Behind the scenes at Madame Tussauds

Two women applying make up and fixing outfit on Harry Styles figure at Madame Tussauds

Opened in 1884, Madame Tussauds London is an absolute must-visit attraction. 👌 

From rubbing shoulders with Harry Styles, to mingling with the Royal Family, you can get closer than ever to your favourite A-listers. With over 150 unique lifelike figures, and four immersive experiences, it’s a perfect for a family fun day out.

Get 30% off your entry

We’ve teamed up with Merlin to bring you a very special offer!  

Get 30% off at four top London attractions: 

👻 The London Dungeon 
🐠 SEA LIFE London Aquarium 
💂 Madame Tussauds London 
💚 Shrek’s Adventure London 

Book your tickets in advance. On the day of your visit, show proof of travel on the TfL Oyster and contactless app (excludes Santander Cycles). T&Cs apply.

Q&A with Madame Tussaud’s Studio Manager, Jo Kinsey

If you’ve ever wondered about the incredible work that goes into creating these lifelike masterpieces, we spoke to Jo Kinsey, Madame Tussauds’ Studio Manager who oversees a team of highly skilled artists, responsible for maintaining the figures lifelike appearance. 👇

What’s a typical day for a member of the Madame Tussauds London Studio team?

We start early before opening hours so our team can sweep the attraction and inspect our lineup of over 150 unique figures. They ensure they’re camera-ready for the thousands of guests who will walk through our doors during the day. 📸 

Our work includes maintaining the figures. That means applying finishing touches to their skin, washing and styling their hair, or managing their wardrobe of outfits, many of which are donated by the actual celebrities themselves.

What figure have you just finished working on?

We’ve just launched Sir David Attenborough and Olly Alexander. Both figures, being staples of modern British culture, launched on the same day in our new Culture Capital zone. 🤩 

Can you share some details on the process?

The process of creating a new figure is intricate and requires extensive research and measurements to capture every detail accurately.

From there, we work with professional sculptors within our ‘Merlin’s Magic Making’ team in west London. They craft the realistic heads, and individually insert each strand of hair. They also pay attention to the skin tone, including every freckle and vein. The eyes are accurately recreated, including adding in each fleck of the iris. 😲 

The bodies are created to accurate measurements and styled in a collaboratively chosen outfit. Olly Alexander’s figure pays homage to his empowering BRIT Awards 2021 performance, and is wearing the genuine outfit he wore alongside Sir Elton John, donated by the star himself. Lil Nas X specifically chose the outfit for his figure, and made a personal request for his figure’s arm to be outstretched so guests could hold his hand as they meet him.

How do you become a Madame Tussauds London Studio team member?

Becoming a part of the Madame Tussauds London Studio Team is no easy feat!

Most of our artists have started their career journey within the arts, working in sculpture, technical arts, and/or hair and make-up. Once they become part of the Studio team, they then gain further specialist experience. They undergo extensive in-house training to master the unique Madame Tussauds artistic processes.

Studio team fixing make up and hair on King Charles and Queen Camilla figures at Madame Tussauds

How often do you update a figure?

Just like the real celebrities themselves, our lifelike figures get their hair and make-up treatment every morning by our talented team. 💄 

Further maintenance of a figure may be needed every few months to maintain the high standards of realism. The need for this type of expert work depends on various factors, such as the figure’s location within the attraction, and their level of popularity.  

We’re always refreshing our roster of figures within the attraction, and sometimes this involves creating updated versions of existing figures. Our most recent example of this was when we created an updated figure of Queen Camilla. The new figure featured a new sculpt and outfit, just in time for her and King Charles III’s coronation. 

How long does it take to create a new figure for Madame Tussauds London?

From the initial concept to the finished product, it takes between nine to twelve months, and a team of 20 talented studio members. 😱 

What’s your favourite part of the job?

We’re all very proud of the hard work that goes into each figure and absolutely love seeing the celebrities’ reactions to meeting their figures for the first time. 😍

Use our travel tools to plan your journey

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