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Stage Managing Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Red Shoes’

RWCMD Stage Managers work on Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

23 March 2017

Graduates from the Stage Management course, Sam Griesser and Tafara Takavarasha returned to Cardiff last week, touring as Assistant Stage Managers on Matthew Bourne’s original production of The Red Shoes.

The duo have had a similar start to their careers – both working on the production of Wicked as part of their work placement whilst studying at RWCMD.

Making connections during this valuable time on their placements, both Tafara and Sam were then hired as Assistant Stage Managers on Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty for a year from September 2015.

Taking only one week off between productions, they dived into the production of The Red Shoes in October last year and have been touring with the show since.

Working on a world premiere like this has meant that both Tafara and Sam have had the chance to be a part of the creation of the show, bringing it to life. The stage management plots they write for the show will be handed on to crews on subsequent tours.

Taking the production from rehearsal rooms to the stage, changing venues every week, changing plots for each actor – the challenges of working on such a high-profile production are numerous.

Sometimes multiple things can be happening at once, someone’s wig could be falling off so you need to inform the wigs department, a cast member may have cut their leg and needs a plaster, you deal with these problems while doing your own cues and sometimes this can be just as challenging as dealing with the bigger problems.

With a new venue every week and the cast changing every night, our plots change and so keeping track of that is also part of the challenge.

Working on both internal and external placements while studying at College definitely helped us prepare for working in the industry. It’s not a breezy course – sometimes you’ll be working from 9am until 10pm, but it mirrors the industry.”

Both Tafara and Sam will continue working on The Red Shoes on it’s UK tour until it transfers to the US in July.

We can’t wait to see what they work on next!