In November 2022, 3rd year BSc (Hons) Event Production student, Ryan Raistrick, and 2nd year BSc (Hons) Event Production students, Jack Barlow and Gurinder Hunjan, began paid work placements as Sound Technician and Follow Spot operators.
The opportunities came about through Confetti Work Placement Manager, Lucy Greaves, and BSc (Hons) Event Production tutor, Rosie Haigh, who sparked the students interest on a backstage tour of the Playhouse. Following the tour, Lucy and Rosie supported the trio with their applications and helped prepare them for interviews.
After their initial 80-hour placements, Nottingham Playhouse were suitably impressed with the students and employed Ryan as Technician on a fixed-term contract until March 2023 and Jack and Gurinder as Casual Technicians. By the production’s end (Saturday 14 January 2023), Ryan, Jack and Gurinder had completed in excess of 300 hours each in valuable work experience!
Nottingham Playhouse presents Dick Whittington
Awarded Regional Theatre of the Year 2019 by The Stage, Nottingham Playhouse is one of the country’s leading producing theatres and creates a range of productions throughout the year, from timeless classics to innovative family shows and adventurous new commissions. In November 2022, the legendary Playhouse panto returned full of sparkle, excitement and fun. Audiences joined plucky Dick Whittington and his trusty cat on their quest for fame and fortune. A tale of magical rags to riches, the hero’s incredible escapades take him onto the High Seas, into battle with the evil King Rat and see him fall head over heels in love with his boss’s daughter Alice. All the while the magical Bow Bells are whispering his destiny – to become Mayor of London!
We caught up with Ryan to learn more about his work experience:
“Working with the Playhouse team has been an incredible experience, everyone was on hand to help if ever I needed it, and have given me lots of vital professional industry tips and tricks. I’ve been lucky to meet such a supportive team.
“My responsibilities include assisting with sound checks and rig checks, monitoring the radio microphones throughout the shows, and ensuring they’re in the right place on faces. I was also on hand to assist the technical team with scene changes and problem solving.
“The theoretical and practical skills I have learnt on my course have enabled me to work independently on some shows. They have given me the know-how to confidently correct and solve any issues that occurred throughout the shows, such as losing camera signal from the musical director.
“This experience has built the foundations for my future, and has provided me with the vital experience that employers look for when applying for other jobs within the creative industries. The placement has also boosted my confidence in being able to apply for other jobs, and to not be worried about the outcome”.
Ryan’s tutor, Rosie Halgh, is over the moon for Ryan, whose dream it is to work on audio in theatres, she added:
“It’s amazing to see how excited he is and how much he has enjoyed the opportunity, I’m very excited to see where his career goes, and it was great to be able to see the production that has been the students world for the past 2 months.”
Gurinder also enjoyed his placement and got lots of experience putting his course skills into practice, he said:
“Being behind the scenes, I’ve learnt a lot about how a theatre is run and how a show is put together.
“I’ve used my equipment maintenance and repair skills frequently whilst working on the show, like soldering, cable construction/repair, and having a good understanding of how certain equipment work. Plus general knowledge from the sound and lighting modules came into use regularly when I was helping out the team with troubleshooting.
“This is a great experience to add to my portfolio for other employers to see. The skills I have learnt from working at Nottingham Playhouse are definitely transferable to many other work places.”
Confetti Work Placement Manager, Lucy Greaves is delighted with the students “Do It For Real” opportunities and was on hand to support throughout their placement, she said:
“Working with Nottingham Playhouse has been a real pleasure, we were even treated with complimentary tickets to see the performers – and students – in action! We hope to be creating more work-like experiences opportunities with Nottingham Playhouse in the future.”