If you're a producer and you need my biography for your show programme, and you're in a hurry, skip to the economy biog generator. You can also read about me, and some of the things the press have said about me. Failing that, here's my full techie biog for editing...
I first worked as a technician on a school production of The Ghost Train back in 1990. Over the years I worked on a further twenty-five school shows, both building set and doing lighting work.
In 1996 I matriculated at Churchill College. When the vice-chancellor famously told engineers that they should have hobbies that didn't involve their subject, I took him at his word, promptly spending the next four years doing nothing but theatre, radio and even a little rowing.
I discovered the ADC Theatre early in my first year, and I spent a large amount of my time there, crewing shows as diverse as Waiting For Godot, City of Angels and Up For It - The Footlights Spring Revue. My first lighting design at the ADC was for Tang Xnam, the King's Contemporary Dance Project's annual showcase. The design was well received, and I've been invited back every year since! I also designed the lighting for the Student Art Exhibition and for a production of What the Butler Saw. My first Technical Directing job at the ADC was for a Mayweek production of Table Manners, and the get-in ran smoothly enough that I still managed to make it to the garden parties on Suicide Sunday. I was also elected Technician on the ADC Committee, where I worked alongside the Rebecca Shurz, who's just been appointed ADC Manager! Further exploits from my first year included a trip to Scarborough with Waiting for Godot which had been selected for the National Student Drama Festival.
Starting to aquire a reputation for building overly structural sets, my second year began with technical directing Black Comedy, a show that required a two storey set that wasn't allowed to wobble when two people walked into it while carrying furniture! I also lighting designed East, which we later performed a second time for the NSDF judges. The show was directed by Nancy Hirst, and remains one of the most captivating, shocking and all-round brilliant shows I've ever seen performed on the ADC stage. My Michaelmas term also involved running lots of workshops for Fresher technicians, and I concluded the term by touring Europe as Lighting Designer for the European Theatre Group's production of Hamlet.
In the summer of 1998, after working throughout Camfest, I went to Edinburgh in my new capacity as ADC Club Technical Director, did a crazy week of get-ins, technical rehearsals and generally ensuring the Club's shows happened (Ticklebang and Into The Woods amongst them), which also included organising all the transport! I then headed back to Cambridge to rehearse for the ADC America Tour (Macbeth). Technical Directing this one involved all sorts of silly stuff, including my trip to deepest, darkest Wales to obtain some tree trunks from the nice man with the chainsaw at the forestry commission. I had a great time in on tour in the states; the best bit was our visit to Frostberg, an all-out party place in the middle of nowhere, where the residents remember us to this day!
My third year was a silly year, in which I did quite a lot of really big shows and quite a lot of Technical Directing. In Michaelmas I ended up Technical Directing, or assistan/exec TDing in weeks 0,1,3,5 and 6, producing a week 6 lateshow and working on a Marlowe production in college. In Lent I ended up TDing probably the largest (set-wise at least) ADC show I've ever worked on - Lucky Stiff - a musical that was produced by Liam McGee. Not everyone had forgotten that my main interst in theatre was lighting however, and in week 8 I did a combined lighting design for * FAME * THE MUSICAL * and the King's Dance Show, Jinz Xang. I also ended up TDing another Mayweek show, Salad Days, a show that I'd done several years earlier and loved. It's certainly contained some of the nicest set I've built to date. Again, I managed to get the set on stage, provide the first champagne-fried-breakfast of Suicide Sunday and still make it to all the garden parties!
For my second visit to the Edinburgh fringe, I worked on no less than five shows each day (Movers, Toast, Far Far Away, Assassins, A Turquoise Coyote Under Your Pillow), found plenty of time for socialising, watched the complete collection of Bond videos that happened to be in our flat, and somehow managed to come back from Edinburgh in profit!
During my fourth year, I Technical Directed the Footlights Pantomime, Sherlock Holmes and found myself doing rather a lot of dance lighting designs (Fused, Sprung, Kang Zinj, Of Love and Number, and Movers at The Place). I finished up the year by Technical Directing the Cambridge Footlights Summer Tour (Sensible Haircut), building set for Kirstin's Edinburgh shows and working on a little-known show called Garth Marenghi. Garth was put together by some recent ex-Footlights friends of mine, and is a comedy about a horror writer. Extremely funny, the show got excellent reviews in the national press, sold well on word of mouth, and to cap it all, we got nominated for the Perrier Award. Nevermind not winning, the Perrier Party was one hell of a gig, and we got to perform the show in London as part of our prize.
Having graduated I now work at Cambridge Consultants, doing engineering/ design stuff. I still find time for plenty of theatre, and recently I've worked as Lighting Designer for Synergy at the Edinburgh Festival, and Technical Director for the home run of Today of All Days - the 2002 Footlights tour. Other recent shows include City of Angels, Death of the Maiden, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Garth Marenghi's Netherhead (which won the 2002 Perrier Award). I was also involved in designing the Camfest lighting rig at the ADC in 2001 and 2002.
In addition to Footlights, 2002 saw the CU Contemporary Dance Workshop's first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe with Synergy, for which I was the lighting designer. The show previewed in Cambridge.
2003 was no less busy. I kicked off the year with a fun lighting design for dance show On The Edge. That was followed by a welcome return to Scarborough where I technical directed Bedbound for the National Student Drama Festival. (The production company scooped Best Actor and Best Director!). For the first time in years I missed the Edinburgh Festival, opting instead to light Phil Breen's production of Destiny at Battersea Arts Centre.
When not in a theatre, I'm spend a lot of time doing radio, both as a presenter and as part of the team that brought Chester its own local radio station, Dee 106.3.