Spring Associated Studies

It’s that time of year when first year students across the Production Arts department have been taking classes within another pathway! Here’s a snapshot of what everybody’s been getting up to in Associated Studies.

…in Automation

Stage Managers are a multi talented bunch, turns out that our current first years can also dance! And make giant cardboard cut outs of Shrek’s gingerbread friend to fly.

…in Production Management

Building the tallest possible tower from sellotape and paper in just 5 minutes.

…in Costume

How many items of clothing can you make from one plain white shirt? The students came up with a dress, crop top, skirt, lots of different styles of shirt and even a bonnet!

…in Stage Management

We’ve had a lovely week with Theatre Technology and Costume students, learning some Stage Management skills and exploring how we work as a department. The first skill was making fake food – the students made a fake food feast, we were treated to lasagne, meatloaf, fish fingers, scone and jam, chocolate cake and all sorts of other goodies.

sm food - tuesday 4

Other skills covered this week included introductions to marking up, cueing to music, Photoshop and visits to the Guildhall Stores and Farley Prop Hire to learn where props can come from. We’ve also had a go at making some fake alcoholic drinks.

The week came to an end with the Great Smash Up, where the students paired up to create a three course meal and drink, along with a menu so they could demonstrate the making and Photoshop skills they’ve learnt this week. This presentation was a competition, with each visitor being invited to vote and chocolates (real not Smash) for the winners. We were treated to the following:

Spoons Snacks (Matt and Finlay) presented basic balls, 248V burger and a brownie, alongside a Xmas Quiz Half Pint. This restaurant featured the faces of Lighting Lecturers Jon and Nick, although we’re not sure if they endorse it. The gentlemen received 4 votes and came in 4th place.

Big Daddy’s (presented by Nat and Anna) served dough balls with a garlic glaze (complete with a burnt bottom to the dough balls!), hot dog and chilli loaded fries, a shake and whiskey. They received 5 votes and came 3rd.

Kabab Shabab frontmen Sami and Tom presented lentil soup, a kebab wrap, caramel kunafa and a drink. They received 9 votes and came 2nd.

The winning pair, Sam and Eilidh, showcased their restaurant Graham’s by serving butternut squash soup and homemade pollock fishcakes. There was also a choice of desserts – selection of sorbet or Chef Sam’s Special Chocolate Fudge Cake, washed down with a tequila sunrise cocktail. They received 10 votes – well done!


All in all, a very enjoyable 2 weeks of Associated Studies, the next set will take place in the first weeks of the summer term.

Graduation Project: Lighting Design

As part of their third year studies, each student in the Production Arts department completes a Graduation Project. This can take the form of a written dissertation, a production folder or a creative project – the choice is entirely up to the student! Students also choose the content of the project themselves, in the past we’ve had model boxes, TV recording events, apothecary cabinets, escape room events, Alice’s tea party and all sorts of other wonderful projects.

Before Christmas, third year Stage Management student Tash Holdaway undertook the lighting design for the Autumn Opera Scenes production as her Graduation Project. She had this to say about her experience:


Autumn Opera Scenes, photo credit Matthew Ferguson

As part of our final year at Guildhall, we have to complete a graduation project than can be anything you want it to be! For mine, I chose to develop some skills that I learnt in 2nd year and was the lighting designer for Autumn Opera Scenes.

Throughout this, I learnt a huge amount about lighting and the creative process behind a design. As Opera Scenes is a collection of scenes it gave me the challenge of creating 11 different lighting states along with being able to use some specials such as pendants.

This was a huge challenge for me but it was one of the most rewarding things I have done, seeing my creative ideas come to life. Although there were many obstacles along the way, I was able to take away so much from it“.

Photo credit: Tash Holdaway

Back to School

And we’re back! Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas holiday and happy new year to everyone.

Milton Court

Lots going on this term, as usual:

January: rehearsals are already under way for our Rep season which will be performed in the Milton Court Theatre, this years productions for the season are Fury and Detroit. Rehearsals have also started for our devised piece, Towers. In classes, our first years are busy with Associated Studies, look out for further posts about them trying out other pathways and learning new skills in Design Realisation, Video, Costume or Theatre Technology. Straight after Associated Studies, the first year will move on to the Group Project – last year we were invited into a den of mythical monsters in the Tech Lab, what will be this years theme?

February: Detroit and Fury will open in the Milton Court Theatre, Fury on the 1st and Detroit on the 4th. Towers will then open in the Milton Court Studio on Monday 11th. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will open in the Silk Street Theatre on Monday 25th. The first years will show off their Group Projects on Friday 1st, then it’s back into lessons for everyone and crewing the opera for Group B, as well as working on the Whole School Project at the end of the month.

March: this is interview time in the Stage Management department for next academic year’s students – good luck to all who are coming for interviews! The showing’s for the second year actors Musical Theatre Project will take place this month, supported by Stage Management students. This terms Opera Scenes production will open in the Milton Court Studio on Wednesday 20th, with Orestes opening in the Silk Street Theatre on Friday 22nd. We will be having a Whole School Undergraduate Open Day on Sunday 24th March, which takes place just before World Theatre Day on Wednesday 27th. Term will end for Easter on Friday 29th for everyone to have a well deserved rest!