Mona Kastell, costume designer

 9 October 2012

Costume designer Mona Kastell specialises in costume for street arts and circus companies.

"I might spend time sourcing and altering things with the wardrobe team. I also like making costumes myself.


I'm from a small village in Brittany, France. I'm now based in Edinburgh.

What job do you do?

I’m a freelance costume designer and maker.

What previous jobs in theatre have you done?

The first time I got involved with a show was at college, when the performing arts course needed a designer/maker for their show.

Then I was lucky enough to work with another theatre designer as her assistant on a production of 'A Christmas Carol', again while still at college.

"I might spend time sourcing and altering things with the wardrobe team. I also like making costumes myself."

Since then, I’ve designed for a show which represented the UK at the International Children’s Festival of Performing Arts in New Delhi.

I've also worked as assistant costume designer on a musical at the Pleasance Theatre in North London.

More recently, I've been involved in various ways with circus and street arts companies, from fire performers to puppet theatre.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a BA in theatre design and practice with costume construction from Croydon College, London.

It really allowed me to experiment with all aspects of theatre design, whilst learning to work creatively in a team.

What do you do at work?

I discuss costume ideas, research and draw sketches. I might spend time sourcing and altering pieces of costume with the wardrobe team for a theatre company or client.

I also like making some of the costumes myself. Sometimes I'll be having more of an admin day – networking, doing the accounts or updating the website.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Being creative. I like playing with colours, shapes and texture, and love working with diverse, creative people and communities.

And the worst thing about the job?

There’s never enough time! It’s a very demanding job. It can really take over your personal life.

How do I get into theatre?

Get to know people, and let them know what you’re good at. Talk to other designers. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

It’s hard work, but always remember what your goals are.


Mona is part of our theatre experts panel. Ask Mona a question about working in theatre.

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