Holly Barradell, development manager

 12 October 2012

Holly is in charge of developing drama and drama teaching at Trinity College London.

"I talked to everyone I possibly could. I made sure I got the email addresses of anyone who would support me."


Hereford in Herefordshire. I'm currently living in Kent.

What job do you do?

I work full time at Trinity College London within the drama department, looking at ways to develop drama as an educational subject and drama teaching.

Prior to this I was head of drama at a grammar school in Kent. I had also worked professionally in theatre and TV.

What previous jobs in theatre have you done?

My very first role was acting in 'Bugsy Malone', aged 11, with a youth theatre. By the age of 13, I was a member of the youth theatre stage management department. I kept doing this until I left for drama school.

I went straight into theatre school at 18 and trained in a number of theatre-related skills. While I studied, I worked in various theatres across Bristol and the West Country.

I worked as a stage manager for a touring theatre-in-education production. Then I was employed as a dresser for the English National Ballet and the Welsh National Opera. I also worked as a venue technician at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"I talked to everyone I possibly could. I made sure I got the email addresses of anyone who would support me."

After leaving drama school, I went to work in television. I was self-employed for a short time, and then I landed an eight-month contract as a camera assistant for a TV channel. I had done a work placement with a TV studio in my final year.

I initially worked for free. I worked long hours, and talked to everyone I possibly could. I made sure I got the email addresses of anyone who would support me.

I met a camera operator who took me on as a camera assistant for televised sports events. 

Then I decided to go back to drama. I trained as a teacher. Drama is a subject I am very passionate about, so I applied for the post at Trinity College to get involved with raising its profile.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a BA in professional stage management from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

I also have a PGCE (teaching qualification) and am a qualified teacher. 

What do you do at work?

I work to support teachers and academics who are as passionate about drama as I am. I have to come up with creative ideas for doing this, write articles, attend meetings, and create presentations about the importance of drama study.

I also construct drama exam syllabus information and manage examiners. 

What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeing students become as passionate about drama as myself, or hearing from teachers in a similar position.  

And the worst thing about the job?


How do I get into theatre?

My advice would be:

  1. Work very hard
    Take absolutely every opportunity you can.
  2. Keep your options open
    I've always been true to my passion for drama, but I've also taken many different paths within that. 
  3. Research, question and pursue every avenue that catches your interest
    Remember that you don’t have to move to London to succeed, too!

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