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Friday, 30 November 2012

We asked you on Twitter and Facebook what you would like to ask an actor. Lots of you replied with fantastic questions and you can see Thomas's replies below -

I was asked to answer some questions. When I was asked, I said, “Okay. But please, I don’t want to come across as some know- it- all actor who’s full of anecdotes. I know nowt really. So I’ve answered these as honestly and sometimes as naively as my first thought after reading them…

How did you get a role in an RSC production?
I was on a Scottish beach with my parents and our dog. Agent rang. I bombed it down to London dead quick. I read the play and learnt a bit from Act Three of Merry Wives, the bit where Simple finds Falstaff in the pub. I met with Philip Breen, the director and Helena Palmer, the casting director. It was all really relaxed and we had a bit of a laugh. At that point, I was unaware I’d also be auditioning for The Mouse and his Child but I did, a couple of days later. That audition was in the same room, with Paul Hunter and Helena Palmer. Paul and I had a conversation but I wasn’t allowed to use the letter ‘P’. That was a good indication of what the following fourteen weeks would be like! 

It's common knowledge it's a difficult business, and that it takes time, commitment and courage to succeed. On the 'not so good days' or after auditions which maybe didn't go so well, How do you pick yourself up and re-motivate yourself?
As long as you’re prepared, polite and passionate then pretty much everything else is out of your hands. So much is down to an image in a director’s head. There are loads of extraneous factors which can determine whether you get the job or not. If you do your best, it’s so often not about ability. That’s a comfort because there’s very little you can do about the other things.

Did you find it a daunting (as well as exciting!) prospect to be working with the RSC?
Aye. It was peculiar though because I have nothing to compare it to. It was all a whirlwind for about the first month. It’s a really welcoming, accommodating and exciting place to be. Everyone- the cast and crew, the lasses in the green room, Tony the tour guide- are proper salt of the Earth folk. I’ve learnt something new every day.
How do you go about learning the iambic pentameter rhythm with the hope of it eventually being instinctive and not having to think about it?

I always remember that Shakespeare isn’t meant to be read, it’s meant to spoken and heard. So Shakespeare wrote in a way which made it accessible for his actors to speak with as much ease as possible. It mimics the way we speak naturally. There aren’t any rules to Shakespeare. That’s important. Don’t let it bog you down. The iambic and all that other stuff has never really got me all worried because it’s all there to help and not hinder. How Shakespeare writes, it offers a tool kit to the actor. It allows us information on the emotion of the character, the purpose of the speech- you know, all that nitty gritty acting stuff, it’s all there- weaved in the words and the structure. It’s about a positive mind. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t just read it off the page because then it’s very easy for it all to be minimised. They aren’t just words. They are human emotions. So what do they do to your body? How do they make you feel? Get up and move. Tap the rhythm on a surface. Beat it out with your feet.  It’ll be interesting which words fall on the beat and the possibilities it opens as an actor. Use what’s written and then be creative. It’s a collaboration between Shakespeare and you, the person who’s embodying his words.

How has performing with the RSC affected your work/work ethic?
Coming straight out of drama school, I’m still in the habit of getting up early and doing all them warm up exercises and stuff. Some aspects, a lot of aspects have been really familiar. What’s interesting is the fact that I’m working with people- and they might hate to read this- that are old enough to be my parents. Drama school’s not like that, yeah, there’s a span of ages but on the whole there’s a lot of early to middle twenty year olds. So that’s a nice dynamic, working with these people who’ve got CVs as long as a basketball player’s arms. The Mouse and his Child has been a lot of playing, dossing about with balls and bric-a-bric in a room in Clapham. These are grown men and women, with mortgages and kids and weekly ASDA shops and all that stuff. They are big kids- talented, creative people who’ve never lost the three year old version of themselves and the work that attitude produces is awesome. There’s something about that which is really inspiring.

Which Shakespeare role as he found the most challenging role to perform so far and which is his favorite one to perform if different?

