Ellie Southwell

Ellie is a final year BA (Hons) Stage Management student and has recently completed her industry placement at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. We spoke to Ellie to ask her what she learnt from her time on placement and how she thinks it will help her in the future.

Where did you complete your work placement?

I completed my work placement in the West End in London, specifically at The Noel Coward Theatre. I got to work on, and experience “Half a Sixpence”, “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

How did you secure your placement?

I managed to obtain the email address for Chris Boone, the production manager of “Half a Sixpence” at the Noel Coward theatre in the West End.

What kind of things did you get involved with on your placement?

I was fortunate enough to be able to join the show during the previews, so I got to see the show through to its opening night. I shadowed each department, but mainly the Stage Left Assistant Stage Manager, Sarah Forsyth, who even let me run her plot a few times! I was also able to go and sit with the Deputy Stage Manager of Les Miserablés for a show. My experience on Phantom of the Opera was broader as I worked around each department in one show.

Do you now have a better idea of what you’d like to do after your degree?

My experience has made me sure I want to be an Assistant Stage Manager book cover, on a West End musical.

What is the best piece of advice you took from your placement?

The best piece of advice I gained from this is to make yourself indispensable. That way they'll remember your name when a job comes up! By working with a professional company, it gives you a clearer idea of how you want to work as a Stage Manager.

What advice do you have for other students thinking about their placements?

I would say to any new or prospective students, that this course puts you in a great position to get involved in many different aspects of theatre. The placement module gives you the opportunity to network in whatever aspect of theatre you love the most.

Did you make any good industry links that could help you with your career?.

I made many new friends through my placements, and I keep in touch with them all regularly, so I'm always in their minds (should a job come up!).

BA (Hons) Stage Management

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