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The Wig Master



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• Once all the measurements are taken he orders the hair foundations and liaises with the makers and briefs them on what is required. The wigs are then constructed and after a period of around four to six weeks (dependent upon the design of the wig) they arrive on site.

• Henry will then style the wigs – each curl for the Pineapple Poll wig is individually styled and set. Generally there are two or more dancers performing each role so an identical wig has to be tailor made and fitted for each.

• The General Rehearsal, sometimes called the Dress Rehearsal, takes place either the night before or sometimes on the afternoon of the opening night. This is when the dancers perform in their wigs for the first time and also when Henry first sees how the wigs look and work under the lights. Dancers will feedback how they got on and then the wigs are prepared ready for the first show.

• After each performance the wigs are collected up, washed, reset and then placed in the dryer overnight. This ensures that the wigs are looking in the best condition ready for the next performance.

The best part of the job
'The best part of my job is an opening night of a new production. The work and effort to put on a new production is huge and usually involves me creating new wigs for the production. The feeling of seeing the opening night performance run through with no hitches or any wig issues is very satisfying.'

Trick of the trade
'One trick of the trade I have is for helping secure wigs and hairpieces onto the male dancers with short hair. I use tiny elastic bands and create small bunches around the head. I can then use pins to attach the wigs to the bunches which allows me to secure them firmly.'

For more behind-the-scenes information about BRB's productions, visit the 'All about ballet' section via the link in the menu at the top of the page.

Widow Simone from La Fille mal gardée in full wig and make up

The beautiful head dress from Romeo and Juliet

The crown-like spiky hair of Macbeth in The Shakespeare Suite

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