I’ve barely played any. I did Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale at drama school. It’s a fantastic play. It was a situation where I wasn’t cast perfectly. I mean, Polixenes is meant to be this sophisticated, powerful charming gent. However hard I tried I was still this gangly nineteen year old, incapable of growing facial hair. It makes me laugh that Leontes is paranoid that Polixenes is having an affair with his wife Hermione. There wasn’t a hope in hell that the girl playing Hermione would’ve found me any more attractive than a little brother with a snotty nose. Anyway, it was a good experience. I’d like to play the clown character in that play, the Shepherd’s son. I’d also like to have a crack at Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Fool in King Lear. Iago from Othello has always interested me, especially if it was in a production like Frantic Assembly’s at the Lowry in Manchester about four years ago.  As a young man, I’m drawn to Hamlet. In the same tormented- young man –way, I’ve always wanted to play Giovanni in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. That’s not Shakespeare, it’s John Ford. Proper good play. I started to read Shakespeare’s sonnets a bit back. They’re superb. They are like verses from a rap song. I’d love to have the opportunity to bring them to life.

To a young person who dreams of becoming an actor but doesn't know what sort of training to pursue - what would you advise?

I only know one sort. I went to drama school. Of course there’re other ways of going about it but speaking completely personally, I really doubt I’d be with the RSC if it wasn’t for drama school. I knew no-one. No casting people, no directors. Not even the names of many theatres. Drama school was a way of channeling all this energy I had as a boisterous, naïve, eyes wide open puppy from the hills of Lancashire in to various tools I could use. It gave me the opportunity to meet people too, that’s invaluable.

What is his LEAST favourite Shakespeare. The one he'd tell Shakespeare not to write if he could?

To be fair, I don’t know enough to make a proper answer. I’d say though that in every single Shakespeare play there are elements which are politically, socially and  emotionally forceful. I mean, look at The Merry Wives of Windsor. It has a bit of a reputation of being hastily put together at the request of the queen and all that. There aren’t many thesis written on that play like there are about Hamlet or Lear. However, it’s a play about families, masculinity, racism and airs and graces in suburbia. It’s not too unlike a sitcom. It might be a bit of a leap in comparison but I reckon it’s voyeuristic in the same way as Made in Chelsea and all that clap trap is popular at the moment. It’s a peep in to the workings of relationships. It’s reality. So yeah, at first it doesn’t seem very intellectual and perhaps it isn’t, I don’t know, but it offers something. They all do. All his pieces do. Well, the one’s I’ve read and seen do.

Read Thomas's other blog for the RSC Key below or his other RSC blogs here

You can also follow Thomas Pickles on Twitter @thomas_pickles_

Thomas Pickles and Anita Dobson in The Merry Wives of Windsor photo by Pete Le May and Thomas Pickles and the cast of The Mouse and his Child photo by Keith Pattison.

Monday, 5 November 2012


I’ve barely wanted to blink, to be honest.
Thomas Pickles, actor in the RSC Winter Season

Yeah, this last fortnight, I’ve been on loads of occasions walking around the RST with eyes wide, jaw dropped and brain processing the reality of something which, to sound completely like a clichéd X Factor contestant, I’ve dreamt a lot about.
I’m Thomas and I’m part of the cast of The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Mouse and his Child. I left Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in July just gone and so this is my first professional job. Having left Rose Bruford with an agent, I had a few auditions. I was testing the water, meeting people, well aware I was fresh to it all. I had a kind of excited naivety. I still very much do.
Anyway, I was up on the west coast of Scotland in July with my parents when I got a phone call. In big capital letters my screen said, AMANDA HOWARD ASSOCIATES. My tummy turns in to a butterfly farm whenever I see that. Five minutes later, my parents were stood opposite me, the three of us and our dog stood on a secluded Scottish beach. As we walked along the whispering shore, I started to relay the conversation I’d just had on the phone.

“The Royal Shakespeare Company want to see me in London.” After finally finding a book shop, I bought a copy of The Merry Wives of Windsor and set off to Carlisle. From there I’d go to London and to Earlham Street to meet director Phillip Breen and casting director Helena Palmer. It was all a hectic, excitable rush which, when I’m typing this now, makes the memory stunningly stronger.

There’re two of us for which this season with the RSC is our first professional job. There are two others who left drama school at the same time as Calum and I and for Paapa and Obioma, this is their second job. We share a dressing room and we all know there’s a magic to this place- it’s everywhere whether that be in the headshots of the esteemed actors which adorn the walls of The Dirty Duck pub, or seeing our names typed on tags and stitched in to fluffy white towels, or the amount of people available, equipped and committed to creating top class theatre or simply- well, just there’s a definite magic in the sheer beauty of Stratford-upon-Avon.

