone to go on stage. But a lot of the time, its understudies going on at short notice so you have to change things very quickly!

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