Musical Theatre Cafe

The Musical Theatre Cafe was open on Friday 17th in the Milton Court Cafe – it’s Abby’s graduation project!

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The project takes us on a tour through a range of musicals from all different eras – it also showcases some lovely pies! Between the things to look at, the musical soundtrack playing the background and the American apple pie scent spray – it’s truly multi sensory!

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Abby has made a range of table toppers with facts about 6 musicals that all have made different impacts on the industry over the years.

Here’s here second pie – it’s a bit gruesome but Abby learnt lots about moulding and casting from our Props department while making it.

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Abby has also included the Musical Theatre Tube Map – credit to John Howrey at who makes these – it was Abby’s 18th birthday present from her sister and fitted the theme perfectly.

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Opera Double Bill

Rehearsals are well underway for this year’s Opera Double Bill which will be in the Milton Court Theatre. This year it will feature Aminta e Fillide by George Frideric Handel and Venus and Adonis by John Blow. Both operas are early operatic works that explore the theme of romantic love.


The production is being directed by Victoria Newlyn, with design by Madeleine Boyd. Chad Kelly will be conducting and lighting has been designed by Andrew May.

We had the props spread for the production earlier this week, this is a chance for the Stage Management team to show all of the props and furniture that they’ve pulled together for the production to the Designer and Director. It’s a great opportunity for feedback and notes!

The two operas have very different designs, so the team have had lots of props to source. The Props Department were also in attendance as they have made several items for the operas.

If items have not arrived in time for the Props Spread, then the team show photographs of them to the Designer and Director for approval. For this production, the team have hired an airline drinks trolley which wasn’t delivered until after the Props Spread, here it is on arrival (being modeled by Calum)

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The team have also had several adventures collecting props during rehearsals, Tom and Jess (ASM’s) collected a rocking chair and brought it back on the tube, Tash (SM) had to go to St Albans for a sofa collection and then Georgia (ASM) and Tash received a delivery of 2 astronaut helmets from America – all in a day’s work for the team.

The production will open on Monday 3rd June – for more information and to book tickets go to the main school website.

Beasts of London


The Museum of London is currently hosting an immersive tour through London’s history – which is entirely narrated by the animals who have lived in and shaped the city’s history throughout time. Starting in the Roman era, the exhibit takes you through Medieval London and right through to the present day.

The project was inspired by items in the Museum’s collection and has been created in partnership with Guildhall – it uses video projection mapping and has been designed and realised by staff and students from the Production Arts department, particularly by Video Design for Live Performance. The soundtrack was also composed by composers and musicians at the school and performers have lent their voices to various animals throughout the exhibit – there’s a few famous voices in there too!

One of our third year Stage Management students, Chloe, worked on Beasts as her graduation project. She had this to say about the experience:

“Working on Beasts of London has been one of the best experiences I’ve had while at Guildhall.  As the Assistant Production Manager, I was part of an incredible, creative, and all-star team that helped to make something no one had seen before at the Museum of London – an interactive and immersive experience about the beasts who have been a part of London’s history. I worked closely with the heads of departments, creative team, and the Museum’s Project Manager, and all were invaluable parts of my learning experience.”

Here’s some behind the scenes shots that Chloe sent from her time working on the project. It’s open until January 2020 for ages 7+, tickets can be booked from Museum of London.

Video Wall

Entrance video wall

Summer Smash Off

It’s the end of our last round of Associated Studies for this academic year (already? How?!) and as is our way in the Stage Management department we’ve celebrated with a Smash Off.

This term’s delights were presented by Smash Shop (Maisie and Josh), Rising Sun Cafe (Tyler and Rin) and Pomme de Terre (Molly and Alice).

Smash Shop had prepared a pea soup to start, followed by steak, chips and peas with a peppercorn sauce and finished off with sticky toffee pudding and custard. They paired their courses with a margarita, a red wine and a Manhattan cocktail (pictured – love the layer separation!). They suffered some unfortunate last minute printer issues but supplied an e-menu on their mobiles – they came 3rd.

The Japanese inspired Rising Sun Cafe presented a shrimp on prawn toast starter, fish head soup for main and dorayaki for dessert. These courses were paired with a Manhattan cocktail, iced green tea and kahlua with milk. Rising Sun Cafe came 2nd.

Finally our winners with 16 votes. Pomme de Terre (or Pomme de French one as one voter wrote down) impressed with a hasselback potato with tomato and chilli sauce starter, salmon, new potatoes and asparagus main and topped off with a creme brulee dessert. These were paired with a sparkling white wine, a white wine and a mojito.

