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this issue

Graduate news P.2 Mill on the Pier P.4 Summer of Sports P.6-7 Hollywood Calling P. 8-9

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE WITH ALL THAT IS ALRA

ALRA:TV P. 10 A Coffee with Corrall P.11 Steve Rice @ Equity P. 12

Industry Insight: Maggie Kruger Voice agent @ Babble Voices

Making it as a voiceover artist

If you're serious about making it as a voiceover artist you need to get yourself a decent reel - don't start contacting agents without one as it's the first thing they'll ask for! Go to a proper studio, not someone you randomly find at the back of The Stage - don't be afraid to do a bit of research and find someone you like. There are lots of good studios in Soho, or reputable companies advertising in Contacts, such as showreel.com or Sonic Pond. You’d be surprised how many people sends us reels they’ve recorded on their phones, or just call us and say they ‘have a great voice, can't you just take me on?’!

What we’ve been up to recently:

Wow! What a summer it’s been here at ALRA. We’ve all been on the edges of our swivel chairs watching the incredible summer of sports. A huge number of current ALRA students, graduates and staff worked on the Olympics and Paralympics, we’ve featured some of their stories on page 6 and 7 of this issue. Aside from the Olympics ALRA collaborated with Yellow Earth again and the courtyards where full of East Asian actors dancing and reAim to save between £400– £500 for hearsing for their performance, your reel. It’s worth spending a decent amount of money – it’ll pay for itself which was hugely successful. when you start to get work. A good reel should a) show your voice off b) make people sit up and notice you, and c) be something that can go live on a voiceover agent’s website straight away. Accents are less important now for reels, and don't 'put on' a voice: we want to hear your natural speaking voice in a variety of styles. Think about the skillset you need for voiceovers: mic technique, breathing, sight reading, clear diction - we often say "everyone can talk but not everyone can do voiceovers". Differentiate whether your reel is for commercial or radio drama and choose pieces that suit your voice and your age: if you’re in your twenties there’s no point you reading an ad for SAGA or anti wrinkle cream! Ideally the showreel producer will help you choose the right scripts. TOP TIP: Be nice to everyone! I can’t stress how important that is. This industry is very small and you never know when a receptionist, engineer or runner will be asked to recommend a voice - make sure that it's you they put in a good word for! www.babblevoices.com

The end of summer means the start of a new term and ALRA opening our doors in both the North and the South to fresh-faced, eager new students who had been selected from the audition process. Their induction weeks went off without a hitch and they are all a few weeks into their new term now. As well as new students in the first year, ALRA North now has their very first set of third years so we are gearing up for double in terms of showcases, shows, films and radio. So it’s show crazy here– see the back cover for all the upcoming show dates and booking information. Our PG’s at both the North and South sites have been very busyALRA collaborated with Theare503 in Battersea to create Confessional

which was a medley of monologues and two handers. The PG’s up North also performed Jane Eyre as part of their community tour. Looking ahead, the PG’s are soon to be graduating so all preparations for their showcase are steaming ahead. Both North and South PG’s will perform at Zion Arts in Manchester and then travel to London to perform at The Soho Theatre. Much nail-biting to commence shortly! Their showcases will be the week of 26th November. Restorations and renovations are going very well in ALRA North’s new campus– Mill at the Pier, in Wigan. You can get a sneak peek of what it looks like on page 4. We can’t wait to get our students inside and make the move from their current Turner Street location. The Mill at the Pier was built in 1907 and is a cotton spinning mill which stands on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Aside from all of that our graduates have been making a real name for themselves from working in Parade’s End and BBC New Tricks to work in the RCS’s Much Ado About Nothing. Great work all round!


DIRECT FROM THE DIRECTORS: Each newsletter we will be giving Clive and Adrian a topic to discuss…

Adrian Hall Unpaid work– to do or not to do?

If there’s a question you’d like to ask Clive or Adrian then let us know! “…The best job I ever had" First problem is your agent. Of course they won't want you tied up for weeks doing something they can't take a cut from. Why would they? You are their living and any unpaid work you do denies them that living and may deny other paid opportunities. So they say "Well lovey of course I understand you need to keep working but I'm so worried you'll miss out on that hot casting next week soooooo….." Second problem is quality. Professional work usually, I stress usually, has a quality level you can rely on. Unpaid theatre work is a little more….haphazard shall we say. Third problem, well there isn't one. You are an actor. You wake up feeling like a drowning man if the day holds no prospect of acting, creating etc. So when that call comes you almost certainly will ignore problems 1 & 2 and say yes. Sometimes that will be a great decision. At the beginning of my career I had a chance to do a lunchtime fringy unpaid thing at the Drill Hall off Tottenham Court Road. Best fun I ever had. Say yes. We all need to wake up and feel the day will be worth it. 2.

