A lighting technician runs a kindly hand over a vintage spotlight.
In the workshop, a stage carpenter cradles a loyal hammer.
Sweeping up at the end of the day, the stage manager can’t resist a gentle tweak on old stage curtains.
Us stage technicians are a pretty sentimental bunch. And after years of touring and working in theatres across the land, I’ve noticed a tendency for techies to start naming the tools and equipment they work with.
Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight. Long, long hours in darkened rooms with no company except for piles of lighting gel and microphone cables. Maybe it’s the endless one-upmanship of comparing and showing off the latest gadgets – Top Trumps for grown ups.
Whatever’s at the root of it, I’ve known many a technician treat their favourite pair of pliers like a little pet. Why, there’s a puppet-maker round these parts, who shall remain nameless, who picked up our new spanner and immediately called it Brian!
While working at a theatre of great international repute, (where one might expect things to be taken a little more seriously), I was asked to go backstage and get some gaffer tape from Doris. After spending ten minutes wandering around asking for her, I finally learnt that it was the nickname for the store cupboard by the dressing rooms.
With these anthropomorphic tendencies in mind, we have decided to launch our fundraising campaign, Put Your Name In Lights!
This summer our new lighting rig is going up, and we’re going to be upgrading some seriously creaky theatre lamps. No more swearing at the top of the ladder, or attacking a rusty set of barndoors with a screwdriver. The theatre is getting some lovely, shiny new lights, and you have the chance to have your name inscribed on one.
So much more original than having a little brass plaque on the back of a seat, and far less likely to get covered with chewing gum, or slowly picked off by the forceful fingernails of a fidgety five year old.
And what a great present for that special person you’ve always thought is a bit dim, ready to blow a fuse or somebody you’ve just taken a shine to.
Lighting makes theatre. These little worlds that puppets inhabit can be as simple as a tiny pool of light, or a spectacular, blazing wash of colours. We’re about to throw open the doors to what we can do on stage at the Little Angel. We’d be delighted to have you there with us.
Written by Technical Manager David Duffy. For more information on our Name In Lights Campaign, please see the website.