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Beauty students spend week at the New Theatre Oxford for Oliver the Musical

1st Mar 2024

As part of their integrated work experience over the February half term, our Level 3 Theatrical, Special Effects and Hair & Media Makeup students joined the Oxford Operatic Society (OXOPS) at the New Theatre in Oxford for their performance of Oliver the Musical.

The students worked under the expertise of Makeup Stylist Craig and Makeup Stylist Assistant Lynne to help create the looks for Oliver, Nancy, the Artful Dodger, and 30 of the young pickpockets.

The students began their week in dress rehearsals; where Stylist Craig gave the students an introduction to stage makeup; sharing his favourite products to use and his best technical tricks and tips for working with stage lighting and telling a story through theatrical makeup.

“Craig gave us great tips for ensuring the makeup lasted longer, such as using a sponge and water when working with powder makeup.” - Emily, Student

“We learnt that when you are doing stage makeup, you need to make every look much bolder than you normally would. Craig taught us to always focus on the audience at the back of the theatre and ensuring that our work is strong enough for them to see it.” – Leo, Student

As the week progressed, the students had the opportunity to take on more responsibility, and work closely with the actors to perfect their looks and help tell their stories.

“My favourite part was meeting the cast and learning about their roles.” – Cami, Student

“We learnt to react to the client we are working with and their character’s’ brief. For example, if they were evil, we would make them look pale and cold; or if they had been drinking, we would make their cheeks and face red.” – Leni, Student

For many of our students this was their first time working within industry, and the group worked hard to support one another and to work as a team as they adapted to managing their own time schedules and working to industry time pressures.

Several of our students are working towards a career in makeup for film or stage performance, and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get hands on experience in the industry.

“I have known I want to work in film for a long time as I have family who live near the Harry Potter Studios in London, now I’ve spent a week with the makeup artists for Oliver, I want to do it even more.” – Lily, Student

Thank you to the New Theatre Oxford, the Oxford Operatic Society (OXOPS), and to Craig and Lynne for inviting our Beauty students to be part of your spectacular performance.

If you would like to find out more about the Theatrical, Special Effects and Hair & Media Make-Up course at Abingdon & Witney College, please visit the link below.