In Wigs and Make-up actors are made to look the part. They get their hair done in the right way, are given facial hair and can even be made to look bald!

Some shows require actors to wear wigs – and these are specially made for them. Make-up is usually very light on the Royal Exchange stage and could be worn out in public without looking strange.

Did you know…?

- Wigs are usually made from human hair. First, a lace cap is made to the exact measurement of the actor’s head and then the hair is knotted into the cap

- For eighteenth century wigs the hair of a yak is used because it is slightly thicker than human hair but can still be styled in the same way

- Stage blood bags are made by wrapping stage blood tightly in cling film. They are then punctured so that the blood bursts out. One of the characters in Shakespeare’s King Lear has his eyes gouged out. To achieve this grisly sight, half a grape was placed in a blood bag which looked like a bloody eyeball when squeezed

- One show required that an actor have his fingers chopped off. He certainly wouldn’t have been pleased if he lost his fingers forever – so a special foam latex (rubber) hand was made. Pencils were placed inside the hand so that they would make a snapping sound when the fingers were chopped off!