On Stage/Backstage
Beauty & The Brush October 31, 2013

As the unrelentingly creative Head of Makeup at the Theâtre Mogador in Paris, Christine Le Marchand is responsible for the look of the brand new, lavish production of La Belle et La Bête - Beauty and the Beast to us Anglophones - opening this month (running through 2014).

Christine was running on adrenalin as there are constant rehearsals, not just for the script, but run-throughs for makeup as well, including the Beast’s prostheses and the 170 wigs she and her team of 7 must manage.

Beauty & The Brush

October 31, 2013

As the unrelentingly creative Head of Makeup at the Theâtre Mogador in Paris, Christine Le Marchand is responsible for the look of the brand new, lavish production of La Belle et La Bête - Beauty and the Beast to us Anglophones - opening this month (running through 2014).

Christine was running on adrenalin as there are constant rehearsals, not just for the script, but run-throughs for makeup as well, including the Beast’s prostheses and the 170 wigs she and her team of 7 must manage.

Visibly full of positive energy, Christine is no-nonsense and straight to the point, yet warm and down-to-earth. In the industry for over 20 years, her first encounter with MAKE UP FOR EVER Founder and Artistic Director Dany Sanz was when she was in her second year of beauty school. Seeing Dany do a body painting demo led Christine to switch her focus and enroll in the Chauveau Makeup School in Paris. The products used at makeup school? MAKE UP FOR EVER.  A partnership that has stood the test of time, Christine has once again chosen MAKE UP FOR EVER to be her makeup partner for La Belle & La Bête.

We caught up with her at the MAKE UP FOR EVER boutique where she was stocking up on supplies for the show. Though rushed off her feet, she couldn’t have been more gracious as we talked about the opening of the show just one week away. Christine was running on adrenalin as there are constant rehearsals, not just for the script, but run-throughs for makeup as well, including the Beast’s prostheses and the 170 wigs she and her team of 7 must manage. So how does one turn a perfectly nice-looking guy into a total beast?

For starters, it takes time. Ninety minutes, to be precise. “An hour and a half in the chair,” says Christine “to make the Beast look beastly.” What’s the worst part for him? “To sit for an hour and a half in the chair without moving. He is really full of energy so it’s tough! We play soft music, give him tea with a straw, we try & keep him calm but….luckily, it will go faster every night once the show starts.”

I asked her whether the Bête leaves in full makeup every night, giving away my massive knowledge of musicals and fairytales in general. Of course not. He gets transformed during the show, back to being a Prince.

And how long does that second transformation take? “It normally takes us half an hour. But during the show, we will have about 8 minutes.”  When I asked whether that time constraint stresses or pushes her, the answer was clear as her eyes started to twinkle. “It’s exciting to me!” she said. “There are people who get crippled by fear when under pressure, and others who thrive on the pressure.” No points for guessing which category she falls under.

 

Pictures: Brinkhoff/Mögenburg ©Disney

  • Tags:
  • Musical,
  • Head makeup Artist,
  • Christine Le Marchand,
  • Partnership,
  • Transformation