Lighting Designers James Farncombe and Bruno Poet host conversations about the complex and sometimes messy business of making a show for theatre. We aim to draw in guests from all aspects of production; from directors and designers to actors, stage managers, technicians, makers, builders and producers, to start a broader conversation about all things involved in bringing a show to the stage.
Bruno and James take a moment to have a cuppa and say thank you to the Making Theatre Podcast listeners.
Bernie Davis - TV Lighting Director
This time we talk to Bernie Davis, the veteran television lighting director, about a subject increasingly apposite to our own work; adapting stage lighting for television and online broadcast. Bernie is responsible for numerous NT Live and Royal Opera House broadcasts, alongside his work on countless television productions (including a fair number of Royal Weddings), and we discuss the difference between the camera and the eye, how we should now be considering the audience at home alongside the punters in the stalls, and how advances in technology have provided us with a multitude of ways to get it all wrong...
Prasanna Puwanarajah - Actor, Director, Writer
Prasanna Puwanarajah is an actor, director and writer, working across theatre, film and television. He also happens to be a fully trained medical doctor..who is also writing a graphic novel. We thought someone with so many different hats might be well placed to offer a unique perspective on the experience of making theatre, and he doesn’t disappoint.
From the solitary life of the writer, to the first flag in the ground at the beginning of rehearsals, through to the joys of tech, this time viewed from both sides of the footlights, we embrace the unknowable...and also discover that you’re not really wet until your pants are wet.
Lee Batty - Technical Director, The Really Useful Group
In this episode we talk to the technical director of the Really Useful Group, Lee Batty.
We hear how a supportive family and some key advice from a trusted teacher played a pivotal role in setting Lee on his path. From childhood in a Yorkshire mining community, and an inspirational sixth form college, to life as a touring ASM charting a steep learning curve, who now turns left on the plane, with responsibility for an eye watering number of large scale musical productions all over the world.
We discuss the pros and cons of going to drama school versus an informal apprenticeship and learning ‘on the job’. We also discover that you can never be sure what you might find hidden away on an abandoned airstrip, and that there might be something good in the water in Barnsley. Just don't mention the tech...
Ben Ormerod - Lighting Designer
We return to our comfort zone of lighting and have an insightful discussion with Ben Ormerod, who gives us the best explanation we have ever heard about what a lighting designer does. Ben has thought deeply about his art and developed it over many years of practice and we enjoy a conversation covering everything from his approach to design to how to how Ben’s career began. We learn to avoid clown vomit, to be careful around sleeping giants and discover that footlights are like fried onions and garlic.
Clare Vidal-Hall and Amy Markatis - Agents
In Episode 19, we talk to our agents Clare Vidal-Hall and Amy Markatis of Clare Vidal-Hall Management. We discuss their routes into the industry, negotiating with producers and why representation is necessary, not just to secure the best deals and unpick the legalese, but to provide emotional and moral support when all hell is breaking loose onstage. We also learn that a stint as a followspot operator, a stage manager, a secretary and the occasional glass of bubbly at the Ritz makes for a good agent, and that if you want the best job in the world, you'd best have a healthy capacity for nights out at the theatre and Espresso Martinis - and still be able to catch the early flight home.
Perfectly informal and educational
This is my go to Podcast when in the car on long journeys, James and Bruno lay the podcast out perfectly with none of the fillers often used to pad podcasts out. Their informal structure feels like you’re sat with them in the pub just discussing what the other person does for work.
Im just starting out in the world of lighting design, but what I find more interesting is the discussions from other departments, it very much opened my eyes to why departments ask certain questions or moan about the same things every show. I feel Im now a little bit more compassionate to their department because of it.
It works for those both working in theatre and out of the theatre world. Maybe a good one to suggest to family and friends when you’re awkwardly trying yet again to explain what you do for a job!
A peek into the lives of theatre professionals
Thoughtful and insightful look into the world of how theatre is produced in the U.K. Inspiring range of interviews and it’s great to hear the various ways people have worked their way into and up through the theatre industry. A great listen.
Great insight in to the technical theatre world
I have really enjoyed the wide range of roles covered by Bruno & James - I certainky learned a few things!!