Thursday, 7 November 2013

Livery Company Reception Milton Court Wednesday 6th November

Milton Court is a new Theatre and Concert Hall development in the Barbican built as a much needed extension of facilities at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama - my alma mater.  Its state of the art performance areas will do much to assist the educational aspects in the Arts in which Guildhall excels.
The City Livery Companies have done much to support the development financially and has included a City Livery Companies Bar.  Supporting livery companies have their names on display by the bar - including our own company.
I went to Guildhall in 1967 straight from school as an eighteen year old.  It was then situated in John Carpenter Street very close to St Bride's and the Bridewell Institute in which we performed our ballet and dance.  I graduated in July 1969 playing the lead in Antigone - a tragedy by Jean Anouilh inspired by Greek mythology. The morning after my final curtain call I got married which I recall necessitated a rapid transformation in character.  I went off to Salisbury Playhouse as one of my first professional theatrical engagements and still maintain a deep love for the theatre.  I am still a full member of the Actors Union Equity.  An Equity Card used to be an essential pre-requisite in order to work in the professional theatre.
Whilst the facilities available to drama and music students today have no comparison to the rudimentary arrangements in the 1960's, I was obliged to remind a fellow Master that students today have to pay considerable sums of money for their tuition - in my day it was not only free but we got a Grant from the local authority on which to live!

With a Master in the Alumni we just had to be seen as a livery company sponsor!

Centre Stage again after 45 years on a stage at the GSM&D

A Livery Bar with a large coffee machine and no alcohol?

Receiving a briefing on the modern technology for raising lighting and scenery - all by computer

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