First Year Visits

Over the last week, the first year Stage Management students have been on backstage visits to the National Theatre and English National Opera and a visit to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.

At the National we were shown around all three theatre spaces, plus backstage areas such as the scenery workshop, the paint frame and the props workshop. We also went to some of the free exhibition and education spaces and had a look at a props table of items from previous National productions. We also saw one of the Warhorse puppets, but we weren’t allowed to take photos of that.

Then we visited ENO at the Coliseum and met with the Stage Manager and 2 ASM’s. We watched a fit up happening onstage whilst the Stage Manager told us all about ENO and how they work. Then we went up to the fly floor and down to the pit rail.

The Museum of Brands does not allow photographs within their time tunnel. It’s an absolute dream afternoon for nostalgic people! They have packaging, newspapers, magazines and historical items and documents from the 1900’s to the present day. They also have a hall with different versions of packaging through the decades – for example one display is all of the different OXO cube packets from 1900 to the present day, along with Persil, Tate and Lyle sugar, Scholl foot powder and loads more. A really useful resource for propping.

Props Acquisition Project 2017

Each year the first year Stage Management students are given a playwright and asked to choose one of their plays. They then do a range of activities based on that play, one of which is the props acquisition project. This is their first major independent project at Guildhall and must be backed up by research into their play’s time period.

They must put together a props list from the play, then source a selection of these items. They must show a variety of sourcing skills which include finding the items in our Guildhall props stores, buying, hiring, making and borrowing. As part of buying, they can also practice haggling with sellers if they think the price being asked for is too high.

Here are some photographs from this years presentations.


Tom presented props from Noises Off by Michael Frayn


Sophie presented props from All My Sons by Arthur Miller


Hope presented props from Blood Brothers by Willy Russell


Emily presented props from Flare Path by Terence Rattigan


Ellen presented props from A Trip to Scarborough by RB Sheridan


Colin presented props from Play Without a Title by Frederico Garcia Lorca


Eli presented props from Living Quarters by Brian Friel


Luke presented props from That Face by Polly Stenham


Jenn presented props from A Lesson from Aloes by Athol Fugard


Georgia presented props from Art by Wasmin Reza