As part of our creation of The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency, we have worked together with Underground Lights to offer two placements for work shadowing to their members. Getting to learn about staging a new musical and being a part of a working theatre team provides a direct experience in what takes place ‘behind-the-stage’ of a large-scale touring show. The pair have finished their first week in rehearsals, as one of the members – Rob C. – shares details on what he has been up to.

As a long-term member of Underground Lights community theatre , it was great to get the opportunity to collaborate with Cardboard Citizens during this Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. But being unable to join the ‘Choir with No Name’ (mainly because I can’t sing!!) I was offered the chance of a placement with Citz to see what goes on behind the scenes in either light and sound tech.

Having only had two sessions so far, I find I’m still in awe of all the activity that goes on almost unnoticed but essential to the running of a production. Finding out what each person does and why, and how that makes everything come together almost seamlessly is – to me – overwhelming. The attention to detail, the various roles with the company, the sheer workload of trying to make things work consistently has been nothing short of a personal epiphany.

I know that I’ve only just started this journey but I hope that over time I will have learnt more than I ever thought possible from being connected with such a wonderful group of people, and the enthusiasm of everyone concerned will stand me in good stead for the future.

Thanks to all the support and encouragement from both Underground Lights and Cardboard Citizens, I am sure I will find a way to contribute to a project that deserves to succeed and bring awareness of loss and homelessness to the public through theatre.