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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

A cheese grater, paint and glue... how to 'break down' a coat for the stage

Backstage at the Abbey Theatre, they sometimes like to destroy perfectly good pieces of clothing. Here’s why

YOU MIGHT THINK that to be worn on stage, a costume has to be absolutely perfect.

In fact, sometimes the theatre staff have to take to clothes with a scalpel or cheese grater to make sure they look just as needed.

Saileóg O’Halloran explained that at the Abbey Theatre’s costume warehouse, they have lots of items that the costume staff have ‘broken down’ so they look old and used.

“Things can be made so perfectly and then broken down to this,” she explained, demonstrating with this hand-sewn tailcoat:


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