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The costume department is responsible for finding, buying or making all the costumes for the show. They also take care of them during the performances if they rip or need altering. Costumes include shoes, hats, gloves and any item that contributes to a character’s dress.

The costume department for Much Ado About Nothing is made up of five people:

Designer: Liz Cooke 
Costume Supervisor: Hilary Lewis
Costumes made by: Jude Ward
Wardrobe Deputy: Bob Copocci
Wardrobe Deputy: Ana Zolotuhin

The costume department start with Liz’s designs. They measure the actors and discuss the practicalities of the planned costumes. Once they have a clear idea of what they need Liz and Hilary go shopping for as much of the basic wardrobe as possible. The rest has to be made in the costume department. 

All the actors need shoes and some shoes are not very practical. A wardrobe assistant will take all the slippery shoes to get rubber soles added. This makes is much safer on the stage and easier for the actor to move around.

If an actor needs a wig they are taken by the costume department to specialist wig fitters. They build a rough version of what they want out of hair pieces, and then the final wig is made.

The character with the most complex costume requirements is Hero. She is having two special dresses made, one for the party and the wedding dress. Actors will often have several costume fittings if they are having clothes made for them. The dresses start off as basic patterns made from curtain lining material. At the first fitting the roughly made dress is pinned to Hero. Once it fits her perfectly it is taken away and the altered pattern is used for the actual, more expensive, material. The dress, once made, is brought back for a final fitting for any final adjustments and special effects.


In act five, scene four, Claudio, as a punishment for abusing Hero, is made to take one of three masked women as his wife. The inspiration for the masking costumes is from African designs. The wardrobe department made the cloaks out of rafia strips and the masks have been made specially by Mark Wheeler.