Central in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics
The Olympics are almost upon us and Central students and alumni have been playing an enormous role in preparing for the games, with a large number lending their skills and expertise to ensure all runs smoothly. We are delighted that so many students have managed to secure work placements with London 2012. BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Costume Construction second year students Justin Allin, Charlotte Smith, Megan Rowlands, Antonia Lynch, Rosie Chaplin and Claire Docherty are all working within the costume department of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympics as well as BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Scenic Construction student Sophie Skelton who has also been involved in the Olympic preparations, but is all very top secret!
We have, however, managed to get an insight into the sort of work our alumni have been doing.
Polly Bennett (MA Movement Studies 2011) is one of ten movement assistants to Toby Sedgwick, the Movement Director of two of the three sections of the opening ceremony. Polly is contracted to assist Toby devise and prescribe movement according to the ceremonies concept, and guide the selected performers in its execution.
Rebecca Brower (BA Theatre Practice 2011) is working as a Design Studio Assistant. Her role entails communicating with the designers and the technical department, making sure everything is on track as well as assisting the designers where they need extra help, in model making, technical drawings or designing small scenic elements.
Jo Eaden (BA Theatre Practice 2011) is the Production Assistant for staging and scenic within London 2012 Ceremonies. Jo says:
“Without my Central training I wouldn't have this job. Central provided me with the platform on which I could get the experience necessary to do this role. Through my course, I gained the skills and contacts to get myself jobs and work experience whilst at Central. It is that outside experience which then got me this opportunity.”
Nicola Beales (BA Theatre Practice 2009) is the Costume Workshop Assistant for the Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Dan Shelton (MA Acting for Screen 2008) is part of Lloyds TSB’s ‘Flame Followers’ team – a troupe of performers who travelled along the route of the 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, using performance to bring the inspiration and excitement of the Olympic Flame to each community as the Flame passed through. The performances were a unique fusion of street performance, theatre and sport, celebrating the athleticism and skill of Team GB.
Fiona Parker (BA Theatre Practice 2008) worked as Assistant Costume Supervisor over all four Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Al Parkinson (BA Theatre Practice 2003) has been working as Assistant Manager of the Olympic Stadium for Ceremonies.
Courtney Young (MA Voice Studies 2007) is the driver for Team USA. This involves transporting members of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and VIPS to the Olympic venues.
Matt Watkins (BA Theatre Practice 2006) – Senior Stage Manager on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Over the past year, Dershe Samaria (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education 2009) has had exclusive access to events and people connected to the Games to help tell the story of the Olympics and Paralympics. Under the BT Storyteller campaign, she wrote and presented two half hour documentaries in collaboration with Nuwave Pictures and Tea Films. They were screened at the BT Auditorium, BFI and other independent cinemas across London in the run up to the Games
Other alumni involved are:
BA Theatre Practice: Maddy Jones (2007) – Assistant Venue Manager, Sam Hunter (1979) as Production Stage Manager; Luke Mills (2007) as Deputy Production Manager - Pyro, Flame and Special Effects; Gary Beestone (2002) as Production Manager – Victory Ceremonies and Ben O’Neill (2007) as AutoCAD Draftsman; Rhian Davies (BA Drama Applied Theatre and Education 2009) as Professional Cast Assistant; and Anna Morrissey (MA Movement Studies 2005) and Diane Mitchell (MA Movement Studies 2009) as Movement Assistants on the Opening Ceremony as well as recent graduates Eleanor Butcher and Lee Davies (BA Theatre Practice 2012)
Go team Central!