Ben Edwards – Year 12, Technical Lighting Operator, The Cabaret

You have been accepted on the National Theatre Young Technicians Course.  Have you always been interested in the production side of Drama?

Since I have been young I have always enjoyed watching theatre productions, plays or musicals and marvelling at the atmosphere created through the use of sound and lighting.  It has always fascinated me how everything comes together and creates a world of its own on stage.  I was given the opportunity in Year 9 to have hands on experience with the lighting and sound desks during drama class and from that moment my interest in technical theatre took off.

How much ‘behind the scenes’ experience have you managed to get at Eltham College?

I was lucky to be part of the technical team in Year 9 for the musical Oliver, and ever since then I have been an active member in the technical crew, and fortunate to be the lighting operator for many productions.

My first experience of being the lighting designer was during lessons where I would design the lights for the end of year productions.  This lead me to getting the opportunity to be the lighting designer for the middle school play DNA. I have also worked alongside Junior School staff and pupils with their production of Fantastic Mr Fox.  I am currently working on the lighting design for the National Theatre Connections Project, Year 7 Drama Club and my drama classes devising pieces.

How challenging was the filming of the Cabaret due to the restrictions?

Due to COVID-19 we were unable to do the annual musical and instead we had to settle on filming different numbers for the Cabaret. This was quite the challenge as it’s not something we’ve done before. We were unable to  rehearse after school and were limited to lunch time rehearsals only – hence having less time to rehearse. Despite these setbacks we were still successful in filming a fantastic set of numbers for the Cabaret.

What aspects did you enjoy most of the production?

My favourite aspect of the production was being the lighting operator as it gave me the opportunity to be part of the technical team but to also watch the numbers being performed in live time on stage.

What are your plans for the future?

Once I finish my A-levels I plan to either go to university to do a joint honours course in psychology and drama or pursue technical theatre at a drama school, RADA being my first choice.

What advice would you give our younger students who wish to follow a similar role to you?

My main advice would be to grasp every opportunity that comes your way. Join the technical crew as soon as you can and become part of the team.

The show and gallery of photographs can be viewed below.  The password for the show has been sent via ElthamPost.

Cabaret 2020

Cabaret Gallery 2020

Photograph Technical Crew: Top: Edward Collings (staff) / Jake Jenkins (staff) Bottom: Ben Edwards / Kieran Fowler Wright / Sean Dykes  / Max Taylor