We asked Gary Pell, Head of Technical at Richmond Theatre and Peter Coxall, Chief Electrician at Richmond Theatre some questions about their jobs, and this is how they responded:
What has been your favourite show to work on at Richmond Theatre? And Why?
Gary Pell: The Pantos because I have involvement in how the set will fit and what elements to use from as early as July.
Peter Coxall: Panto – because it’s Christmas, everyone loves Christmas.
What advice would you give to young people looking for a career in theatre production?
PC: The best way to learn how to swim is to jump in. Be committed, loyal and never give up. Find a theatre you like and work hard – college is a waste of time in my opinion.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
GP: Man Management in stressful situations and very tight deadlines.
PC: Managing people, they’re different every day.
In one sentence, describe an average day at the theatre.
GP: Every day differs
PC: Graft, graft and more graft – followed by a few beers!
What have you been doing in the dark period?
GP: Organising a toilet refit, kiosk re-furb and the dimmer replacement project. In all over £100k worth of projects!
PC: Playing with cable – about 60km’s worth.
If you could work in any other department in the theatre, what would it be?
GP: I don’t envy any of the other departments but creative learning is inspirational.
How much planning goes into the preparation for a show?
GP: Anything between 6 months to a few days.
PC: For my job, anywhere between 3 months and 2minutes.
What are the benefits of working in a receiving house? (As opposed to a producing house)
PC: It’s always a challenge because you have to open on Monday night. Not being ready is not an option.
What can be done to encourage and improve local theatre?
GP: Better facilities.
Sum up your impression of the theatre in three words.
GP: High Maintenance Beauty.