We are sad to announce that our former Head of Wardrobe Ginnie O’Brien passed away on Sunday 24th February. She died peacefully with her family around her.
Ginnie was passionate about clothing and started to learn her craft making clothes while working in Liverpool’s stylish fashion boutique Through the Looking Glass in the 1960s. In the early 70s she joined the team at Liverpool Everyman as a cutter in the wardrobe department. She became part of a growing family who were passionate about the theatre, working with Willy Russell, Alan Dosser, Roger McGough and spent her time creating costumes for actors such as Julie Walters, Pete Postlethwaite and Matthew Kelly.
Following the Everyman she spent time working in Chicago before returning home and working in various theatres around the country. She finally came to settle as Head of Wardrobe Manchester’s newest theatre The Royal Exchange in the early 1980s, establishing the department that exists today. Ginnie’s dedication to the theatre was infectious and she instilled her colleagues with a desire to create beautifully detailed costumes to the very highest standard. Her passion didn’t simply lie in bringing costume designs to life but in helping and inspiring the next generation of costume makers to achieve their potential. Ginnie, who was self-taught, looked for the twinkle in someone’s eye; for those people who had an instinctive talent for creating costume. Ginnie nurtured that little bit of magic, recognising in others what she had felt when she first started out.
Ginnie retired from the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2008.
Our thoughts are with her family.