Student’s designs on the big screen

Student Alison Lyons with one of her costumes
Student Alison Lyons with one of her costumes

AN ARTISTIC student has brought her ideas to life as she helped showcase Hartlepool on the big screen.

 Cleveland College of Art and Design student Alison Lyons has been working as a costume assistant with Streetwise Opera in the making of a film, The Hartlepool Monkey.

It was filmed at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, in the town’s Marina Drive, and will be seen nationally at a series of screenings around the UK.

It is one of a series of four short films created by Streetwise Opera performers alongside cutting-edge composers and film-makers.

Alison, 21, who is studying costume for the stage and screen, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was asked to take part in the making of the film. This is exactly what I want to do and I was very excited to be given this chance.”

Streetwise Opera, a London-based company, uses the power of music to help homeless people move forward in their lives, working with 11 homeless centres around the UK by staging professional productions.

Preparations for the filming started at the Sage in Gateshead where Alison attended costume fittings for the cast of 40, who are mainly dressed in naval uniforms.

Alison added: “I helped to dress the actors each morning and then I had to watch over the film sets in case I was needed to take a hem up or do a quick alteration to a costume. I would often have to run on set to fix things so filming could continue.

“Working with the homeless was amazing. You could tell they enjoyed it as their faces lit up. It was a really good feeling to be working with them and very rewarding.”

Alison developed contacts from her time on set and hopes future work will follow.

She said: “I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again as it has been a fantastic and satisfying experience for me.”