An Art and Design student from West Cheshire College has gained a prestigious work experience placement with Tip Top Theatre Productions based in Chester.
Sophie Lees, 20, from the Wirral, is in her final year of Level 3 Art and Design, says: “Every Christmas Tip Top Productions perform a pantomime and this year it is Dick Whittington. My sister dances at the Theatre so I spoke to the producer about work experience there and of course I jumped at the chance when I was offered the role.
“It has been so much fun so far, I am making Dick Whittington’s jacket for the show, which is a huge honour. I was also asked to go along to a lot of the costume fittings and rehearsals, where I was then asked to create another outfit for another character. I am also responsible for the costume changes of the Dame and main cast during the show which is really exciting.
“I am also making adjustments and fittings to key outfits, it’s great experience for me and a taste of the industry I want to get into.”
Sophie, who suffers from ME, was recently recognised by numerous national charities, after filming a video to raise awareness of ME and the daily struggles that she and other sufferers face.
Sophie adds: “This experience has been fantastic, it has really built my confidence and I have to thank West Cheshire College for all the support they have given me over the years. The College has changed my life and the skills I'm learning open doors to incredible opportunities all the time.
“Without my tutors I wouldn't be where I am, they always encourage me with my work and are always around to help and go above and beyond what they actually are here to do.
“Working at Tip Top Theatre Productions has allowed me to turn my dreams into reality and I am hoping to study Costume Design at university next year.”
Steve Davies, Director of Tip Top Productions adds: "Sophie has been a great addition to our team at the Theatre. Every job that she's been asked to perform has been done not only to a high standard but also with great enthusiasm.
“The backstage team don't always get the applause for their input into productions so I'm thrilled to be able to thank Sophie for her involvement."
Louise Condon, Course Leader at West Cheshire College, says: “Sophie is a true inspiration, she doesn’t let outside factors affect her achieving her dream, and she is a brilliant role model for others.
“I will be very sad to see Sophie go next year, but I know she will be a great success in whatever she does. Tip Top Productions has been an amazing experience for her.”
For more information about studying Art and Design at West Cheshire College, call the College hotline on 01244 656555 or visit www.west-cheshire.ac.uk