…”

Graduate news: news: Graduate A brief selection of notable graduate news since the last edition...

Junaid Faiz (PG 2010) is working this month on the play The President And The Pakistani directed by Tom Attenborough rehearsing now, starting on October 3rd to November 4th, and he has just filmed a short film for Whitechapel Gallery called Give To Me The Life I Love directed by Matt Stokes, which is due to be screened in a couple of weeks. Tessa Parr (PG 2007)

Amina Zia (PG 2010) made her TV debut as Mrs Shafiq in episode 3 of the new sitcom Citizen Khan.

Sean Turner (3Y 2008) is an emerging directing talent. His Production of Three of Hearts at the Camden Etcetera earned five Off West Award nominations, Including Best Director. Other Recent Credits include, The Communion of Lilies, (Primrose Productions / Barons Court Theatre). The Screw (Royal Court Writers at RADA / RADA). The Fixer (Tiny Dog Productions / The Honor Oak). Lethal Injection (Five One Productions / Hen and Chickens). Sean's work can be seen next in Barefaced Theatre's All Hidden as part of their A Significant Role repertory season. It's at the Portobello Pop Up from the 4th October. Tickets are available from: www.eventelephant.com /allhiddenandscratch

info@alra.co.uk

Since graduating from the PG course in 2007 Tessa Parr has been very successful, most recently she played Bridget in Parade’s End alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and worked with fellow ALRA graduateLiam Jeavons shooting the most recent Halifax commercial. Prior to this she filmed Casualty 1909 for the BBC.

Fiston Barek (3Y 2009) Fiston worked in Doctors and Holby City, Truth and Reconciliation for the Royal Court Theatre, Love the Sinner for The National theatre, Little Baby Jesus for the Oval House Theatre and has recorded a couple of short films and a radio play for The National Theatre’s 'Media Archive' which will be available for viewing 2013! Elizabeth Patrick (SMTT 2010) Lizzie was most recently the Company Stage Manager for Mack and Mabel at Southwark Playhouse. Previous to this she worked with Anne Vosser Casting as the Casting Assistant for Loserville, 20th Century Boy, Shaun the Sheep, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Last Maharaja. She also worked as Company Stage Manager at the ‘Opening Doors Festival’ at the Soho Theatre.

www.alra.co.uk

@ALRADrama


Student Spotlight: Sarah Coyne Sarah Coyne, from Scotland, has just begun her second year at ALRA North. We chatted to her about life in the North and where she hopes to live and work after graduation.

Q– Hi Sarah, how are you getting on ALRA North? A- Yeah, I’m absolutely loving it, the only problem is it’s just going so fast! I feel like if I blink then we’re suddenly in 2 nd term! I’m trying to enjoy every second here. Q- Are you finding there’s a big jump from 1st year to 2nd year? A- Well, it’s certainly a noticeable difference. There’s a wee bit of everyone wandering around a bit bemused because a lot of us haven’t acted in a few months so we’re feeling a bit rusty! Which shows it’s important to keep reminding yourself of techniques. Q- Is there a specific module you’re looking forward to this year? I know there are loads cram-packed together! A- Well I’m so excited to start working with the Shakespeare scenes and then this term we are doing ‘The Cherry Orchard’ which will be a big challenge but I can’t wait to begin. Q- So, you hail from Scotland, what made you choose ALRA North? A- Well, firstly from a logical point of view- the fees are much cheaper! But also, when I came to visit the North and do my research about the area I realised quite quickly just how much work there is down here, there’s a real buzz- everyone in the North seems so passionate about the arts. Alongside that ALRA has a great ethos as a drama school, I just think it’s the best place to be training right now. Q- So when you finish where do you see yourself, staying in the North or going back to Scotland? A- I think it all depends on luck really, I’ll see what happens after our showcase. I’d be really happy to settle in the North or go back home. I think there’s a lot of great work to be had in Scotland. I mean you’ve got the National Theatre of Scotland which have fantastic performances, and there are some great theatres in Edinburgh and Glasgow- and obviously The Edinburgh Festival. As an actor I don’t want to limit myself- I’ll live wherever the work is! Q- And finally, where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? A- Pounding the pavements as an actor. Either in work or trying to get it; I think it’s all about perseverance. You will have dark times as an actor but it’s about fighting through those and making your own work is the key.

