The first thing that comes to mind when we think about theatre is very often the actor’s interpretation, other indispensable elements such as the costumes, the characterisation or the props more than likely being forgotten. So what could be better than getting to know someone who works behind the scenes? We talked to Àngels Palomar, the director of Damaret, a family business specialising in make-up, hairdressing and accessories for theatre, television, advertising and the arts.
When Pilar Damaret founded the business in 1919, she concentrated on making wigs and costumes, mainly rented or bought by the Gran Teatre del Liceu. This collaboration put Damaret on the map. But it was in 1949, when Josep Marquès Damaret, Pilar’s nephew, started managing the business that things really took off. He created a section related to ballet, which still enjoys great prestige today. Josep is also known for his contribution to the Theatre Institute, where he gave lessons on characterisation and make-up. In 2016, the jury of the 22nd edition of the Butaca Awards recognised the excellence of Àngels Palomar’s work in the theatrical production L’avar by awarding her the Prize for Best Characterisation.
1. Curling tongs. Made from forged iron, these are essentials tools of the trade to help curl or shape the hair of the wigs.
2. Miniature electric oven, to heat the curling tongs as desired.
3. Rolling pin, used to roll the curls and ringlets and apply lacquer if necessary.
4. Lacquer brush. A very fine brush to even out the lacquer across the surface of the hair.
5. Head mould, the netting of the wig is stretched over this to create the base on which the wig is made.
6. Needle. This tiny tatting-like needle is used to implant the hair on the base taking care to ensure that the final product looks as natural as possible.
7. Crepe, dried hair which when soaked in water and vinegar adds texture and firmness to beards and moustaches.
8. Natural tresses, in this case hand-died to a brownish tone.
9. Wooden head mould. This one is used for fashioning beards.
10. Beard and moustache brush. Beards must be brushed and polished!
11.Royal crown. Part of an impressive jewellery collection.
12.Marie Antoinette-style wig. Made with real hair, it was used in the opera Andrea Chénier at the Peralada Castle Festival.
13. Another period wig, also used in the opera Andrea Chénier.