Speak On It

Illamasqua’s collaboration with ‘The Boy Friend’

Junior Brand Manager Alex Cummins went to visit the backstage of ‘The Boy Friend’ this week and was excited to meet Jack Saudercock – Head of Make-up Design for the show. 

‘The Boy Friend’ celebrated the magnificence of the art and cultural world and showcased the true efforts of the team of volunteers who made up the cast of this special performance. As the team worked to break the Showtime Challenge record of putting on a West End performance in 48 hours, Jack took us through his inspirations for the show looks in an interview exclusively for Illamasqua…
“It’s my first time working for this company and my first time working on such a scale – 48 hours for the entire cast and crew to rehearse as well as a grand dress rehearsal – and with 70 cast to make-up was a challenge! Its for the Guinness Book of Records with proceeds going to the Princes Trust so I am thrilled to be part of such an experience.” – Jack
As Julie Andrews’ first ever Broadway show and a long running theatre success, the team were putting on a performance with a real sense of heritage!

What were your references?
“The looks are set in the 1920s French Riviera at a finishing school for young ladies. We used Getty Images and old Hollywood movies from the 20’s for inspiration. Think Jean Harlow, Clara Bow mixed with a Jack Saundercock update! I looked to the Dior couture shows amongst other references to modernise the feel. I knew that Illamasqua would be the perfect partner due to the brands 1920s heritage”
The final act is a theatrical celebration!
Certainly is – it’s a masquerade, with references from Cirque de Soleil and Venetian masks – I spent an entire afternoon in the British Museum studying the Venetian masks there; the structure of the face, the colours used.
What were some of the Illamasqua pieces used?
Medium Pencil in Sorceress
Medium Pencil in Severe
Lipstick in Salacious
Lipstick in Sangers
Lipstick in Growl
Powder Blusher in Nymph
Powder Blusher in Chased
Cream Blusher in Laid
Cream Blusher in Rude
Pure Pigment in Furore

Sealing Gel
Liquid Eyeliner in Shatter
Precision Ink in Abyss
Powder Eye Shadow in Heroine
Powder Eye Shadow in Daemon
Powder Eye Shadow in Wolf
Rich Liquid Foundation in RF100
Powder Foundation in PF100
Loose Powder in LP350
What was your favourite look?
Definitely the orange/yellow look. The “phoenix bid of fire” mask. They were such hot colours it looked beautiful. 

What challenges do you face as a theatre make-up artist?
The make-up has to look good at every tier, so when I am watching the dress rehearsal I will go from the very front row to right at the back of the top tier to make sure the make-up looks perfect. Sometimes lighting can effect make-up from one tier to the next so you have to work around that. Think about the difference in lighting of say The Boy Friend [all bright yellow lights – it’s set on the beach a lot of the time so shadow is minimal] to a production like Les Miserables or Wicked. We have to think about what every member of the audience will see!

Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert