Audiences fawn over make up student’s theatre work

2nd February 2022

A Make Up for Stage & Screen student from Stratford-upon-Avon College recently helped transport audiences to a fairy tale world by providing make up and prosthetics for a local Christmas show.

Alice Knights, 17 from Leamington Spa, is currently in her second year of the Level 3 Make Up for Stage & Screen Extended Diploma and has recently completed a work experience placement with local amateur dramatics company Lighthorne Drama Group.

Mr Tumnus makeup at theatre
Alice created the look for Mr Tumnus, the fawn

The performance was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, based on the story by C.S Lewis. Set in the far-off fantasy world of Narnia, Alice’s role was to create the mystical creatures the four hero’s meet on their adventure. Following weeks of rehearsal, the show took to the stage at Lighthorne Village Hall in December.

Key characters included Mr Tumnus, the Wolf and Mr and Mrs Beaver, though Alice helped with a range of other characters as and when needed during the run.

Alice provided make up for The Wolf (Chief of Police) and Mr and Mrs Beaver, as well as helping out with a range of other character’s make up

Alice has always loved the theatre and had been a performer herself, but really relished the chance to work on the other side of the curtain which she described as amazing and eye opening.

Sally Dick, Head of Make-up at Lighthorne Drama Group, was really pleased with Alice’s contribution. She commented: “Alice was a willing and enthusiastic member of the production. It was great to have someone with a knowledge of latex and prosthetics and she made some fabulous horns for Mr Tumnus which we would have had trouble creating without her. Her design and application of the make-up for the wolves, beavers and leopards was brilliant and we had many compliments from the audience after the show. We always welcome new ideas and talent.”

Sally hopes Alice benefited from her experience too: “I think Alice learnt from this experience as well. I think time management and working calmly on stressed actors will stand her in good stead. Time management is really important in this situation. “

Alice doing make up on student Maddy
Alice practises her technique on fellow students

Alice has always had an interest in everything creative, performing on the stage, on camera and experimenting with make-up and special effects. When choosing what to study, she knew she wanted to be in a creative environment and ultimately decided on Make Up for Stage & Screen at Stratford-upon-Avon College. She explains: “I wanted to do make up but a lot of other courses were more beauty based, whereas this course has a really broad range of elements to study; including special effects.”

Alice will be finishing her course this year and is looking forward to what is ahead: “I definitely want to work in the arts world. I have a real interest in film, theatre and TV.”

Make Up for Stage & Screen lecturer at the College, Charlotte Hollingworth, commented: “It was great to see Alice’s passion for getting involved with a theatrical performance. Students learnt face painting for theatre last year which would help to create characters within Theatre Productions. Students have been completing their second project of Year 2 which is based on Tales, and how these Tales are featured within Theatre, Film and TV. Alice had showed brilliant independence and talent to create character theatrical looks without any help at all”.

See more of what Lighthorne Drama Group gets up to here.

Find out more about the College's Make Up for Stage & Screen course: Make Up for Stage & Screen course