Movement Moments

The Movement Department spent a day with Miranda Tufnell at ALRA North. Miranda is co-author of Body Space Image and A Widening Field, she studied at London School of Contemporary Dance and then at the Merce Cunningham Studio New York. Other significant influences have been Alexander technique, Contact Improvisation and Release work, www.mirandatufnell.co.uk. Of our day together Miranda said: ‘It is such a good thing to see movement stories emerge, for the whole team to move and be together, that kind of imaginative coming together sees all our experience leave its imprint in the body and moving becomes a way of making this visible to ourselves’. Here at ALRA, her work has inspired the Movement course, and the books considered key-texts, so the opportunity for the department to work with her was really incredible. Fiona Rae, who is Head of Movement here at ALRA South said ‘our intention now is to share our first-hand experience with the students, it was wonderful to work with the department, and hopefully we will continue to develop our link and new friendship with Miranda, her work and ALRA.

Want us to feature you in the next issue? Drop us an email: info@alra.co.uk

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Exclusive look inside the new Mill at the Pier building @ ALRA North

When in Rome… The marvellous Roman Stefanski– Associate Director at Polka Theatre and much loved ALRA director took a trip to ALRA North’s new home The Mill at the Pier and took some snaps to show us the progress...

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Want us to feature you in the next issue? Drop us an email: info@alra.co.uk


W

omb Wrenching:

Clive Duncan How important is a good headshot?

Maddy Anholt

The other day at ALRA a lovely gentleman came in and told us he and a few friends were out in the Goth courtyard having an ALRA reunion- they were here between 1992-95. I went out to say hello and I couldn’t believe how many of them had kept in touch and were up-to-date with the latest baby news, marriages and acting work. It made me think of my time here and who had kept in touch or not. It’s funny to think you spend almost every day with the same group of people for 3 years, you see each other breaking down and being built up again as actors and yet when you leave you’re thrust from that warm womb of friendship, compassion and support into the cold. outside with just a few of those friends you made by your side. I chatted to George Turvey who graduated in 2007 who joined forces with fellow classmate Sam Donovan to found the fantastic Papatango Theatre Company, alongside Matt Roberts. Papatango can count inspirations such as Zoe Wannamaker and David Suchet as their patrons, and they have created numerous five-star sell out shows together. Jimmy Akingbola said to me that it’s so important to network amongst your friends and classmates, you never know- you may have a script that you are desperate to be heard, the person on the next table may be the artistic director of a theatre, and the person next to him may have a wad of money in his back pocket that he is just waiting to spend on some innovative new theatre. Optimistic? Perhaps. Worth starting a conversation or picking up the phone for? Definitely. You don’t get if you don’t ask, as me Mam taught me.

Alumni Answers: Suzanne Henchley Q: How did you make the move to presenting, do you have any tips? A: Fortunately before I trained at ALRA I had gained several years

Suzanne Henchley

DIRECT FROM THE DIRECTORS:

experience as a fashion stylist so, after my training, and in the dry months between acting jobs I returned to some of the agencies and started fashion styling again. It was then that one of the agencies approached me to work as a presenter on a new internet fashion channel – they knew I had trained as an actor and felt that I would be the most comfortable on camera out of the stylists in the office. In reality it’s a different skill set to acting but I at least had confidence in front of a camera and I knew what I was talking about when it came to fashion. It’s important as a presenter to treat the camera as a person and, unlike acting, you need to engage straight down the lens – as an actor you at least have another human being to respond and react to in presenting you don’t! Confidence is the big tip! If you aren’t then at least use your skills as an actor to appear as if you are. I had to force myself to watch my performances back which as painful as it can be benefitted my performances

