Today on Backstage With, we are joined by Kirsty Nixon, Deputy Stage Manager on Disney's Aladdin. Kirsty's role ensures that the production runs smoothly and on time as she is the one reading the cues, as she calls it "calling the show". She plays a vital role in what the audience see and works closely with the other stage managers who are more hands on with putting the cues into action. Her job, as she calls it, is manic. Listen to this episode to find out more!
Gary Jordan, Zazu in the London production of The Lion King interviews his colleagues, Andy & Kat. Their role is to look after the stage, scenery and props as well as looking after the crew. The word carpentry within their title is an "old" theatre word that stuck within the industry, even though a lot of the set is no longer just made of wood. Kat bought in numerous mystery items that she couldn't go without day to day. To find out what these are, listen to this episode of Backstage With.
Nadia is a swing dresser, meaning rather than covering just one track or character in the show, Nadia covers them all! Her role is key in ensuring the costumes look as magical from start to finish through the show and helping the performers to change on time. She did a degree in costume making and landed Aladdin as her first job straight from university! She also tells us some secrets and tricks from the show so listen here to find out more.
Today we speak to Laura Linstead, head of Wardrobe at Aladdin. She worked with and looked after 13 dressers, responsible for ensuring that costumes are in the right place for when the show goes up – a big task on a show like Aladdin. She also helped to look after the upkeep of the costumes to protect and repair any damage that may have occurred the night before. Her grandmother taught her to sew at a young age and, from there, Laura sought out ways to turn her hobby into a career!
The Lion King's very own Gary Jordan – who plays Zazu – speaks with Amy Mitchell. Amy started her career in film, but realised theatre was her calling. From making practice sets to costume design, as well as working as a Dep, Amy's job is very varied. Being freelance, she also sheds some light on other shows she has worked on and other projects she has coming up. During the conversation, she even coins the phrase "backstage Choreography”. Listen hear to find what she means!
The Lion King is made up largely by the incredible puppets. Chippy is not a puppeteer; her and her team are there to fix and mend the puppets as well as keeping them looking fresh. Chippy has a background in art and a BA in technical arts and special effects but continues her learning from sources such as youtube! From starting her career in prop making, find out how Chippy found herself working at The Lion King.
Hair and make-up plays a huge part in any show, and The Lion King is no exception. From face painting, to beauty make up, to hair styling of wigs, Danielle Johnally and her team in hair and make up bring to life the essence of the characters. They marry the actor to the costumes, masks and puppets, enhancing the finer details of the characters they portray on stage. Listen here to find out more about this department!
Alex Firth is part of the automation team at Aladdin. The Automation department looks after the mechanics and electrical systems that make the intricate pieces of scenery move. Alex started his career in lighting – find out how he changed his path and became part of automation.
Have you ever wondered how the sound within a theatre works? Why don’t you hear everything happening backstage? Aladdin’s Deputy Head of Sound, Remo Gimmi, joins us today. Remo’s job is to operate and fit microphones in order for the cast and orchestra to be heard across the theatre. As well as that, he mixes the show in order for that sound to be at the quality the show needs. Listen in to find out more!
We hear from Technical Manager Spencer New, and Technical Supervisor Natalie Wood who support all Disney Theatrical's productions in the UK from a technical perspective and ensure that the shows are ready for each and every performance. They are the technical reason that we are able to put on our incredible shows and turn a vision into real life — they are the link between the creatives and the technicians. What do you think their mystery items are? Listen here to find out!