Culture Theatre

Adventures of a Sound Assistant

The EUSOG production of Jesus Christ Superstar finally came to the stage on the 24th-28th of January at the Church Hill Theatre; it is time to look at how the production went from the perspective of a Sound Assistant!

The rehearsals have been underway since September, and as it approached showtime, the cast had been rehearsing almost every day. As a Sound Assistant, my first day working on the show was during the get-in on Saturday, a day full of cabling, putting lights up, and setting up the tech box. You could see every department working hard, figuring out problems.

As I came to the theatre on Monday afternoon, I was welcomed by a big theatre set platform. Monday was the dress run day, the first day of putting mics and headsets on the actors. As one of three sound assistants, I was responsible for micing people, changing batteries in mics, and helping during mic checks. During performances, I stood in the wing of the stage, helping during quick dress changes and making sure there were no loose visible cables. After the show, I helped the actors with taking their mics off and trying to keep the headsets untangled – which turned out to be one of the biggest challenges.

Having only one day to prepare for the opening night on Tuesday, I was a little nervous about how the show would go. Surprisingly, the show went well, and we had a standing ovation. Although, the truth is, all the credit needs to go to the actors. I was just standing in the wing, enjoying the show. 

By show number 5 and 6 on Saturday, I had learned the words of every song in the show and finally learned every name of the 24 members of the cast. Obviously, during the week of spending 6 hours a day in the theatre, there have been ups and downs,  for example, having to stay after the show and test which actor’s mic is the one that emits a noisy ‘shhhhh’ while the whole cast is singing on stage. Overall, I can say that I am grateful I was able to work with such a great cast, backstage and production team.

I would also like to give special thanks to the Tesco meal deal and Waitrose’s bakery section for keeping me energised through the whole process!

Image by The Student writer, Karolina Pavlikova