“…Crucial! Your first introduction to the CD or Director. Don’t skimp! Get the best photographer – it’s tax deductible. Avoid photographers who keep fingers on buttons hoping to find a good shot out of 1000. For a three figure sum you should be able to get 6 out of 100 which shows your casting range really well. Good photographers should spend 3-4 hours with you building a rapport and setting up shots. Research pictures of actors who work regularly (Paul Ritter) – not famous ones (Benedict Cumberbatch) who no longer need headshots. Be clear on the 6 ultimate photos you’re after and tell them. It’s your session, control it. Go with a change of clothes/look. Ask for breaks when tired. Good shots contain thought behind the eyes - think through monologues silently or ask if you want to play them – photographers won’t mind. Good shots show your potentiality to play certain types – it’s not about you looking ‘actory’. Colour and body-shots? We’re going American but we’ll never lose the close-up. Smile or serious? Both, but remember it’s the thought that counts! …”

Want us to feature you in the next issue? Drop us an email: info@alra.co.uk

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Summer of Sports: Olympics 2012 This year saw a spectacular summer of sport for the UK with Team GB taking an unprecedented 120 medals overall– a staggering 34 golds, 43 silvers and 43 bronzes, finishing in a hugely admiral 3rd place on the medals table. But it wasn’t just the athletes that put on a stellar show for the 9,000,000 visitors; behind the scenes there were choreographers, performers, set and costume makers and thousands of helpers and a huge number of those amazing folk were ALRA students, graduates or teachers. Here’s a look at a few of those inspiring people and the stories they had to tell about working the Olympics 2012…. Name: Hannah McArdle and Luke Flint (Left) Name: Diane Mitchell Head of ALRA Foundation course Work @ Olympics: Choreographer and performer I was part of the creative team on the Green and Pleasant Land preshow and Pandemonium/ Industrial Revolution section which ended with those iconic Olympics rings blazing. I also performed in the Industrial Revolution section. It was a truly magical experience. Awesome!

Ria Carroll with a photo of herself on the Olympic Bridge

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Year graduated and course: 2012 SMTT Work @ Olympics: Props team, performers We started working for the Props team in the workshop in March, we spent about three months there on and off painting the chairs for the closing Ceremony, making drums out of buckets etc. The rehearsals started in May at mills and studios we got to meet Danny Boyle (who by the way is very nice! )while there we also saw Davina McCall and Timothy Spallamazing! Then they moved us to sunny Dagenham and we spent days in the pouring rain watching people remove grass and then resetting it (Opening Ceremony)! Finally we moved to the stadium in the beginning of July this is when it started to get real! It was completely manic! No one knew where anything was, people were getting lost all over the place and every time a rehearsal started it poured down with rain, but it was still incredible! All four ceremonies went off with out a hitch (well except the Olympics Closing where Hannah was sent to buy props one hour before the show went up!) We've spent the last three months meeting the most amazing people (like Coldplay, the Spice Girls, Stephen Hawking, One Direction and Ian McKellen - who kept winking at Luke). We even got some small role's like being on the Captain hook puppet bed and on the whale. And to top it off we were part of a team that can say we were the first people to work on all four ceremonies as no country has ever had one team of people do them all! It has been the best experience and we'll never do any show's like it again. We were so grateful to be part of the 2012 Olympics! (see photo, right)

Want us to feature you in the next issue? Drop us an email: info@alra.co.uk


Name: Stephen Lloyd Year graduated and course: 3Y 2008 Work @ Olympics: Performer (right) Jenny Sealey asked me if I would perform in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony. Jenny, not only Artistic Director of the Ceremony itself, Directed Reasons To Be Cheerful; a production I toured with earlier this year. The show was based on the music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, a punk band famous in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Dury was commissioned in 1981 to write a song honouring The International Year of the Disabled. A disabled man himself; Dury was incensed by such a day of social segregation. He denied the request and penned instead “Spasticus Autisticus” as a war cry to both empathizers and sympathizers; intended to project a violently emotional image of the reality of disabled life and his own personal sense of gritty pride. Both controversial and brave, this was the song we were requested to perform at the 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony. I will be eternally proud and humbled to have performed this particular song and feel a sense of pride considering the symbolism of such a song. I’m so proud I could have been a part of this historical event!

