Backstage


Chris Slann works and teaches at the Carnival Learning Centre on the Isle of Wight.

A career in carnival

Chris Slann, Sharon George and Helen Davenport work and teach at the Carnival Learning Centre on the Isle of Wight. They spoke to Creative Choices about the varied skills needed for a career working in carnival.


The Little Mermaid was one of The Rep's theatre productions.

Lighting up the stage

Lighting technicians set up and operate lighting equipment during theatre productions. Both creative and technical, they can use lights to achieve a variety of effects to dramatically alter the mood and shape of a performance.


Showtex provided custom confectioned LED integrated fabrics for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Drapes and fabric on stage

ShowTex design and manufacture fabrics and drapes for theatre and live events. They supplied the mattresses, sheets and pillows for the ‘NHS’ segment of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.


I teach songs, arrange vocal harmonies, conduct cast and band for a musical.

A musical director career

Philip Bateman is a musical director and singing coach. He has worked on West End shows like Billy Elliot and Our House. He spoke about how he built his career in musical theatre.


The same make-up can look quite different, according to the actor’s face shape.

Make-up artist for theatre

Sara Tyndall is a make-up artist and wigs mistress in London's West End. She has worked for Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast, and is now Head of Wigs and Make-Up for The Lion King.


Antony is still very involved in the props workshop. Photo credit Pete Le May

A career in theatre props

Antony Barnett is Head of Props at the Royal Opera House. Hired in the mid-1980s as a prop maker, his role has become more managerial in recent years.


A stage manager is also responsible for sourcing all of the props and furniture that are in the shows.

Get into stage management

The role of stage manager is a busy and challenging one. Laura Flowers was Resident Stage Manager at the Almeida Theatre, and explains how she got into stage management.


In 2012, Bruno won the Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design for his work on Frankenstein at the National Theatre.

Working as a lighting designer

Bruno Poet is an award-winning lighting designer who has worked extensively with theatre and opera companies all over the world.


Becoming a technical manager

Rob Lloyd's journey into technical management started with him doing "bottom of the pile" work in theatre, but evolved into roles with much greater responsibility as he rapidly gained new skills. He eventually sidestepped into the music industry. Read more about his career.


Most of the successful West End producers started small and have spent their lives deep in theatre.

Producing musical theatre

Anyone can be a producer – all you need is absolute determination to get a show on stage, a source of money to back you, a network of the best possible creative talent, access to a theatre, skills in budgeting and marketing, and the luck of being in the right place with the right show at the right time.


Felix D was Company Stage Manager for Around the World in Eighty Days at The Theatre Royal Bath.

From actor to stage manager

Currently the Deputy Stage Manager (DSM) for a new play heading for the West End, Felix D didn't take the usual road into theatre stage management. He originally planned to be an actor.


How to work in costume for screen

Gayle Playford is a costume workroom manager and head costume cutter for period drama on TV. Her work has been featured in the BBC Two adaptation of Wolf Hall, among many other screen productions. Here she offers six pieces of advice for a career in costume for screen.


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