Have you called the Barbican Theatre recently? Sent us an email? Seen a photo on Twitter or Facebook of someone embarrassing themselves for the sake of the theatre? If so, the chances are you’ve come across me.
I’ve been House Manager at the theatre since September 2013, and in that time I’ve worked hard to support the organisation in whatever way I can. I’m generally the first point of contact for most enquiries – from ticket bookings and general enquiries, to space hires and sign-ups for our workshops – which means I have to stay organised, friendly and helpful. When you work for a place like the Barbican Theatre, that’s pretty easy – because of the amazing work we do with young people and local artists, I’m constantly reminded daily of the difference we make and the expectations I have to meet to maintain those standards. It can be exhausting at times with so much going on, but it’s a really rewarding place to work.
I actually first worked with the Barbican Theatre back in 2008. Back then, I had moved back to Plymouth for a bit after graduating university to figure out what I wanted to do next; I was interested in becoming a theatre producer, so I was looking for ways to help me do that. The Barbican Theatre were running a scheme called PiP Young Promoters, which I jumped at the chance to get involved with; through doing that, I was able to get my first experience of producing before moving to London to train at drama school and start producing on my own. That start I got through the Barbican Theatre was a massive help to me, and gave me the skills and confidence to go out and do things on my own.
I spent about five years in London, producing on some amazing shows and working with some great companies before deciding it was time to have a break from the hectic, expensive London life – so moved back to Plymouth. Not long after I got my job at the Barbican and the rest, as they say, is history. I still produce work now alongside my day job, and the team at the theatre are hugely supportive of this; I’m also able to bring another set of skills and experience to the organisation, and I’m able to support our work with emerging artists on a producing basis through projects such as From Devon With Love and our Supported Artist programme.
Places like the Barbican Theatre are vital for the local community on so many levels; from the young people who come to our Little Entertainers sessions to the artists who show their work here and their audiences, everyone who walks through our doors is someone we want to support and help in any way we can. And if we can’t do that, then I can always make a fool out of myself for a photo you can post on Facebook.