Hannah McArdle and Luke Flint @ The Olympics

Juliet Chappell (left) is currently in her 3rd year at ALRA. In the summer I worked as part of Coca-Cola’s showcase and performance team at the Olympics and Paralympics. Although it involved very early starts and long hours in the sun or rain it was a fantastic summer job: good pay, and spending lots of time with other drama students and recent graduates. I was thrilled to be part of this event it’s something to reminisce about in the future! Name: Ria Carroll (right and far left) Year graduated and course: 3 year acting 2010 Work @ Olympics: Coca-Cola tour bus following Olympic torch After 6 rounds of auditions and out of hundreds of applications I got picked as an entertainer for the 70 day Olympic torch relay tour working for Coca-Cola. I didn't realise it was going to be my most successful and rewarding job to date. I cannot describe how amazing my summer was travelling the country, dancing and waving above the Coca-Cola lorry through all the crowds 5 minutes previous to the torch arriving. Seeing millions of people waving and taking pictures of you as you travelled your way through their towns was the most incredible thing I had ever experienced. I was so proud to have been involved in such a historic event and I will be able to talk about my experiences for the rest of my life! It was also a very proud moment finding out two of my pictures (left) had been chosen to feature on the Coca-Cola Olympic Bridge at Stratford which 80% of the people attending the Olympics would walk over. It made me realise that my skills I had learnt at ALRA could be transferred to other areas, opening doors for me in all types of work!

Want us to feature you in the next issue? Drop us an email: info@alra.co.uk

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A c hat to an ALRA gra d that ha s ‘ma de it ’ i n Holl ywoo d

calling... I had a Skype call with Dominic Burgess, who graduated from ALRA in 2004, and chatted to him about life, love and LA. So, how’s it all been going in LA? Busy. I’m on the long road to getting a Green Card now, it’s a very long and strenuous process. It takes the best part of ten years to really sort it. It’s not just obtaining the Green Card that’s tricky it’s getting yourself set up as an actor; unless you’re a ‘known’ it’s tricky. I’ve spent the last five years building up my list of contacts in the US, now my manager puts me forward for roles and I get seen but when I first arrived it was really tough. I had no idea how the whole ‘living in LA’ thing was done. There’s no instruction manual (maybe I should write one?!), I didn’t realise you have to go and get a social security number or a Californian driver’s license. But I learnt gradually and pretty much as soon as I arrived I began training with The Groundlings (see http://www.groundlings.com/) so I made a lot of friends and contacts there which really helped me settle in. And in terms of the castings you go to, what’s the ratio between them requiring your US accent or UK accents? If you want to be taken seriously as an actor in the US you need a decent general US accent, I would say 80% of the castings are for US speaking roles- pretty much 100% of TV castings. But there have been times that I’ve gone to castings and they’ve heard my native accent and have asked to hear it in UK and re-written the role for me! Obviously it’s nice to have a niche UK accent as well as my US. What’s been the most exciting role of your career so far? I would probably say Dr. Who in the UK, just because I am such a huge fan! But in terms of a role with variation- Baby Geniuses directed by Sean McNamara was just incredible. I spent 5 months shooting in Alaska and every episode I’d have a different costume and accent, so I was French, German, Russian, it was so much fun! Is there anyone in particular that you loved working with? I mentioned the improv school- The Groundlings and there’s a core group of about 12 or 13 of us that have formed ‘The Gym’, we produce and perform our own work and industry people are just so much more willing to see us now. Is there anyone you dream of working with, actor, director, producer? (straight in) Cate Blanchett. Um…. Aside from Cate?

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cont’d Oh. Sure. Well loads of actors I’ve worked with I admire. I did a play in June with Sean Maher who used to be in Joss Whedon's Firefly, which was just phenomenal, I am such a fan of his. It’s the first time I’ve been really star-struck! And similarly, is there a role you dream of being cast as, I see they will soon be casting Christian Gray, something you’d be up for? Um… I don’t think that’s really me! Being a character actor I get put up for great and varied roles. Last week I cast for a sleazy strip club owner and this week I am a sports commentator. In LA being a character actor gives me such a lot more freedom. Did you enjoy your time at ALRA? I absolutely loved it! I’m originally from Stoke and I’d never been to London so it was such a huge adventure. It was very strange leaving ALRA particularly because not so long after that I left for LA. I actually missed the rehearsal for our graduation because I was at an audition for Batman Begins (which I went on to get, thankfully). Any teacher that you particularly remember that you were fond of or who you feel helped you to where you are now? I mean they were all great really. I remember John Wild was fantastic and John Mowatt was great. I loved working with Shaun McLevy in my third year who directed us. I think it’s great having so many different tutors, producers, directors and freelancers into ALRA. It gives you loads of different perspectives on training and the industry in general. And finally, what are your plans for the future? Well I plan to stay here and finish the Green Card process, which hopefully will be about 12 months or so. I was thinking I’d like to split my time between LA and UK but that would be career suicide, it’s impossible to pack your things, go away for 6 months then return and expect people to remember who you are! I love the US and the acting and casting over here just feels really right for me.

