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Trainee Costume Buyer

Passionate about theatre and interested in a career in costume buying or supervising? Then this might just be the role for you…

National Theatre make world-class theatre that is entertaining, challenging and inspiring. They work with a wide range of artists as possible, seeking fresh perspectives on the stories that they tell. Their work is shaped by the world around us, and they seek to be constantly engaged with the wider national conversation. Through the work they make and their world-leading learning programme, they want to engage all audiences with the power and potential of theatre.

National Theatre are on the hunt for a Trainee Costume Buyer. The ideal candidate will primarily work alongside the costume buyers and stock co-ordinator gaining valuable experience through assisting and shadowing them in all aspects of their duties over the year. The position will allow the trainee the opportunity to build their supplier contacts along with the chance to develop their skills and increase their knowledge and experience within a busy costume department. The aim is that, after the year, the trainee will be able to go forward independently into the industry with enhanced skills and experience towards a future career in costume buying/assisting and supervising for theatre, film or TV.


  • Work as part of the dynamic and exciting Costume department in creating world leading stage productions
  • Gain a full understanding of the costume production process from the initial costume design through to finished costumes on stage with a good sense of how they are produced
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of the role of a Buyer within a busy producing theatre
  • Assist the experienced costume buying team in various duties, including shopping and sourcing for shows (This will often require travelling considerable distances by foot and on public transport)
  • Learn how to manage all finance elements required for a Buyer: petty cash, credit card, computerised purchase orders Understand the importance of accurate paperwork including receipts and shopping lists
  • Learn the importance and necessity of working to deadlines
  • As guided by the costume buyers, costume supervisor or designer, visit the costume hire department and select costumes
  • Help to maintain all stock areas in a clean and tidy condition and ensure that security, safety and good housekeeping procedures are properly carried out
  • Assist with the annual stocktake as required


  • Self-motivated, pro-active, and eager to learn
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Recent experience working within a costume or related environment
  • Basic knowledge of London’s main haberdashery and shopping areas
  • A strong desire to pursue a career in Costume Buying and Costume Supervising
  • Good textile and footwear knowledge along with a general interest and appreciation of costume history and contemporary trends
  • Good IT and finance Skills (primarily Word & Excel) with excellent organisational skills
  • Able to work under pressure and within tight deadlines
  • Able to lift and manoeuvre costume rails; boxes and carry heavy bags of shopping
  • Basic sewing skills and knowledge of costume construction are an advantage


  • Follow this link to apply
  • Deadline 10AM on Friday 31st January 2020
  • Start date flexible
  • In your application, state that you heard about this role through Creative Access