|City Varieties Music Hall|
We then moved over to the Grand Theatre, which has also been undergoing a refurbishment with original tiles uncovered throughout the theatre. This is a far more ‘grand’ affair and, what struck me in particular, was how much more space there was in both of the theatres compared to the West End theatres I am used to in London. There you can get quite severe vertigo if you are in the cheap seats at the top. Here, however, the rake of seating is far more smooth and there is impressive leg room as the taller among us noted!
Something else that was interesting was that the archive came under the Learning department's jurisdiction, as it does at the NT. In Leeds, however, the Learning department were presented with a disordered archive which had not been catalogued or used at all and it fell to the Learning staff to make the most of it. This is a different perspective to the NT where the Archive was not always part of Learning but has sat in the Directors' office and under the General Manager before finally coming to rest in its current home. In Leeds, they are using the archive for all kinds of outreach activities and this is the focus of their approach to the cataloguing. It is really helpful to see which departments other archives are linked to and see what sort of relationships we can forge at the NT. I'd like our work to more linked to the Learning syllabus and, as there is enthusiasm on both sides, hopefully we'll get this happening soon!
|I also went to the Coronation Street set in Manchester!|
I have made the step up to Archivist of the NT and am getting to grips with a permanent position and the thrill of being able to plan further ahead then a few months!
I have been seeing so much theatre that I shock myself. Surprisingly, I am not getting saturated with it but I am actually getting better at being in the audience. When I moved to London, going to the theatre was quite difficult for me, I found it hard to concentrate for that long a period without doing other things. Now, I am finding it easier to switch off and appreciate what I am seeing for what it is. I have had a run of pretty good shows and I am beginning to sprinkle my usual NT serving with some West End shows and fringe theatre to get quite a cross section of London’s offering. I’m basically still in awe of anyone who can remember a whole script and deliver it in front of an audience!