www.dominicburgess.com Stage Management Segment Here I am, brand new steelies, fresh shirt and clean jeans. My first day at ALRA. Super keen and a little unsure of what’s ahead. After two hours I’m covered in paint, dust in my floppy hair and concrete so far under my nails I don’t think it’ll ever come out. I don’t mean to paint (excuse the pun), those first few days in a negative light. In fact- I had the biggest smile on my face. After what felt like 10 minutes we were knee deep in dummy’s, babies and guns (surreal, I know)- I was ASM on Candide and I realised I’d made the right decision to study SMTT at ALRA. It’s hugely demanding and, at times it’s massively overwhelming but I don’t think there’s a better training and preparation for this industry than this course. Where do I see myself when I graduate? Working with great people in a great environment. I’d love to work on a cruise ship for a while, see the world then I’d love to get into TV or film. We can only dream, hey? But this training has put me in a position where I can dream. Jack Hylands– 2nd year SMTT jackhylands@gmail.com

Want to write an article for the next ALRA:Article? Get in touch!

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ALRA: TV is a unique venture for a drama school and together with the ALRA Community, we will provide unrivalled access to information, show-reels, films, blogs, live interviews and workshops, student made soaps and much, much more!

City Halls is a soap that ALRA North’s current third years produced for ALRA:TV last year. The soap was written by Emma Clarke and devised for ALRA by ALRA North’s Acting for Camera tutor Peter Hunt. Set in student halls in the town of Wigan, City Halls takes on Hollyoaks in a typical plot of young love and paranoia. Two episodes were shot for ALRA:TV; the scenes were shot on location around the town, and a local musician contributed by composing the theme tune. All in all everyone was very pleased with the outcome of City Halls, and there are now plans to use the current 2nd years in filming episodes 3 and 4.

Short Film & Showreel Opportunities ALRA's Head of Technical, Dan Rowson, will be producing a number of short films throughout the year casting exclusively from ALRA graduates. Scripts will be a mixture of new writing, scene extracts, and devised material with the project initially starting with a series of short scripts from 'One Million Tiny Plays About Britain' by Craig Taylor, initially published as a series of short plays for the Guardian Weekend Magazine. If you are interested in appearing in any of these shorts or contributing your own writing please contact Dan Rowson [dan.rowson@alra.co.uk] detailing your interest. Please mark the subject line of your email with 'Tiny Play'. Shooting will take place at regular intervals throughout the year.

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A coffee with Corrall Set designer, illustrator, and all-round lovely gentleman, Nik Corrall joined me on the sofa for a coffee, custard cream and a chat… So Nik, you’ve been working at ALRA for a few years now. How many shows have you designed here? Hi Mads, can I call you Mads? Madeline. Maddy. I’ve been working at ALRA since early 2010. My first ALRA show was The Tell-Tale Heart, directed by Kwong Loke. It was the second show I’d designed since graduating. That was followed by the Caucasian Chalk Circle, directed by Jenny Eastop and then Under the Concrete, Waiting with Paul Robinson. David Copperfield has just gone into rehearsals and I’ve been working closely with Cordelia Monsey. And what was your favourite to design? It’s so hard to say as once a project is over you tend to look at a design very differently and pick it apart! I love set design because you work so closely with the director to establish a particular universe for each show and then you design t that particular universe’s rules. For this reason, Caucasian Chalk Circle’s world of a dilapidated circus was really fun. Working out how to stage the play’s plot points under the umbrella of a circus opened up a lot of unexpected ideas and images. Which show would you dream of deigning a set for? It’s a bit shameful but I would like to design for a large scale musical. I love watching the pace at which a design changes and surprises in musicals. The set has to create so many different locations. I love working out how the designer has approached design economically and how a set element in one scene can be transformed for another scene. Logistically it would be a wonderful challenge. It would also be a natural progression from my childhood performances of The Little Mermaid for my parents with only a paddling pool for set and orange pyjama bottoms for hair. We’ve all done it. (I had to stop the interview temporarily here as I’m crying with laughter at Nik’s impression of Ariel)

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And finally, where do you see yourself in five years’ time? In five years’ time I hope I’ll be successfully working in many disciplines. I come from a graphic design and animation background and I couldn’t work without this as my foundation. 11


A quick word: WITH

Gordon House Is former head of BBC Radio Drama, Guest lecturer in Radio Drama Acting and Writing; Awardwinning Radio Drama Producer; Writer, Speechmaker and director at ALRA, we grabbed him for

a quick word….

