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TheatreCraft 2016: Matt Hutchinson, puppetry

Published 20 October 2016

TheatreCraft, London’s largest free event for 16-25 year olds seeking non-performance careers in theatre returns on Monday 14 November.

The annual careers fair has a new home for 2016 at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel, and offers attendees the opportunity to participate in numerous workshops led by theatre professionals, explore a vibrant marketplace of exhibiting theatres and organisations, seek one-to-one advice in the Ask The Experts zone, and interact with peers in networking hubs.

This week we spoke to Matt Hutchinson, a performer, designer, maker and director of puppets and puppetry. His work has spanned theatre, television, opera and music videos. On stage his work can be seen in shows including The Snow Child (Sheffield Crucible/Unicorn Theatre), Ulla’s Odyssey (OperaUpClose), Watership Down (Watermill Theatre) and The Broke N Beat Collective (Theatre Rites/20 Stories High). Booking for workshops, including Matt’s, opens soon; follow TheatreCraft on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

An average day for me involves:

It depends how I am being used in the production. I could be designing and making in my studio, in meetings with other creatives discussing aspects of the show, in research workshops testing out and trying ideas, or in rehearsals performing and rehearsing myself, or directing and coaching other performers.

The people I work with mostly are:

The most wonderful part about my job is I work with a huge variety of different people and in lots of different types of theatre/performance, so in this respect I work with people who do lots of different types of job and with lots of departments. I would say that everyone I usually work with though has a natural curiosity and openness, is very hard working and has a good sense of humour.

The best part of my day is usually:

It’s usually when we make a discovery or find something new in the rehearsal or creative process. Especially when this comes from the material/object/puppet we are working with and isn’t inflicted upon it. You have to let things happen, things want to perform or work in a certain way.

I usually finish work at:

I don’t have a normal finishing time – I wish I did – but that is the fun of the job. It offers great variety.

The most glamorous part of my job is:

Depends what you mean by glamorous! You can be taken to lots of places around the world and meet lots of interesting people. I personally always find it very glamorous when I have to work with people who are outside the realms of theatre (for research purposes etc) and you get to see what these people do day to day and see where they work.

The least showbiz part of my job is:

Long hours, sometimes you wonder if you even went home. It can be exhausting, physically, mentally and emotionally.
The advice I’d give to anyone wanting to do my job would be to:

  • Be curious, see as much as you can, not just puppetry and visual theatre, but all sorts of performance.
  • Be adaptable and brave; listen to what I call, “life’s stage directions”.
  • Be determined; always work on your craft and practice.

To find out more information and to register for TheatreCraft 2016 visit theatrecraft.org

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