Following a BSc in General Science (Anthropology, Psychology & Geography) at Durham University and a year working for the BBC Radio in administration, I trained in Stage Management at RADA. I started my professional theatre career as a scenic carpenter building scenery for the RSC, Donmar Warehouse, Kent Opera, Hampstead Theatre and a range of corporate events, and as a stage technician and flyman at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End.
My stage management career started with fringe work for the Almeida Festival as well as Tom Conti’s directorial debut at the Gate at the Latchmere (now Theatre 503). I then moved to three-weekly rep at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester as Assistant Stage Manager working in both the main house and studio, where I became Deputy Stage Manager in my second season. At the Mercury I gained further technical experience, especially in rigging and flying, as well as show calling. The season also included Miriam Margolyse’s return to the theatre!
A chance visit to a show at the National Theatre led to my being offered a job as ASM with Bill Bryden’s company in the Cottesloe (now Dorfman) Theatre including working on Tony Harrison’s Mysteries trilogy which transferred to the almost derelict Lyceum theatre and Peter Gill’s production of Fool for Love. During my time at the National, I was privileged to work in all three theatres with directors including Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Nicholas Hynter, Declan Donnellan, Stephen Pimlott and Michael Rudman. During this time, we also took a number of shows on national, European and North American tours.
When Michael Rudman moved to the Chichester Festival Theatre to become Artistic Director he invited me to be one of two Company and Stage Managers running a season of ten productions across the two venues. This included a memorable musical version of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Born Again, designed by Gerald Scarfe and directed by Sir Peter Hall starring Mandy Patinkin and Jose Ferrer.
From Chichester, I joined the Peter Hall Company as CSM for the season at the Playhouse Theatre, Charing Cross including national tours. I then pursued a freelance career including working in the corporate sector as a Production Assistant and Show Caller, as a Pyrotechnician and then as CSM for The Magic Fundoshi at the Lyric, Hammersmith and a tour to Singapore and for the tour of Jonathan Kent’s production of Chatsky starring Colin Firth for the Almeida.
Since taking up my role at Central I have also worked as Production Stage Manager on London: my Lover for Lightwork as part of the London Mime Festival at the ICA and as Company Manager on Bollywood Steps for Nutkhut, a site-sensitive dance extravaganza touring Street Arts Festivals.
I have been a member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) since 1982 and was chair of Training & Education Committee from 2003 to 2014 which included a seat on the Association’s Council.
I was a member of Council of Drama Schools SM & Technical Committee chair and executive member for the year 2000 and am a former member of the National Council of Drama Training’s SM Board.
I have been involved with the National Skills Academy, sitting on their Information & Advice and Work-based Learning steering groups and have been involved in advisory work on setting up a framework for National Occupational Standards for Technical Theatre and Stage Management.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and I was elected to the ABTT Council in 2016.
2004. Essentials of Stage Management (London: A & C Black)
My practice, delineated above, includes experience as a Stage and Company Manager with some of the UK’s most important theatres, as well as continuing consultancy work for the education and industry sectors.
Nothing to declare.