Tell us a bit about yourself:
"Hello, I’m Ciara! Originally from the beautiful village of
Rostrevor, I moved to Belfast a year ago after living in
Brighton, on the south coast of England for a number of
years. My background is a real mish-mash of different
creative bits – I did Film Studies at university and then went
on to do an MA in Textiles, I’ve also worked within
Sustainable Fashion, Graphic Design, Digital Illustration and
Web Design/Branding, a little bit of everything! I love to try
my hand at anything artistic and experimental where I can
use my imagination."
How did you first get into costuming?
"My aunt Nora taught me to sew when I was eight years old,
we made a patchwork quilt from lots of little beautiful odds
and ends of fabrics. My obsession with patchwork is still very
much with me to this day! And I’ve had a bug for sewing ever
since. My first experience working within costume was in
2015 – The lovely Paula O’Hare from the Bosco Drama Group
in Newry took me under her wing to help with costumes for
their Autumn production of Honk. After that, at university I
joined the Brighton University Drama Society and worked on
costumes for a number of productions. I’ve tried to jump at
the chance of getting involved with costume wherever I can!"
What first interested you in applying to the Lyric?
"I’ve always loved visiting the Lyric, from a young age through
to adulthood I’ve always loved going to see live theatre. So,
when I saw this role advertised I really didn’t have to think
twice before applying – the opportunity to work for such a
renowned and diverse playhouse, and in a costume
department, felt like all the things I loved combined into one.
So I applied, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best! I feel
so lucky to now be working in a place that I’ve admired for so
long and in a role I feel passionate about."
What production are you most looking forward to in this role?
"I’m really looking forward to working on Hansel and Gretel,
one of the Lyrics Christmas shows this year! I’ve heard
rumblings of various ideas from our costume designer, Gillian
Lennox, about the kinds of pieces we’ll be making and it’s all
really exciting! The festive season is always a nice excuse to
make things a bit more wacky and wonderful, so I’m looking
forward to diving into the madness!"
What are you hoping to get out of this role?
"I’m really grateful that this role is generously being funded by Theatre Artists Fund, so I’m looking forward to availing of
the training and mentoring opportunities the fund and
theatre provides and just getting stuck in and learning as much as I can. I love the nature and rhythm of a theatre in
that no day is the same as the next, so I’m excited to just
really soak up everything as much possible!"
About Theatre Artist Fund:
Between July 2020 and March 2022, THEATRE ARTISTS FUND realised emergency funds for theatre freelancers across the UK in need of critical financial aid, due to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the theatre sector. £9.9 million was raised to distribute 9,964 emergency grants, towards living costs such as rent, food and electricity, alongside signposting to mental-health support.
In July 2021, Sir Sam Mendes announced that a pilot programme, creating employment opportunities, was going into development.
Working in conjunction with Backstage Trust and Theatre Development Trust, Theatre Artists Fund have designed a programme which will help to nurture and develop the creative workforce, in collaboration with performing arts venues across the UK.
Over a period of two years, the pilot will realise twenty full-time jobs for people working in craft and technical disciplines at emerging and mid-career level. Alongside economic stability, each person will be supported with integrated training, and mentoring from established freelance theatre artists. Through this process, our aim is to identify new ways of working to help people develop their careers, encourage positive change for organisations, and benefit the wider creative industries and our communities.