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The end of 2017 saw one amazing season for theatrical wigs and makeup at the London Coliseum. Home of English National Opera and my family since 2007.  The ENO saw some fantastic new productions of Aida and Marnie that were jam packed full of wigs and makeup. A dynamic and very exciting time for the wigs and makeup department at the Coliseum.


the times, marnie, sascha cooke, eno

Photo taken by The Times




This season, I got to work with all the leading ladies of these two fabulous productions. Getting them all ready for the shows, applying their wigs and makeup. The first of which was the great talents of Michelle De Young as Amneris and Latonia Moore as Aida.


Wigs And Makeup Feature Heavily In The 2017 Season


This new production of Aida which was directed by Phelim McDermott and designed by the massive talent of Kevin Pollard. The wigs were designed by the awesome Carole Hancock.



telegraph, Michelle De Young, Amneris, Aida,ENO

Photo taken by The Telegraph



The second production was another world premiere at English National Opera by the composer Nico Muhly of Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie.


I had the great pleasure of working again with the beautiful Sashca Cooke. I first worked with Sascha eight years ago on our production of Doctor Atomic.


Marnie was  directed by Michael Mayer and designed by Arianne Phillips. The wigs were designed by the great Campbell Young. Campbell is truly the master of the natural blonde root shade.



blonde, root shading, wig, theatre wig



Recently there has been a trend in theatre to go for the natural look by designers. Whilst this is of course the prerogative of the designer, it was incredibly exciting that during the 2017 season, wigs and makeup featured heavily.



Aida: Fantasy Wigs And Makeup


Aida was a feast for the eyes. Kevin Pollard designed a colourful production that was packed full of great wigs and makeup looks. Blue hair, lavish makeup and a ton of gold leaf. This production was definetley a feast for the eyes. See my previous blog post on the gravity defying wigs the wig team created for this



aida, latonia Moore, eno, telegraph

Photo by The Telegraph



My wigs and makeup talents were stretched to the limit on this production. It was also a very creative process. Bold colours, Ancient Egyptian themes and beautifully crafted wigs and hair pieces.


The wigs and hairpieces were created by Hope Watson and Carole Hancock from her studio and it was my great pleasure to apply these during the production.



amnesia, eno, hair pieces, eno, hope Watson, carole Hancock



My show plots were fast moving with plenty of quick changes. Wigs on, wigs off, wigs back on. I definitely didn’t have much time to rest.


What made this show an absolute pleasure was working with the amazing talents of both Latonia Moore and Michelle De Young. Both travelled over to the UK from the US for their English National Opera debuts.


Marnie: Vintage Wigs And Makeup



marnie, eno, sascha cooke, marionettes

Production photo from Marnie at London Coliseum



My show plot for this production of Marnie took me squarely back to the 1950s. This beautifully put together production reflected Hollywood glamour from a golden age.


The gorgeous Sascha Cooke was Marnie and I got to apply some perfect vintage style makeup on her and dressed her wigs in that very classic 1950s Hitchcock movie way.



blonde wig, vintage look, marnie, eno, wigs and makeup

Production photo from ENO’s Marnie



The costumes were designed by Arianne Phillips and really reflexed to period. There were 16 full costume and wig changes during this show. Morgan and Courtney were Sascha’s dressers and between the three of us we formed Team Marnie. We basically ran around throwing wigs and costumes at Sascha to create the scenes on the stage.



Production photo from ENO’s Marnie



Wigs and makeup featured very heavily on these two fabulous shows which were running at the end of the 2017 season at London Coliseum and English National Opera. It was a great pleasure to work with some amazing people on the design team. Not forgetting to mention all the incredible work from the wigs and makeup department at the Coliseum. All under the watchful eye of The Wigs And Makeup Studio’s very own Corinne Young. Some flawless Senior Technician work from you Miss Young.


Philip Carson-Sheard

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