The Backstage Centre and annual conference of Creative and Cultural Skills & the National Skills Academy were officially opened by the highly acclaimed composer, pianist, bandleader and broadcaster Jools Holland. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place during a special event attended by key partners in the development of the £13m technical training and rehearsal facility for the performing arts industry. The theme of the annual conference ‘The Power of Collaboration’ was brought alive by a fantastic array of speakers. Some highlights were RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor’s energetic ‘Game of Skills’ debate and The Guardian’s Nancy Groves interviewing Harriet Vine MBE and Rosie Wolfenden MBE, founders of cult British jewellery brand Tatty Devine.
As a main industry sponsor of the event as well as a founder supplier of The Backstage Centre, ShowTex was also on hand with a presentation about the pilot program to teach students about stage effects with fabrics. ShowTex also supplied printed Trussleeve for stage branding during the event as well hanging light boxes constructed with RP Fusion. All black legs and borders in the main space were manufactured by ShowTex from black Shakespeare Velours.
The Backstage Centre is based at High House Production Park in Purfleet in Essex. It is a purpose-built training and rehearsal space for the theatre, music and broader creative industries and a dedicated meeting point for technicians, producers, creative teams and learners of all ages and at every stage of their careers – from world-renowned international artists to young people taking their first career steps. The centre offers young learners the chance to experience real-time training with some of the world’s best bands and theatre companies in a large-scale industry-standard venue, strengthening their skills and giving them the practical experience of working in a real-world environment. For those already working in the industry, The Backstage Centre offers a purpose-built facility for rehearsing and preparing productions, testing and developing new equipment, techniques and training.
More information about the Centre can be found on www.thebackstagecentre.com