A Day in the Life: Of Mice and Men Wardrobe Supervisor

A Day in the Life: Of Mice and Men Wardrobe Supervisor

7 April 2016

by Helena Ascough

Interview: In this quick snippet interview, Nancy Janzig talks about life backstage and gives her advice for people wanting to get in the industry. Photography by Jessica Isherwood. 

What do you do on an average day working on Of Mice and Men?
I’m responsible for the care and the washing of the costumes, I see to repairs, vintage comes with its own problems as it is old. During the show, I preset the costumes so that the actors have access to them ready for their quick changes. On this tour, I’m doing the wig.


Is the wig made from real hair?
It is real hair, it has to be because we apply heat to it. I put the rollers in the wig every day before a performance. Just before the show, I fit the wig onto the actress playing Curley's Wife.


How do you keep the wig secure?
There’s a lace front so that it blends in, and then I pin it with loads of grips of different sizes, I use a special type of glue that keeps the lace flushed to the skin so it blends in very well. They use the same type of thing in film but the lace is much smaller.

Curley's Wife wig being prepared

Was there an outfit that was hard to find?
From my understanding, Curley's Wife's red dress was hard to find. It was a difficult style to achieve for that character, whereas the men's style was much easier.


Did you have an input on the costumes used?
I didn’t, no. There is a Costume Designer and a Costume Supervisor who are there for the set-up of the show. I wasn’t part of that team, they work with the Director on making creative decisions. I’m running wardrobe, my job is dealing with the budget, making sure we can pack everything on tour, making repairs and ensuring everything looks the same.  I make choices about what materials to use when patching up the clothes.


If someone is interested in working in wardrobe, what advice would you give them?
I was living in Cambridge for a number of years and worked as a dresser. It’s a good experience to help your local theatre. I'd suggest getting involved by helping dress shows, doing laundry calls, anything you can that they need help with. Then you start making contacts and then you move on to bigger and better things. Learn sewing that’s always useful!

Of Mice and Men costume for Neil McKinvenOf Mice and Men clothing basket

Of Mice and Men premieres at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where it runs from 4 to 13 February 2016. It then tours to Cheltenham, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Darlington, Blackpool, Cambridge, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxford and Leicester where it concludes on 28 May.