Q: Gordon, we love having you here at ALRA, but we know it’s not all you get up to. Could you tell us about what else you are doing radio -wise’ ? A: At the moment I’m producing a 3-part adaptation of Trollope’s novel classical series called ‘The Eustace Diamonds’ working with Rose Tremain for Radio 4’s ‘Classic Serial’ slot.

Q: You’ve been working at ALRA for 5 years is there anything you particularly love about your job? A: Working with young people, I think, it keeps you young! I really enjoy their enthusiasm and freshness. The students have such a great energy about them. I feel I can learn from them just as much as they are learning from me. Q: And finally, is there one piece of advice you can give to our recently graduated third years who have just step foot into the ‘real world’?

Don’t despair! Set yourself targets and if things don’t work out don’t think of yourself as a failure. Getting through drama school is life-enhancing; the people-skills you learn there will equip you for so many other jobs.

What Equity Can do For You Equity is the trade union for creative practitioners in the UK entertainment industry. The work our members do span a diverse range of skills; from actors, singers and dancers to stage managers, fashion models and sound designers. Like any trade union we are there to organise and represent our members at work. Our role is to negotiate industry minimum rates of pay across live performance and recorded media. The union also campaigns on national issues that affect our members, ranging from protecting investment in the arts to tackling unfair car insurance premiums for actors and stage managers. Equity membership means you have access to a wealth of information and knowledge regarding the industry. We offer advice on contracts (union and non-union), agents, tax and National Insurance. Whenever you contact us it is confidential and we will not intervene without your say so. Equity provides you with legal support if a contract is broken, something goes wrong or you are hurt in the work place. We also provide public liability and accident insurance as part of standard membership. To become a student member of Equity–simply visit www.equity.org.uk and click the join button. At ALRA you are all eligible to upgrade your membership once you graduate. Equity is run by its members, is a non-profit making organisation and is there to ensure balance and fairness within the work place. If you want to get more involved in your union, or you want to find out more email me at srice@equity.org.uk.

Alumnights is the new, grad friendly ticketing system we have introduced for tickets to ALRA shows. On Friday nights there will be 5 free tickets for any ALRA graduate. To find out the forthcoming shows, please see below. Alumnight tickets are distributed on a first -come, first-served basis to book tickets please email hannah.bulgin@alra.co.uk

Alumni

Please note: ALRA still offer free tickets to all ALRA shows to alumni that are within their first year of graduation. To learn more about ALRA’s graduate package please email maddy.anholt@alra.co.uk

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Q: Sounds great, the production company you work for– Goldhawk Productions are constantly creating award winning new work. Have you got any tips on getting into the world of radio drama? A: Concentrate and listen to as much radio as you possibly can. You want to be in a position where you can say you know as much as you can about the world you want to get into. Take a note of the names involved– especially directors and start writing letters!

Interview: Steve Rice @

Forthcoming shows and events at ALRA: SOUTH: 10th-13th October– Widows– PG South- ALRA Theatre (Open Day S&N 13th) NORTH: 10th– 13th October– Three Birds Alighting on a Field– PG North- Mill at the Pier SOUTH: 24th-27th October– David Copperfield– 3Y South-ALRA Theatre NORTH: 14th– 17th November– The Baby– 3Y North- Mill at the Pier (Open Day S&N 17th) SOUTH: 14th-17th November- Coram Boy- 3Y South- ALRA Theatre NORTH: 28th November- PG Showcase-North & South PG’s- Zion Arts, Manchester SOUTH: 30th November- PG Showcase- North & South PG’s- Soho Theatre, London

For more information please see www.alra.co.uk 1st January: Issue 3 of the ALRA: Article released

Ways to: keep in touch By email: info@alra.co.uk Facebook- find us o n: AL RA– The Aca demy o f Live and Recorded Art s Twitter: @ALRADrama Call: 020 8870 6475 Web: www.alra.co.uk


ALRA:ARTICLE - Issue 2