Blog: Behind the Scenes at CFT

The panel of the ‘Behind the Scenes at CFT’ talk. From left to right, Paul Hennessey, Graham Bower-Wood. Simon Higglet. Dan Watkins, and Sam Garner-Gibbons.

CFT and Pass It On regularly run events and talks intent on exploring and sharing the Theatre and its rich history. These events are for all kinds of audiences and it is fantastic to see how they inspire people in lots of different ways. One of our volunteers, Corinne Nash, attended the Open Day in 2014 and was inspired not only to join the Pass It On project but also attend more events and productions. Corinne tells us about her journey with the theatre and her impressions on one of the most recent Pass It On events.

I noticed an advert announcing a FREE family friendly fun-packed Open Day at Chichester Festival Theatre on 7th September 2014. I realised that I had not attended a production at Chichester Festival Theatre since Calendar Girls in September 2008 and decided it was high time to re-visit CFT to view the recently refurbished theatre. The day truly opened my eyes to the backstage and back of house areas and the intense work that goes into CFT productions. The enthusiasm and energy of all the people involved with the Open Day captured my interest in this theatre. As a result of the day I have become a volunteer, CFT Friend, attended theatre days and approximately five productions at CFT.

The audience at the ‘Behind the Scenes at CFT’ talk.

Most recently, I could not resist the ‘Behind the Scenes at CFT’ talk at Chichester Library on the evening of Thursday 18th June as part of the Festival of Chichester. We were introduced to some CFT technical team members; they were all really informative and held our interest throughout. The talk included a visual presentation which confirmed my thoughts that there is a fast moving schedule for each CFT production and much problem-solving needed when working with a thrust stage (in particular the audience ‘sight lines’). It was excellent to hear the set designer, Simon Higglet’s input starting with the initial thought process, plans etc. and then producing a scale model for the thrust stage. Graham Bower-Wood the owner of a set construction company was also present and provided information on the production of the sets.
The Chichester Library talk lasted longer than expected, as I think that practically all the audience were keen to stay on and hear more. The question and answer session continued and the audience came up with questions which were freely and patiently answered by the technical team. All together a successful evening for all present.

Behind the Scenes at CFT panel were Scenic Constructor Graham Bower-Wood, Production Manager Paul Hennessey, Associate Designer Simon Higglet, Head of Production Dan Watkins and chaired by Technical Coordinator Sam Garner-Gibbons. To listen to the talk click here.