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Cheers! for a lovely week all of you

Summer Term: Dates for the Diary

It’s summer term already? Doesn’t seem 2 minutes since we came back from Christmas break!


Graduate Exhibition 2018

Here’s some dates for your diaries and things the students will be up to this term.

April: term kicks off with another round of Associated Studies for our first years. Rehearsals will begin for this years Opera Double Bill, which this year will comprise of Aminta e Fillide by George Frideric Handel and Venus and Adonis by John Blow. Students will also be working on Shakespeare Projects with the second year Acting class and the Summer Projects.

May: this month is all about rehearsals, sessions will begin for the musical and Opera Makers.

June: a busy month! Opera Double Bill opens in the Milton Court Theatre on Monday 3rd. Our Graduate Exhibition takes place this month – an opportunity to meet the third year Production Arts class and see a selection of their work from their time with us, this will take place in Milton Court and will be open to the public on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th. It’s also the Production Arts Department Open Day on Thursday 6th – go here for more information and to book your place, the day will feature talks and information on all programmes and pathways within the Department, not just Stage Management! The Production Arts team will also be at the ABTT trade show at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th June.

July: this year’s musical is Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, this will open in the Silk Street Theatre on Tuesday 2nd. Close on its heels is Opera Makers, opening in the Milton Court Studio on Wednesday 3rd. We’ll also be running a range of summer schools during July, these take place across the Production Arts, Music and Drama departments throughout the month. Interested? More information can be found here.


Throughout the year, the Museum of London is showing an immersive tour through London’s history, narrated by the animals who have lived here and shaped the capital’s history. The project was inspired by objects in the Museum’s collection and has been created in partnership with Guildhall, it’s an interactive, digital installation that uses video projection mapping created by staff and students from the BA Video Design for Live Performance programme. It has also been supported by staff and students from other Production Arts programmes, along with voice work from the Acting Department and creation of the musical soundtrack by the Music Department. Tickets can be booked here.

Spring Term Round Up

We’re nearly at the end of spring term for this year – and what a term it’s been! For our first years we’ve had their first round of Associated Studies, working on the Group Project and then back into classes or crewing on this terms opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In Stage Management classes we’ve been learning about marking up rehearsal rooms…

…cueing to music…


…markets and where’s good to go out and buy props from in the Market Activity.

You can see a video that one of the teams made while looking around their markets here.

The students have also been learning DSM skills such as blocking and prompting, as well as skills from other departments such as Dyeing and Breaking Down with Costume…

…upholstery with Props…

…and Voice and Movement classes with the Acting Department.

The students have also been working on their Photoshop Projects, for this the students are allocated one newspaper/magazine and one item of packaging/label from a specific year and asked to recreate it using Photoshop. You can see some examples below.

Group B also crewed this term’s opera – Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This production involved lots of trap doors, so the team were kept busy helping with the fit up, below stage working with the traps and up on the fly floor, amongst other jobs.


Open Day

Last chance to join us for our Whole School Open Day this coming Sunday 24th March.

Guildhall will be open between 10am and 4pm. The day will feature information about all undergraduate programmes that we offer – including BA Production Arts (Stage Management, Costume, Design Realisation or Theatre Technology pathways) and BA Video Design for Live Performance, information will also be available on BMus programmes, BA Acting and BA Performance and Creative Enterprise.

Go here to book your place on this Open Day.


Production Management

In January we posted a blog about third year Stage Management student Tash Holdaway’s experience of designing the lighting for Autumn Opera Scenes for her Graduation Project. This term, Tash has been working as the Production Manager for our new writing production, Towers.

Tash is on a one-woman mission this year to work in as wide a variety of departments as possible, so that she can gain a range of different experiences – in addition to PM on Towers and Lighting Designer for Autumn Opera Scenes, Tash was also DSM for Mercury Fur and will Stage Manage next terms Opera Double Bill. She is currently on her work placement at the Almeida Theatre.


Tash had this to say about her Production Management allocation:

“For my final year at Guildhall, I wanted to gain as much experience in a variety of departments. This led me to become Production Manager on Towers, a devised piece created by the director, Ameera Conrad, and the company. Throughout, this process was incredibly valuable to my future and threw up a lot of different scenarios due to the nature of the piece. At the start of the allocation, I had a clear vision on where we would take the set, designed by Susannah Henry. Although a seemingly simple set from the outside, there were many intricacies along the way. Not only did I learn a lot through cross department learning and learning from my peers, I was able to learn a lot from the process in the rehearsal room. As the Production Manager, I kept in contact with the Stage Management team and had various catch up discussions with Ameera to see how they were getting along. Not only has the show given me better technical knowledge, I now have a clear picture on how the rest of the departments work alongside my role”.