I joined backstage with basically no experience, but it didn’t matter as everyone in the society is really patient and happy to teach you everything (often more than once in my case)!
The first show I was involved in was Music Theatre’s 9 to 5, Shelley and I spent several hours repurposing old props to create the adorable monster affectionately called Norman, made entirely of tights, newspaper and lots of tape.
Olivia, Shelley, and Norman
Thankfully he was under a sheet on stage as they only needed a silhouette, so the audience couldn’t see how he got increasingly battered through the show nights. Looking at the end result, it’s slightly surprising how much work went into making him. Norman’s decapitated head now lives in the workshop wearing backstage PPE.
Norman's final resting place
LUU’s Dance competition was the second show I was involved in and I decided to be brave and go for the house manager role. It was a sell-out show and it’s probably an understatement to say I was nervous beforehand! But once the audience were (mostly) all in the theatre, I was amazed at how relatively smoothly the show ran, and the front of house team were brilliant.
I decided to have another go at House Manager for Panto’s Romeo and Juliet. It was fun watching the shows get increasingly chaotic each night, until the chaos also hit front of house (on the second night we had to face a new challenge in the form of very drunk people, but it was fine). One of the best bits was when a chair somehow went missing mid-show meaning the vice chancellor of Beckett had to improvise with a toilet instead!
Overall, I’ve had a lot of fun with the shows this semester, met some really great people, and learned an awful lot!
Some impressive improvisation during Panto!