Passionate theatremakers of the future came together at the Royal Opera House today as part of huge free theatrical careers fair TheatreCraft.
More than 1,000 16 to 25 year olds were in attendance at the Covent Garden venue to learn more about theatrical careers beyond the stage from those who have already walked that path.
Jamie Lloyd, the young director whose work as part of the Trafalgar Transformed season has been acclaimed in the West End recently, opened the event. The director, who will stage Urinetown at the St James theatre next year, told the attendees: “It’s ok not to have an idea of what exactly you want to do in theatre or why, it is your passion and drive to be part of the industry that is the most important thing. This vital and important event gives you a chance to explore that passion. So soak it up and make the most of this day. Make it the best day of your life!”
That passion was especially evident in aspiring director Jamie Simmons. The 22-year-old student boarded a bus in Leeds at 03:00 in the morning to make it to the Royal Opera House in time to hear Lloyd’s opening speech.
“Trying to break into directing where I’m based can be a struggle which is why coming today was so important for me. Standing face to face with potential employers gave me a much better angle to be able to portray my passion for, understanding of and dedication to the arts,” he said.
The annual event, which is now in its eighth year, offered more than 70 workshops, more than 50 exhibitors and an ask the experts zone for one-to-one advice sessions. Staged by the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, Royal Opera House, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, Society of London Theatre and Creative & Cultural Skills, it covered areas from producing to designing, theatre journalism to wig-making, and boasted contributors including producer Kim Poster, journalism Lyn Gardner and playwright Vickie Donoghue.