Lyric Hammersmith We are currently closed to the public Find out more
Lyric Hammersmith We are currently closed to the public Support the Lyric Recovery Fund

Our building is currently closed. We are running all classes online. Please sign up to our mailing list to hear about our forthcoming activity.

Lyric life

#12JobsOfTheatre – Ellen McQuaid, Head of Costume.

Welcome to #12JobsofTheatre.

Over 12 days in December we’ll be telling you about 12 different jobs at the Lyric to give you an insight into the varied and vital jobs that contribute to the work we make.

Each of the wonderful people that are currently in those positions have shared how they got there and we hope it will be helpful to those thinking about pursuing a career in the arts.

Next up is Ellen McQuaid, our Head of Costume.

In one sentence, can you explain what your job is?

My job is making 2D costume designs into 3D costumes for stage.

What made you want to work in theatre and where did you start?

When I was younger I spent a lot of time with my Granny. She always made her own clothes and taught me to sew, and that were my fascination with making clothes came from. I find it so magical that you can create garments that are individual to you and no one else has it. (I still do, and making clothes during Covid 19 has defiantly kept me sane!)

What is your top recommendation for someone who wants to be Head of Costume?

Get in touch with theatres, send in your CV or just ask to have a coffee with someone and see where it will lead to. That’s how I ended up at the Lyric.

What is your favourite production at the Lyric that you have worked on and why?

This is a tough question. Aladdin 2016 – Was pretty good. This was the first panto I supervised on really enjoyed working with Jean Chan and it looked amazing (also Dick Whittington with Carl Mullaney as Dame was also pretty amazing too. His pancake dress is one of my favoured things I’ve ever made)

But also I’ve really enjoyed so many other show that aren’t panto as well. Tipping the velvet and Bugsy as also up there too. There’s so many to choose from! And I feel like I’ve learnt so much from each one.