Hull Truck Apprentice Blog #8 & #9

14-Mar-2016 | Sam Hardy - Apprentice Blog

The fantastic cast of Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis left Hull Truck on the 5th to go work their magic in Bolton (and our expertly-chosen Presley props have gone on their travels with them - I’m left with naught but a pair of gold glasses adorning my desk and an I Love Elvis badge on my lanyard). Even though the show is over, there’s still work for us to do – during its stay, we ran a survey that we sent to audience members once they’d seen the show, where they could tell us what they thought of the show, the venue, and the value. We got some lovely comments like this one:

“The show was fantastic! It was beautifully written; both hilarious and sensitive with endless surprises in store throughout...... and the acting was just wonderful. What a great night out, we loved it!”

Feedback is important for us as a theatre as it helps us get an idea of what we did well, and what we can do to market other shows in the future. Compiling all this information into one document also gave me a chance to show off my new and amazing graph-making/Excel-using skills (shout out to Emma and Neil on that front).

Draya did some exciting new stuff last week too. Last Thursday, she organised her first important meeting for some of the staff from St Stephens.  Setting this up required preparation like liaising with finance to decide on a quote, sending out a contract, setting up the room for the meeting to take place in, and working with our café bar Host to provide refreshments and nibbles. Draya says she really enjoyed being able to see the event through from start to finish, and I think she should definitely use her professional organisation skills to expertly plan what we do for dinner today.  

And now, for the grand finale - a word from our favourite technical pal James, fresh from working on Ten Storey Love Song last week:

“Ladies and jellybeans, I am going to tell you about OP-ing a show. We know by now how a Get In works to some extent, but what happens after? Does the show just start from there? Answer – nope, it doesn’t. It goes to Tech, in which the actors perform the show and we as technicians program the lights and sound, and make changes where needed. For this, we set up a production desk so we can see the show, talk to the cast and work thought the script. This usually takes a day or more depending on the show.

Now it’s show day and the technicians are as busy as ever! We perform checks on all the lights and sound equipment and have one last run though the script. Once the cast have warmed up nicely and gone back to their dressing rooms to get ready for the main event, we get ready to invite the audience to their seats. Once we’re given clearance, we begin the show by executing the cues we made during tech, such as performing all the complicated commands for the lights – be they strobing, dimming or straight on-and-off with the simple press of a button. It’s not all a walk in the park though; we need to keep one eye out for the cast as their timing may differ or lines may be changed, and the other on the audience, so we can fill in our show reports later.”

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