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Students bring show-stopping makeup to Dick Whittington

Oh, no they didn’t!

Oh, yes they did! Media Makeup students from South & City College Birmingham once again took part in bringing their art to Dick Whittington, the latest spectacular performance from an award-winning Coleshill troupe. ‘Coleshill on Stage’, frequent creative collaborators with our Media Makeup department, teamed up with college students to bring Dick Whittington characters to life in a fabulous 4-night performance.

Each night was a full operation, with the first cast members getting in makeup at 4.00pm for a 7.30pm start. The students, ranging from 2nd year to postgrad, developed reference sheets for each character to help speed the preparation along and give time for touch-ups between scenes. There was plenty of practice before opening night, including adjusting for how each dramatic look held up under the stage lights.

Pre-performance prep backstage was full of banter, laughs, excitement and nerves, with cast members sinking deeper into character with every brush stroke. The makeup added a final touch of magic, helping bring them into character and making them a real piece of art.

“They’re really great, so fast and so professional,” said cast member Dan Butler during his 1-hour transformation into the villainous King Rat (boo!). Dean Yeats, the fabulous Dame Dolly Dumpling, added: “It’s amazing. So many of the cast didn’t even know they were students.”

“I’m really enjoying this course,” said Deepali Sharma, student. “I loved working in the theatre. My son is excited to see what I’m doing. He’s 10 and is always asking me to put what I’ve learnt on him at home.”

“It’s hard work but it’s so much fun, a big adrenaline rush!” said Raffy Mateus, postgraduate. “I’ve been doing this for years and I can’t get enough of the theatre side.”

A pantomime is just the tip of the iceberg for the student experience on the course. Carol English, Senior Technician of Hair & Beauty for South & City College, said: “These Media Makeup students are a well-oiled machine. We helped provide makeup to athletes at the Commonwealth Games, a marathon task with athletes giving us badges of their home countries as thanks.

“Dick Whittington has been another successful partnership with ‘Coleshill on Stage’ – we’ve worked with John Kerr and Tom Willson, the chairman and director respectively, over the last few years on pantos such as Jack & The Beanstalk and Aladdin. It’s an amazing experience for our students and gives them great contacts for the future.”

And this is far from the curtain call! There’s even more upcoming shows to paint over like Kinky Boots in March and Shrek down the line.

Want to help paint the town red on a Media Makeup course at South & City College Birmingham? Learn how to create show-stopping looks for the performing arts, with annual shows and real entertainment industry experience.