I was told when I got the role that the RSC is a fantastic place for a first job and that it would be a brilliant place for a young actor to learn. Of course, that’s completely true. I’m taking a magpie approach to everything and trying to learn all the shiny bits from the proper good actors around me. You know, soaking it all in like a big soggy sponge- with head right up and eyes wide open.

Dreaming with eyes open.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Review - Much Ado About Nothing

By Zoe Apostolides

The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Until 15 September

Noël Coward Theatre, London
24 September - 27 October

What’s immediately obvious, as one steps into the Courtyard’s foyer, is the bustle and energy so important to a play which pivots upon the effects of eavesdropping, rumour, and - as suggested by the title - ‘noting’ that which is so often misheard or misunderstood. Making my way through to the stalls, I caught snippets of conversation, lines of speech, all removed from their context and therefore meaningless to me, and was brought back to this experience time and again as it was mirrored on the stage. The blare of car-horns, the screech of wheels, and the shouts of street-sellers welcome audiences into a chaotic vibrancy which challenges us to attempt to drown it out or to ignore it. The cast directly calls its audience to witness, constructing the set amidst the incoherent chitchat before the action, as it were, has even begun. The RSC have transplanted modern-day Delhi onto its boards as neatly as the characters in Shakespeare’s play transform the inconsequential into life-changing dramas, and boy, is it worth the journey.

Wary of focussing exclusively on Tom Piper’s set design, I will admit it did initially make me a little suspicious of elaborate attempts to hide inadequacies within the production itself and, for the most part, such fears were completely unnecessary. Iqbal Khan’s interpretation bubbles over with life, hysterically hyperbolic yet managing to convey and retain the quieter subtleties of the text. As with Two Gents and As You Like It, Much Ado is a comedy which leaves much forebodingly unanswered: as the two pairs of lovers walk happily into the sunset, the tears and troubles of three short scenes ago clamour for attention, and Khan insists we recognise such ambiguities within Shakespeare’s text.

Amara Karan was a particularly impressive Hero, bringing forth the character’s inevitable obedience and submission, yet also her outspoken and eager nature - a novel exploration. Karan manages to embody the problems of engineered love and the necessity for female chastity, which make this particular play so fitted to its setting. Paul Bhattacharjee also works well as the lad-about-town Benedick, shunning society’s compulsion to find him a suitable bride whilst hinting that he is, in fact, all too aware that his beloved is right before his eyes. Beatrice has no such insight: Meera Syal works fantastically as a sort of Indian Emma Woodhouse, a formidable sasstress whose banter seems set to tip over into insult at every pacy exchange with Bhattacharjee. Syal brings to Beatrice - undeniably one of the most difficult Shakespearean roles - a thoughtfulness and interiority; her claim that “there was a star danced, and under that was I born”, seems at odds with moments in which this vivacity was lost to Hero’s dilemma which, though it may be given more textual time is much more a sub-plot to the passionate B’n’B fusion we’re all waiting for. The deepening of this most central relationship is nonetheless affectionately portrayed as the couple swing from the branch of a tree entwined with cables and electrical wires, spinning themselves deeper into the net that eventually enmeshes the entire cast.

My only real criticism of the production stems from a very occasional clumsiness through over-emphasised puns or gestures; there’s a sense that with each production the company as a whole will jel more fluidly. Many critics have similarly complained of the play’s lengthy second half (the whole running at three hours and fifteen minutes), and yet the directorial decision to leave the text unedited reflects the very nature of Much Ado itself: a complete refusal to find resolution, and a tedious portrayal of, to borrow from the novelist Donna Tartt, ‘the extravagance of tricks’. This not a comfortable work, it is as awkward in execution as it is in content, and it relies on the complicity of discomfort in its audience. The courtship of Hero and Claudius has been marred by false accusation, and the final scene offers only the glimmers of a relationship enjoyed by Beatrice and Benedick. Such contrasts are wonderfully elicited by the frequent musical interludes from the on-stage live band, setting a pitch-perfect mood of jubilation or menace: whichever is called for.

There were moments I found myself wondering what Will would’ve made of it all, and can well imagine him appreciating both the rip-roaring humour of this piece, before calling at times for a bit of quiet. Perhaps that’s the essence of Much Ado; if so, Khan’s offering to the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival brings just that - the world, and its noise, chaos, bustle, sadness and humour- to Stratford.

