Glyndebourne Visit 2018

Yesterday, we visited Glyndebourne Opera House in Lewes, East Sussex. All first year pathways of Technical Theatre Arts came on the visit, Theatre Technology, Video Design for Live Performance, Costume, Design Realisation and, of course, Stage Management.


We visited the stage and auditorium, rehearsal rooms and scene dock, as well as going to the Organ Room, where amateur opera productions were first put on at Glyndebourne.

We had chance over our lunch break to look around the grounds and gardens, which are beautiful even on a slightly damp and chilly grey day.

Some of the Stage Management students found a score in Prompt Corner and couldn’t resist having a quick look through it.


We also looked into the Running Costume, Production Costume and Running Wigs departments in the afternoon – each wig used in Glyndebourne’s productions is made by hand and fitted exactly to the singers head.

Learning New Skills

We like our Stage Management students to have as wide a range of skills as possible when they graduate. Some of these may not necessarily be strictly ‘stage management’, but will help them through their time at Guildhall and in their professional careers. The first year students have been in lots of classes this term learning skills such as upholstery, marking up, cueing to music, scenic art, breaking down, Computer Aided Design (CAD), fabric dyeing techniques, voice and movement, to add to their propping skills from last term.

Here are some photographs from Group A’s upholstery session with Pat in Props, which one of the students said was a ‘really useful skill to have, and learning the full process to reupholster a chair is very labour intensive, not just putting a piece of fabric on a seat cushion. It’s also like, super dangerous, using the little tacks and the hammers and job specific tools’.

Some of the students made a timelapse video of them doing their mark up exercise:

Then there’s been lessons on weapons and smoking onstage, along with risk assessments. Here are some of group B trying to decide where weapons fit on a historical timeline.

Weapons, Smoking and RA, group B

For costume skills, the students have been learning about dyeing and breaking down items of costume. Breaking down makes an item look older and worn, the students were each given a plain white tshirt and asked to give it a back story – who wore it? What happened to them? And then break the shirt down accordingly.

Group B have also been crewing this terms opera, The Dialogues des Carmelites and both groups have been helping out with tours and stewarding for interviews for students for next year. All in all, it’s been a very busy term!

Props Spreads

This week saw the props spreads for Opera Scenes and Paradise Lost, ahead of both productions moving to stage to begin tech.

This terms Opera Scenes are directed by Victoria Newlyn, with musical direction by Elizabeth Rowe and designed by third year Design Realisation student Maddie Pettitt. The setting has turned the Milton Court Studio into a slightly seedy nightclub, complete with powder area and bottle bar.

Photographs from the props spread can be seen below. This project has a Stage Management team of five, Alix Nicholson as Stage Manager, Amber Reece-Greenhalgh as DSM and Lauren Tobin, Anna Metcalfe and Juliet Hague as ASM’s.


The second props spread of the week was for Paradise Lost. This play was written by Clifford Odets and will be performed in the Silk Street Theatre. It is being directed by Wyn Jones, with designs by Libby Watson. Lighting and sound have both been designed by third year students, lighting by James McKeogh and sound by Monty Evans.

The Stage Management team for this production is a team of five, with Lois Sime as Stage Manager, Georgia Graham as DSM and Mia Nielsen, Abby Palmer and Eleanor Coxall as ASM’s. You can see some photos from this 1930’s New York piece below: