Thursday, 3 March 2016

Thursday Thrustless Theatre Tale

About five years ago now, one of team was offered a part-time teaching post or two by an agency.
They were expected to renovate all the equipment by themselves, teach students how to do it while not allowing them to work at height at any point.

This was to be done in no more than 12 hours a week. 

There was no budget for the provision of personal protective equipment.
Everyone buck passed the problem and had no time for questions.

ALL other staff in the drama department had had training in the technical disciplines.
None made the time to help but expected everything to be just instantly appear on demand.

The big irony of all this, is that theatre (run by the council) had been a thriving one before redundancies set in a decade earlier. It was a very popular place for every to enjoy live entertainment.


The equipment are items still in use in 90% of theatres to this day, particularly in colleges and for amateur productions yet bizarrely much of it gets ditched in favour of new toys before 
the basics of technical theatre are even taught. 

Health and Safety is not properly understand in any industry to this day, except perhaps by a handful of highly experience professional... former deputy technicians.

Sadly they don't always manage to outrank some Technical Managers who see fit to do no Risk Assessments at all to result in batteries, wire wool and pyrotechnical equipment being dumped in any pile of combustible rubbish, will happily go ahead with a big launch with no thought of the huge fire risk of having bare wires of insufficient load prone to falling masonry or flooding. 

Two such examples were reported by this former Deputy Technician further up the chain of command and the result is they both now teach children technical theatre badly, would you believe?

Technical crews tend to have to work more hours every day than any emergency crew are expected to week in and week out... for the entire duration of their careers. 

We are very proud at WildeHeads to have campaigned to make this country safer in so many ways and in all industry sectors. 

What we are NOT proud of is how it has become an excuse for any and all to down tools to make the situations both at home and at work even worse. We never told folk to panic or be this stupid. Now we are constantly told we're to blame for NOT telling anyone what to do.

We've never gone back to this theatre but reported things as best we could. No one was interested at all then. Five years on few are even now. We're determined to only work with responsible people from now on, you know the sort... the sort that actually care enough about their own health as well as their children's and parents to tidy up instead of buck-passing and driving everyone on the planet into an early grave.  We hope we have been sufficiently clear on that this time! Ahem #ABTT and #ALD amplify this message please!

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