Day 3: A week of work experience at The Lowry

This week we’ll be posting a blog every day from Ellie Prime who recently did work experience with us. Read on to find out how it went.

Working with Front of House & Watching ‘Wicked’

Wicked UK Tour_Marilyn Cutts and Steven Pinder_Photo Matt Crockett__1099_RTOn Wednesday it was finally the day for me to see a matinee performance of Wicked and I was extremely excited after hearing everyone in the office rave about how incredible it is! And, well, it certainly didn’t disappoint…

Prior to the show I worked with Steve, the Deputy Front of House Manager, going through a pre-show checklist. Firstly, it was health & safety; this involved unbolting all the fire exit doors, checking the stairwell lighting was working and that there were no obstructions in the fire exits. After this I worked with some of the volunteers, Sue (a volunteer at the Lowry for seven years!) explained to me how she set up the cloakroom pre-show. Then Cat and I stood at doors K & L, admitting people into the theatre and helping them get to their seats.

The whole performance was magical and the amazing sound, music and lighting really made me feel like I was in the Emerald City! I found the show even more exciting as I had been backstage the day before, I was able to picture what was going on at certain parts during the show and even spotted Adam bringing a prop onstage. Even though the cast had been on tour for almost two years, the enthusiasm and energy of the performance made it feel like it was opening night. One of my favourite parts of the show was all the links to the Wizard of Oz, the story of the scarecrow and steel man, how Glinda became ‘Glinda the good’ and how Dorothy got her amazing glitter shoes.

Meet the Learning & Engagement Manager

Jenny (Learning & Engagement Manager) is in charge of all the schemes The Lowry creates for targeted audiences in local areas of Salford; e.g children who may be struggling at home or in school. One of her main aims is to make the arts accessible for all. She appreciates the willingness of the children and how they respond differently to being taught through dance, drama and visual arts. Each year Jenny runs a ‘Focus Project’ which is aimed to help targeted groups. In the first year of the project, young carers were the focus; this was for children of Salford who were caring for a parent at home who has physical or mental disabilities or were recovering from drugs or alcohol addictions.

The Lowry worked in partnership with a Young Careers agency by bringing arts to the young carers through an arts-based project. The young carers decided to produce a film called ‘We’re not different, we just do different things’. Now in its fourth year (after making two more films in the following years) the young carers have produced a digital educational resource to work alongside their film. Other focuses each year have included: Looked after Children (children in care), Young Parents (where they build the parents’ literacy skills and teach them to enjoy playing with their children) and, Children with Autism. There are also many more schemes Learning & Engagement do, this all really interested me as I had no clue The Lowry did work like this!