FAME 2014 Journal - Yuko (English Touring Theatre, United Kingdom)
Having my placement in English Touring Theatre (ETT) for the second month, I have travelled to different cities across UK to participate in different events:
Sheffield Theatres is in the Midlands of UK and is Rehearsal of Twelfth Night (Credit: Mark Douet)
the largest producing theatre complex outside of
• Sheffield: ETT’s autumn touring production is Twelfth Night (in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres). After weeks of rehearsals, I finally watched this brilliant performance at the press night at Sheffield Theatres! It was amazing to see how the director, actors and creative team transformed the classic work into a modern and visually stunning performance, while retaining the essence of the original text. The press night was well received and the theatre also provided a cosy environment for the cast and creative team to meet the guests after the performance, with the foyer bar opened until 11pm. Later I found out most of the performing venues (no matter West End’s or government subsidized venues) have bars and continue to serve drinks after shows. I recently read an article on why catering is vital to performance venues in the UK. It not only generates income, which is crucial for the venues’ operation, the article also suggested that intermission drinks provide an opportunity for audiences to exchange their views on the performances.
• Cambridge: To celebrate its 21st birthday, ETT has organised a number of events in addition to its regular touring productions. I have recently attended the open rehearsed reading of Donkeys’ Years at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Donkeys’ Years is a play written by renowned English playwright Michael Frayn. In preparing the event, I am amazed to see how the director interacted with the actors to present a hilarious, enjoyable and vivid reading. The event was also very well received and there was full of laughter among the audiences throughout the reading.
Rehearsed reading of Donkeys’ Years at Cambridge Rachel Tackley, Director of ETT, Michael Frayn,
Arts Theatre. writer of Donkeys’ Years and director Lisa Spirling at
the post-show talk.
• Brighton: Down to the south, I joined my colleagues to visit the Theatre Royal Brighton to discuss the marketing and audience development strategies for next year’s large scale touring production. In the coming weeks, I am going to visit other touring venues in other cities too. In addition to the role as venue providers, these touring venues have to participate in the marketing of the performances and they have gained detailed statistics on their audiences’ profiles. All these will help the venues to analyse the audience profiles and to formulate more target-oriented marketing and audience building strategies to attract potential audiences in the city or in the nearby regions.
• London: In October 2014, I participated in TheatreCraft, an annual event at the Royal Opera House for young people between 16 and 25 to know more about non-performing roles in theatre production. Besides theatre groups hosting booths introducing their works, there were numerous workshops for young people to understand the works behind stage. I was glad to meet numerous young people in theatre studies and aspiring young theatre practitioners in our exhibition booth.