A New Start

We’re back into the swing of a new academic year her at Guildhall. We’ve got twelve brand new keen and eager first year Stage Management students and in their first few weeks they’ve had a lot to take in. I asked Natasha Holdaway to give us an insight to what these first weeks have been like for her.


Natasha Holdaway – 1st Year Stage Management Student


“Before moving to Guildhall, I didn’t quite know what to expect. However, I’ve found the transition into Uni life easier than I could have ever imagined.

Over the next 3 years at Guildhall I’ll be studying stage management. Before Guildhall, my main experience of the theatre was through my school where I helped with every production and in my last few years at the school I became Student Director and/or Stage Manager on book for the productions. I had also had work experience at the English Touring Theatre, watching rehearsals and searching for props. The other experience I had had of stage management was the Labyrinth project at the Almeida theatre which involved 5 groups producing a 20 minute performance that was performed twice on the Almeida stage to a paying audience.

I didn’t know what the application process would be like, neither did my university advisor at my school. In the end, I applied to 6 different universities and theatre schools however after visiting Guildhall on an open day, I knew it was where I wanted to study.  Guildhall interview was my last one and therefore the last school I heard back from regarding an offer. At the time, I had an offer from each establishment but Guildhall is where I wanted to go. Once I received my offer from Gill [Allen – Head of Stage and Costume Management], I couldn’t wait to get started in a place where everyone has the same passion for the arts as I do.

During my first week, I met so many people through the various fresher’s events at the Basement (yes I went to all of them). For all of us on the TTA courses, the first week involved very different sessions including introductions to the different pathways and a treasure hunt around the 2 buildings and the Barbican. For the second week, we then spent time completing lessons on manual handling, flying, electrics, production management and first aid. One beneficial factor of the first two weeks was the fact that we were put into groups that included people from all the different pathways. This meant that we were all able to get to know everyone a lot quicker.

Now that we are in the third week of our time at Guildhall, we have been split into our pathways to begin are specific training. Although we are now in our pathway groups, I know that there is a strong connection between all of the pathways due to the first two weeks. As we start our main training at Guildhall, I know time will fly past but there’s no better place than in the centre of London where there is an endless amount of things to do.”

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