Monday, 6 August 2012

As our next two international productions open in Stratford-upon-Avon (Troilus and Cressida and A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It)) read the review of Two Roses for Richard III on earlier this year by RSC Key member Beth Timmins.

Review - Two Roses for Richard III

By Beth Timmins

Two Roses for Richard III opens with thundering drums. The Brazilian Companhia set the scene with a dramatically lit Richard III in a grotesque looking hog’s head centre stage at The Courtyard Theatre.

Companhia Bufomecânica perform the play in Portuguese. The production is brought to the UK by the RSC as part of the World Shakespeare festival and is a wonderful representation of how Shakespeare's plays permeate the imaginations of people all over the world.

To see the show is to celebrate the Shakespeare's work on a global scale and enjoy the novel experience of a watching a play in a foreign language. The moments where the actors speak English, such as when they complain about the labour of dying on stage, become more humorous when set alongside the vividly passionate scenes in Portuguese. Two Roses for Richard III  is the first surtitled play I have ever seen and I did find that knowledge of the play beforehand is useful as it allows you to concentrate fully on the performance aspects. The show is so visually stunning that you find yourself drawn to the richness of the performance rather than reading the subtitles so I found it was better to be familiar with the play.

The combination of theatre, aerial and circus skills is Co-director Cláudio Baltar’s invention. Elements of his work with the famous punk-circus creators Archaos, are present in the stunning formations of the play’s most powerful images. A favourite example is where Richard III rises on the throne in mid air, looking down on his subjects and another really effective use of the aerial skills was when Richard was haunted by the ghosts of his past in the nightmare preceding the Battle of Bosworth. As Richard stands centre stage, the ghosts eerily surround him while being suspended above him in almost lifeless contortions.

Another innovative approach was the idea of sharing the role of Richard between each actor in the company, meaning that the sense of Richard's malice breeds physically as well as developing throughout the plot. This is especially true in the instances where Richard is played simultaneously by the actors, the record being the part played by five on stage at once. The video camera and use of film projections also works to focus the audience’s attention on the acting.
The costumes are truly a feast for the eye with the courtiers wearing fantastically expressive heads made of sacks and the original use of set is astounding when watching the spectacle of Clarence's death, swirling up high as her murders grasp to get her. The choreography of the dance routines is also very entertaining, especially in the moments where Queen Margaret features as a figure of black amongst the jocundity of the other characters who dance to live rock music, giving the production a contemporary outlook.

To watch Two Roses for Richard III is to treat yourself to an inventive take on Shakespeare’s classic. Seeing the performance in Portuguese gives an added potency to the turmoil of emotions in the play and the astonishing visual aspects are a powerful way to display them.  

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Interning with Education 
By Megan Smith  

I have just completed my six week internship in the RSC’s Education Department following completing a degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds. It has been an incredible opportunity and I have learnt vast amounts. I am particularly grateful to have been given an internship that is attached to a specific project that I can really get my teeth into.  I hope to pursue a career in an education department of a theatre or arts organisation so this internship was perfect! My main task was to assist with the 2012 Regional Schools Celebration. I played a large part helping with the administration of this event and helping to facilitate this two day event.  I was also responsible for evaluating this event which involved carrying out interviews, writing reports and presenting my findings to the Education Department.

A task I thoroughly enjoyed was producing the programme. I worked closely with members of the Graphics department and really enjoyed editing sections of text in the programme and choosing effective images. During the actual event, I was ‘a buddy’ for the day, which meant that I was responsible for ensuring the schools knew where they needed to be throughout the day, guiding them through their technical rehearsal and cuing them on stage for their performance and curtain call. I was partnered with a year seven group from Toot Hill School in Nottingham, whose rehearsal I had watched the week before. Their piece was beautiful and it was great chatting to the students and teachers and seeing their obvious new found enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s texts and for some students simply their new found love of theatre. 

As well as my role assisting with the Regional Schools Celebration, I was also able to gain an insight into the wider work of the Education Department, gaining an understanding of projects such as I, Cinna The Poet and the Young Company’s Production of Henry V and the YPS King Lear Tour. During my time with the department, I learnt vast amounts about arts administration and how an education department on this scale operates. I have a strong interest in the work of theatre education practitioners and hope to one day carry out such work. I was able to participate in a workshop exploring Othello with AS level students and a workshop with year six pupils unpicking the themes of Macbeth, which was extremely fast paced and I was fascinated by just how much material the students were able to get through in just an hour.

