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Meet the technical team at Richmond Theatre

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.
PC: Marketing.

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.