Drama: Workshop Teaches Rydal Penrhos Pupils the Secrets of Backstage Technical Magic
March 7, 2024

Rydal Penrhos pupils recently participated in a lighting and sound workshop at Theatre Clwyd.

At Rydal Penrhos School, we are fortunate to maintain a long and illustrious tradition of theatre and drama.

From the very first school productions – like 1897’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ – to the recent musical spectacular of ‘Grease’, Rydal Penrhos pupils have always dazzled audiences with their on-stage heroics.

However, none of these memorable theatrical events would have been possible without the efforts of an excellent behind-the-scenes team.

In this vein, Rydal Penrhos pupils studying Drama recently had the opportunity to learn more about the important work that takes place backstage thanks to a workshop at Theatr Clwyd.

The workshop was as part of BBC’s nationwide Bring the Drama Festival, which aims to open up the doors to the next generation of behind-the-scenes talent.

Led by Theatre Clwyd’s Head of Production, Hannah Lobb, a group of Rydal Penrhos theatre enthusiasts learned about what it takes to deliver world-class theatre, with pupils introduced to the many skilled and talented teams that make a show happen at Theatre Clwyd.

Lighting and sound design play a huge role in any dramatic production and as part of the workshops pupils were given a masterclass in how exceptional light and sound is delivered on the Theatre Clwyd stage.

Pupils got access to see up close the mixing console, featuring 72 separate channels of audio that can be individually adjusted, as well as the traditional stage lights used by the theatre, prior to the introduction of new LEDs.

Miss Earle’s Drama students learned how to both rig the lights, and how they are controlled using a centralised console, which can adjust direction, intensity, and focus of lighting.

Year 10 pupil Callum Thompson, who has played an instrumental role in supporting the behind-the-scenes operation of Rydal Penrhos drama productions over recent years, said “I found it quite helpful seeing how it all happens. It was eye-opening and I learned things that I would not necessarily learn at another theatre, let alone in a school.”

Thank you to Callum for sharing his experiences of the workshop, and to all the team at Theatre Clwyd for providing our pupils an incredible insight into the world of lighting, sound, and behind-the-scenes theatre production.