Today was my second day of work experience at Harrogate Theatre, and I was working with the production team all day seeing how all lights are set up for each performance and it all looked very technical. The show that we were setting up for was The Importance of Being Earnest and there was already a set up of a house which looked really good.
In the morning I helped to focus the lights, I never knew there were so many lights and controls to work them for just one performance, and how each one had to be focused in exactly the right places. In the afternoon I saw how each lighting cue was programmed and recorded so on the night all you have to do is press a button for the whole lighting cue to come up, it took about half an hour to do 14 lighting cues and I was told that during larger performances such as the pantomime there was up to two hundred lighting cues and it takes days to programme them all!
The last thing I did in the day was learn how to do a tour of the whole theatre which was interesting as the theatre is really historic and traditional.
Hey, I’m Lydia and am currently doing work experience at Harrogate Theatre so I can have a look at aspects of what goes on in the workings of a theatre.
My first day started with a tour of the theatre; there was all sorts of cubby holes and narrow stairways everywhere, like a big maze – I’m surprised people can find their way round. I was also surprised as to how historical the theatre is compared to other modern theatres.
I spent the afternoon looking at the technical side of the theatre which was particularly interesting, and I saw lots of set being put together and learnt a few things. I went up to the fly floor, and saw all the ropes holding various bits and bobs up and it looked very complicated and everything looked really heavy. I also had a look at how all the lighting works, which was also very technical and complicated, there was a plan of all the different sorts of lights, some with different colours, and some that could move around. I then had a look under the stage where all the power for the lights was and I’ve never seen so many cables in one place!
My first day has made me realise other aspects to performances rather than just the acting side. I was surprised at how very complicated everything looks. I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my week finding out other parts of the theatre.
Over the next few weeks students from year 10 and 11 will be taking part in our annual work experience programme. With a week’s work across a number of departments, the placements are designed to give students a taste of Harrogate Theatre.
Follow their experiences here from next week…