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Student Anastasia Nelson talks about her week of work experience at the New Vic…
“If you were to ask me last week what it was like working in a theatre I wouldn’t have been able to answer you, as reading books by Antony Sher about being part of the industry is very different to the reality of being able to have a placement within it. I have always had the ambition to be part of a theatre’s ensemble. After seeing Cats on the West End when I was five-years-old, theatre has always been a passion. To be in a darkened room with an audience sharing pathos, a silence or round of applause, perhaps even having a thematic revelation during the process of watching a play! And so of course I was delighted to be able to have the whole scope of what really happens behind the scenes at theatre for the week…
I started within the Marketing and Administration department but somehow I have managed to end up assisting rehearsals of the interactive Tale Trail to Robin Hood and Marian; scripting, note taking, making music cues, finding props and going between the departments to evolve this ‘unique 45- minute, interactive performance’. Without being in such a place as the New Vic Theatre I wouldn’t have known my capabilities as a young practitioner, or the satisfaction of being challenged and succeeding. Nor would I have discovered (wisely before starting university) that there is so much to making a production, and an investment in time to achieve something as extraordinary as a performance with a company, whether it be on the main stage or otherwise.
You may in one room be watching Robin running up a flight of stairs, yet travel to the next, and you may find a Young Much dressing as a traveller on the trail, asking ‘What is for dinner?’. From the Tale Trail to Robin Hood and Marian beginnings in the Workspace rehearsal room to its eventual performance in the Stephen Joseph Room, it has been fulfilling, even as a entrepreneurial spectator to see how such a visual play adapts to its environment, when Robin ‘leaves the comfort of his home and journeys deep into the forest on a quest to put right’ Prince John’s wrongs.
Here’s what I got up to…
Tour of all departments.
Marketing, finding articles on the theatre and its performances.
Initial read through meeting.
Discussion of play.
Stage blocking and character adaption.
Further development of scenes, especially later within the forest and Much’s den. Found rehearsal props.
Full run through.
Received some music from James Atherton.
Watched main house performance of ‘Robin Hood and Marian’ for reference and research.
Moved into the studio space for performance run through, with stage props and some costume. Pencilled in music fade in/out of ‘Pre Show’, ‘Sing for us, play for us’, ‘King John Ominous’, ‘Forest’ and ‘Building Dens’.
Technical Run. Introducing lighting and music cues for the performance.
Dress rehearsal in full costume.”