Meet Karen Owen, the Wardrobe Supervisor

Cinderella | Wardrobe Supervisor | Derby Arena

Mon 5 Dec 2016

We went backstage to meet Karen Owen to have a chat about her role in this year’s Panto and have a quick insight into the wardrobe of this year’s cast.

Tell us more about your role as the Wardrobe Supervisor.

All outfits used for Cinderella are handmade by Paul Holman’s costume department. They are then delivered for me to get fitted and adjusted to fit all members of the cast. I am the person who puts all outfits together for the cast. Once it is done, they will get taken down to the dressing rooms. From then on it’s the responsibility of the cast to ensure they are dressed ready for their scenes. I am only helping out during the quick changes.

In fact, we have a large amount of quick changes this time, especially with the Ugly Sisters on board. I do have an assistant this year to help me. In addition to this we also have the Cinderella transformation to take care of (which is happening within 12 bars of music!) and the finale where everyone will need to get changed. What’s interesting is that the cast get changed at the back of the stage as there is very little time between the scenes. This means that it’s my job to get the pre-sets organised before the each performance, ensuring that the outfits are where they need to be for the particular scenes.

The rest of the time will be filled with sewing, stitching and hand washing of cast’s outfits. All the under things will be hand washed daily, with jackets treated as and when needed.

What are your working hours during the Panto run?

I am going to be here every day between 8am in the morning and 10pm in the evening until the Panto run finishes. I need to be at the Arena a couple of hours before the show starts and I usually stay ¾ of the hour after the show has finished to get the outfits washed and hung up ready for the following day.

Wardrobe staff never get a day off as the job we do is so important to a smooth run of the show. It’s really important for me to be here every day as I need to make sure all outfits are washed, dried, ironed, fitted and altered as and when needed.

How many costumes are there in total this year?

There are around 80 costumes all in all. Each member of cast has a villagers costume, ball costume, finale costume, and outfits for the smaller scenes. All the dancers will also have outfits to match the particular scene.

If you are intrigued to see the outfits of this year’s Panto then come along between Tue 6 Dec and Tue 3 Jan. Get your tickets from our website, over the phone by calling 01332 255800 or in person at the Sales and Information Centre.