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Balance Exhibition 2017: Industry Exposure


14 August 2017

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Production and Design

At the end of every academic year, our final year theatre designers head to London’s South Bank for a week-long exhibition at Bargehouse.

Balance exhibition showcases the finest work from the next generation of theatre designers to industry professionals in the heart of cultural London.

We spoke to Linbury Prize winner and 2015 Design for Performance graduate, Jen McGinley about how the exhibition acts a springboard into the industry.

Jen McGinley, Design for Performance Graduate 2015

“At the Bargehouse exhibition opening, designers Es Devlin and Tom Scutt (alumni and Fellow of the College) saw my work, and offered me assistant roles. From there, they were really supportive in encouraging me to apply for the Linbury Prize, which I was then lucky enough to win later that year.

I worked for Es mainly as a model-maker on various jobs including the Adele Tour, and assisted Tom during his time as associate artist at the Donmar, with Linbury finalist and MA from 2015, David Allen. I also worked with Tom on productions including Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse), The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Open Air Theatre).

I’m now designing three shows; one for New Diorama Theatre, Secret Life of Humans; a remount of a show from last year for National Youth Theatre, The Reluctant Fundamentalist; and a show with the artistic director of Northern Stage in Newcastle, A Song for Ella Grey.

What’s so brilliant about Balance is the network of contacts that it invites and attracts. It’s also your first introduction to what feels like the ‘alumni family’, which is incredibly supportive.  I’m really looking forward to seeing this year’s new batch: it’s often something that alumni, like myself, will recommend to other professionals that they’ve worked with, which kick-starts the chain of industry professionals that will see it.

It’s also the perfect way to celebrate what is the end of three gruelling, but fantastically happy years surrounded by yours and your peers’ achievements, and the launch of your professional career.  I have such fond memories of that summer and am incredibly grateful for it, especially for the exposure in both London and Cardiff.”

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