A highlight of my time in the department was taking part in one of the Teachers Courses which was led by practitioner Miles Tandy, exploring how to approach Shakespeare’s texts with early years classes. It was fascinating discovering Miles approaches and techniques along with several primary school teachers.

During my internship I also shadowed the deputy stage manger and assistant stage manger for Julius Caesar and spent time with one of the company’s assistant producers as I wanted to gain a broad insight into all elements of a professional production as in the future I hope to of facilitate young people’s performance events. Completing an internship with the RSC in my chosen field has been invaluable and extremely useful for my future career. I would strongly recommend it to anyone wanting to advance their knowledge and skill set, everyone in the education department was hugely supportive and I had a fantastic six weeks!

Image - Megan presenting students from Toot Hill School in Nottingham with their certificate for performing in the 2012 Regional Schools Celebration. Photograph by Ruth Marshall

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Why Shakespeare is still a valid excuse for a party

By Christian Moore
In the run up to the Olympics, the prevailing public mood has been one of pessimism and doubt that little old London can actually pull off such a momentous global event. But with the celebration of culture and the arts that accompanies the games, Shakespeare has the chance to rescue our ailing national pride. 400 years after his death, can the bard still do us justice in the international arena?
2012 has been anticipated as the year the eyes of the world turn on Britain as we celebrate two international institutions – the Olympic Games and the British monarchy. The turn of London to host the games coincides with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, an event which will reach out beyond Britain’s borders as Olympians travel across in the opposite direction. With so much national heritage bouncing around this summer, it seems appropriate that Shakespeare is to be the main focus of the Cultural Olympiad. But with organisers keen to showcase Britain’s cutting edge, some have questioned the writer’s suitability for the role of cultural ambassador. It is clear that the events held in his honour must reflect the values of modern Britain.
Shakespeare’s relevance to modern life has seen its ups and downs, but has been gaining momentum in recent years. The relatively new trend of modernising his plays has made them more relatable – this is thanks largely to the eternal themes of love and loss, jealousy, power and rebellion which form the heart of the corpus. While modern day adaptations run the risk of aging ungracefully, the practise of emphasising the aspects of Shakespeare that will most appeal to a modern audience is essential to ensuring his continued appeal. This is the ethos driving the homage to Shakespeare at the RSC and all over the country this summer.
The comprehensive series of productions being staged under the World Shakespeare Festival umbrella hope to capture the mood of the nation by demonstrating the power of Shakespeare across all cultural backgrounds. Theatres across the country will host companies from all over the globe, performing the plays in their native languages. This promises to be a hugely unconventional and entertaining celebration of Shakespeare.
More importantly though, this approach represents a challenge to the way Shakespeare is perceived both globally and at home. As new generations of children sift through the often daunting forest of plays and poems, there is a danger for his works to be viewed as stuffy, old school, even impenetrable at times (Blackadder’s vengeful punch springs to mind). But the efforts of such a diverse group of people to take fresh approaches to a monolith of British cultural heritage can only serve to make the bard more accessible, and ultimately boost his cultural clout.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Heresy of Love: The Final Push

To be allowed into the inner sanctum of the RSC – that is the auditorium during the final technical and dress rehearsals – is a humble treat. ‘The Heresy of Love’ opened on February 2nd but the final days of January were a tense, feverous time for the cast and creative teams as lighting, sound and costume were all introduced to each other and performed in tandem with the actors.

‘The Heresy of Love’ follows the life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in Mexico as she struggles with the weight of being one of the brightest women of her generation while reconciling her love for God with her desire for learning and public acclaim. Catherine McCormack takes on this monumental womanly role, supported by the RSC Ensemble who are presenting the Spring Season in the Swan which comprises of ‘Measure for Measure’ and ‘Written on the Heart’ as well as ‘Hersey’.

As an intern for the Marketing Department I was kindly allowed to shadow the lighting designer Ben and the Chief Electrician Kevin and observe the final days of rehearsal.  The director Nancy, the Stage Manager Suzy and her deputy and assistant, the designer Katrina and a whole host of people were dotted around the auditorium and backstage as the scenes ran through their lighting states and the actors through their lines.

