I decided to apply for the ATG Apprenticeship scheme after seeing Wicked in London and it was the best decision I could have made. After being offered and accepting the role, I worked in both regional and West End theatres and learnt skills across all departments including Stage, LX and Sound. I spent 2 years at New Wimbledon Theatre and did additional secondments at Duke of York Theatre where I learnt how to follow spot, operate and programme a lighting desk, fly on a counterweight flying system and so much more! I had never worked backstage in a theatre before, so I was completely new to the role, but I was completely supported by both venues, and they made learning fun and exciting.
Whilst working, I was able to go to lots of events such as PLASA and Theatrecraft, and I was also put on relevant training schemes to help advance my knowledge in certain aspects of the job. The scheme is a very hands on approach to learning which is something you can’t always get in a classroom.
I have made so many contacts in the industry now and have since worked in multiple venues across the West End. No matter where you are in the company, you’ll be in touch with either current or previous apprentices who know exactly what you’re going through, and everyone loves to help! Since graduating, I have now become Deputy Head of Electrics in a West End theatre and none of this would have been possible without having done the apprenticeship!
Deputy Head of Electrics
The Savoy Theatre
I completed my apprenticeship at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London (2017). I was there for a year and spent my time going between carpentry and electrics. Over the year I was given a really good grounding in just about every aspect of technical theatre, counterweight flying, followspotting, rigging, hemp flying, board opping to name just a few. I was completely new to working in theatre but it didn’t matter as I was taught everything I needed, even how to use tools properly. I was really encouraged to ask questions and was never made to feel stupid for not knowing something.
Picking a favourite part would be impossible as the whole year was fantastic, I’ve been given so many opportunities, like working on some of the best shows in the West End at the time and with leading industry professionals, I was given the chance to work in other theatres, and had backstage tours around some of the most prestigious venues in London. The contacts I made during my apprenticeship have helped me find work since leaving the Dukes and has consequently lead on to a full time technician job in another ATG venue.
Before applying you need to know that what you put into the apprenticeship is what you get out of it, if you throw yourself in completely and learn everything you can, being eager and enthusiastic, you’ll get a lot more out of it than if you go through doing the minimal coursework needed to pass! This apprenticeship was such an amazing opportunity as I dove head first into the industry, something that going to university wouldn’t have given me.