Stage Managing Nicholas Nickleby with BOVTS' Eve Kershaw

7 Jun 2019

Eve Kershaw, Stage Manager for Nicholas Nickleby, is in her final year on the FdA Professional Stage Management course at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. 

Eve has been nominated for the GDS Student Achievement Award in this year’s National Stage Management Association Awards, held in London on 5 June. Here, she provides a behind-the-scenes insight into Nicholas Nickleby and discusses what the audience can expect from the show.

What does the role of Stage Manager entail?

A Stage Manager provides support to the director and designer to achieve the end goal of a production. This includes the organising and scheduling of rehearsals, sourcing and making of props, budgeting, along with managing a team of Deputy and Assistant Stage Managers. Once the performance is up and running it is the Stage Manager’s responsibility to ensure that it runs smoothly.

How do you go about stage managing a show like Nicholas Nickleby? Has the technical team faced any particular challenges?

As a two part production, the stage management team is split, so we have two Assistant Stage Managers and a Deputy Stage Manager on each part, and then myself as Stage Manager working on both parts. On a show of this scale it's extremely important to be organised and on top of things - one of the biggest challenges so far has been sourcing all the furniture within our budget. This is because the design requires all the Victorian-style furniture to be lime-washed and therefore we are unable to simply hire or borrow furniture from props stores. The Bristol community have, however, been extremely kind and we have received donations of items such as a chaise lounge and several mannequins!

What have you enjoyed the most about working on Nicholas Nickleby?

I love a challenge and this production has certainly tested me! So far I've really enjoyed the variety of props that have needed to be sourced and the sheer quantity of them too. It's such a unique learning opportunity to Stage Manage two productions alongside each other, needing to know them both inside out.

Without giving too much away(!) what does the technical/creative team have in store for the audience?

There are a 'variety' of entrances and exits in the show, along with flying scenery and some very funny story lines! It’s definitely worth coming to watch it; you’ll get really invested in some of the characters and root for them to succeed on their adventures!

Based on Dickens' iconic classic, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School return 14 - 22 Jun with David Edgar's The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby - In two parts. To find out more and to book tickets, click here.