During public performance the creative team are rarely seen by the unassuming patrons but during this final rehearsal process the techies sit huddled around a semi circle of desks erected in the stalls.  Their faces always appear to be lit up by the light emanating from laptop screens and control desks, with the occasional desk lamp shedding a little more luminescence into the dark auditorium for the team to work by.

And then the final push begins: the house lights are down, the stage lights are up switching from state to state as Ben whispers to Kevin via the personal audio system that the designers and stage managers and technicians all tune into. Lanterns are plotted, focussed and the intensity of light is tweaked and experimented with until Ben and Nancy are happy with the atmosphere and environment that the lighting creates.

The technical rehearsal can be a long and arduous process, especially for the actors who must stand poised on stage, mid scene as changes are made and problems solved, but it’s a critical process and every production from the humblest play to the grandest musical must go through this stage of rehearsal.

I had been warned of insults and curses being thrown across the stage in fatigued frustration, of angry actors and tense technicians, of flying scripts flung in defiance and much stomping and groaning and sulking. Much to my disappointment the cast and creative team of 'Heresy' were well behaved and retained civility – a few lines were forgotten along the way of the Dress, and the set didn’t always yield to the will of the performers, but no one was even close to throwing a ‘Queenie’!

The Dress run came down with a few hours to spare before public performance and the last thing to be staged was the curtain call – it took a few attempts to get everyone bowing in time to the correct side of the auditorium and there was a great deal of debate on how many bows to take and when to direction to the orchestra for their applause. Much to everyone’s relief, Nancy soon sorted the thespian rabble out and then they were free to go...until it would be time to do it all again, and this time for real!

If you fancy learning more about Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and this beautiful production of her life, then catch ‘The Heresy of Love’ playing in the Swan Theatre until 9th March.

Photograph courtesy of Robert Day with words by Amelia Cartwright, aged 19.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The life of a Marketing Intern - Amelia Cartwright

These days a job in the theatre can be somewhat hard to come by. 

Potential employees are often told that they need previous experience to be in with a chance of getting on the theatrical job ladder, but that forces the catch 22 question, "if no one will employ me then where will I get experience?!" 

An excellent way to get that much desired experience is through an Internship or Work Placement, and luckily at the RSC we have a successful and enriching Work Placement programme which is now recruiting for its Summer batch of interns.
The RSC Key decided to get the experience low down from one previous Marketing Intern, Matt Wernham, and here is what he had to say...

 When did your internship with the RSC take place?
 I was an Intern from September 2009 to July 2010

How old were you?
I was 20/21

At what stage of education/life would say you were at, at the time?
Well it was a bit of an odd gap, I was doing theatre work experience at a college as well as my internship at the RSC and working as a waiter so I suppose I would class it as a gap year although by that point I was in my 3rd gap year after leaving school.

Since completing the internship do you think it has directly influenced any advancement in your career in the theatre or a related industry?
I am now studying on the BA Acting course at Drama Centre London and I think it certainly helped in securing my place. Apart from it being an impressive and very professional looking credit on my CV the fact that it is in marketing, shows a willingness to experience other areas of theatre and understand the whole process of theatre making. I think there are plenty of actors out there who think that all theatre is about it going onstage every night and giving it your all for the audience, they don't see what it takes to get that audience into the theatre in the first place.  

Has your involvement in the internship been directly remarked upon by any subsequent employers or professionals?
Yes people have picked it out on my CV and asked me about the experience. It’s a great thing to talk about in an interview.

What was your highlight of the internship?
The run up to Arabian Nights an exciting time, the print material was fantastic plus I kept hearing whispers about some of the amazing things that happened in the show. But more importantly 'The staging area' a spot in the office where you can help yourself to chocolate/cakes/biscuits, that was a fairly major highlight!

What was your strangest/most surreal moment?
My most surreal moment was when I was working on the trailer for Macbeth, and found myself standing in the car park behind the RSC waterside space trying to melt a dolls face.

What was your biggest surprise about working with the RSC?
My biggest surprise was how down to earth everyone was, I suppose I thought because it was the Royal Shakespeare Company, the office might be a bit stuffy or pretentious but it is absolutely the opposite. Its just a group of friendly and passionate people who really care about the work they do.

Are you up to the challenge? You can apply now

Amelia, 19

Thank you to Matthew Wernham for his contribution to the RSC Key Blog.