Holiday on Ice’s annual stint at the Brighton Centre (January 5-14) will be a home-coming for assistant costume designer Simon Crowhurst.
Simon grew up in Eastbourne, but trained at the ice rink in Brighton before going on to become a skater in Holiday on Ice in 1999.
“I worked as a skater until around 2010 and then the rest of the time I have been working on the costumes.
“It is always a highlight to come to Brighton. Each show with Holiday on Ice runs for two to three years, so you aren’t coming to Brighton every year.
“Skating was just something that I started doing on a Sunday.
“Every Sunday I would go, and at the age of 17 I went to Wembley to audition for Holiday on Ice.
“In those days it was live auditions. These days you can just send in your show reel, but I went there and they took me on and my first show was in Porto Rico.”
Since then, the travel has been a huge part of the fun. The shows tour Europe extensively with countries including Germany, France, Austria, England, Denmark and Belgium.
“We have also done Central America and South America.
“It’s great. We are all one family at the end of the day. We live together and we travel together and we work together.
“It never becomes a drag to be travelling around the world. It just feels like such a privilege to be doing something that you love.
“But no, I don’t get to see Brighton as much as I would like.
“I live in Holland now, but I come back two or three times a year, but I do feel it calling more as I get older!
“You feel like you are wanting to go back to your roots.”
As for the transition from skating to costumes, it happened very naturally, Simon says.
“Costume was always something that I was interested in.
“The joy of working with a company like Holiday on Ice is that you have got so many talented people around you. You have got the lighting and the costumes and the sound and the choreographers.”
It’s a great training ground.
“If there is something that you are interested in and want to stay in the entertainment world, then I always say to people that this is a great way to learn.
“I had always wanted to get involved in costumes.
“I have done so many productions with Holiday on Ice where you are working really closely with the costume designer while you are learning the show. You get to see how things are made, and you get to see how things are done.
“For me, it just felt a very natural move into costumes.”
Simon therefore became part of the vast world that, as he says, it is easy for people in the audience to forget – the huge amount of technical and background work that goes into a show of this size, all the things that have to happen backstage. For this show, for instance, there are no fewer than 240 costumes, all of which had to be made during the six or seven-week rehearsal schedule.
“And then once the show is up and running, thoughts turn to the next show.
But all the while there are plenty of repairs and alterations needed for the costumes for the current show.
“There is a constant demand for fishnets for the girls!”
This year the show, running at the Brighton Centre from January 5-14 is called TIME, promising a celebration of “the best and most memorable times of our lives.”