A day in the Life

Every summer a team of stage managers from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama travels to Edinburgh to manage Venue 13, its very own venue at the world famous Fringe Festival. Angharad Jones takes us backstage.

Sunday 9th August, 2009

Venue 13

7:00 – Morning fix: tea, toast and cereal for breakfast and I’m ready to go. Thank goodness for comfy shoes; a typical day involves a thirty minute walk to the venue followed by fourteen hours on my feet!

9:00 – On arrival we begin setting up for the first performance of the day.

Venue 13

11:00 – Still running on adrenaline, we have been here for a week already and boy has it been a demanding one! With a crew of eight, we have transformed a once well-lit church hall into a black box theatre space. We have two venue/stage managers, four technicians and two Americans who are here on work experience. We are putting on eight shows in total, four from the US and four from Wales.

13:00 – There’s a great buzz on the streets of Edinburgh, crowds are overflowing on the streets of the Royal Mile. We are becoming regulars at a great café called Fresco that’s five minutes away from the venue. A ham and cheese Panini goes down a treat!

Venue 13

14:00 – The weather is absolutely gorgeous today. I am out on the lawn writing my diary. Life is good!

16:00 – I’m stage managing The Dawn of Quixote, a musical adaptation of the first chapter of the classic Don Quixote; I Like It to be a Play and Every Afternoon by Gertrude Stein; The Opposite of Waiting by Lisa Wells Turner; and Burton, a play which follows the life of Richard Burton, from his humble Welsh roots to international stardom.

Venue 13

In the turn around between each play we have to re-focus and re-gel the lights, and clear the set for the next performance – quite a feat in just half an hour! I feel like a Welsh miner with a head torch as I venture down into the storage pit.

19:00 – After two days of tech and dressing, we have six shows up and running. We head home for a well earned bite to eat.

21:00 – Tonight we are going to a country music gig at the Forest Café. The night is young and we are raring to go, eager to make the most of all the Fringe Festival has to offer!