|30 Jul 2015|
1. When you were at Hills Road what did you want to do when you left?
Apart from get married (which I haven’t managed yet), I wanted to be a stage manager. Or at least I thought it might suit me, so I wanted to find out, and Hills gave me the opportunity to try it out in the technical theatre enrichment programme with Mr C. that man became my Obi Wan Kenobi! I had a baptism of fire, stage managing Fiddler on the Roof in the first term, and I loved it, leading to winning the Drama shield the next year.
2. Can you remember any of your teachers at Hills Road, if so, who were they?
Almost all of them.
• Mr F, whose respect I won as the in-house stage manager at the Robinson during my time at Hills, and his counterpart Fliss, who taught me to love Shakespeare.
• The three Fates of the Classics dep – Miss C, Mrs O and Ms M. I can’t forget Miss C showing us round Rome in the most impractical kitten heels!
• The erratic and fantastically named Mr B, alongside the towering Mr A, and steadfast Dr H.
• Ssh, don’t tell the others, but the RS department were probably my favourite teachers at Hills! The fabulous Mrs M and right behind her, stopping the incense getting too strong, Mrs R. They were so knowledgeable, and so marvellous in RS classes, it’s a pity I was rubbish at the essays.
• Mr L was just spot on as my tutor – I felt like he genuinely cared, and he put a lot of effort into helping his tutees; he really supported me with my unusual drama school and gap year plans.
• Almost forgot, but of course I also did the Extended Project on homosexuality and Christianity, and I will admit I can’t remember his name, but I do remember my mentor because he had a great attitude – he trusted that I would go to him when I needed to, rather than pushing me to have meetings frequently. I loved my Extended Project; I think it’s one of the most worthwhile things I’ve done, and was great ground work for my dissertation years later on being an LGBT professional in backstage theatre.
3. What is your fondest memory of being at Hills Road?
Sari day. Mrs M let us go a little crazy, with everyone raiding her sari collection and eating an Indian feast. I ended up doing little flowers on everyone’s faces with the makeup, which was great fun; and I was the only student in the RS class who took Mrs M up on her offer and wore a sari for the rest of the day. Mr F in particular found it rather distracting during some improvisation in the drama class that afternoon.
4. What did you go on to do after Hills Road?
On my gap year, I did work experience with a touring theatre company, and three months travelling to Australia and New Zealand. I graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a Stage and Costume Management BA Hons degree, and am currently in my first year of forging a career as a stage manager. In June I toured a production to the Minnack Theatre on the Cornwall coast. I’ve also become a member of St James’ Church, Picadilly.
5. Did you make any special friendships while at the college?
Oh yes. My best friend Emma, who’s now working for a charity out in Palestine; and our little group, who still meet up on Christmas eve to sing carols in four part harmony, even though we’re all out the other side of. One of that group is a young man James, who I met when I was six, but we grew apart when we went to senior school – Hills bought us back together. And Aiden, with whom I went travelling with in our gap year. He’s moving to a new job in Denmark soon but we’ll definitely keep in touch, as we always have since Hills.
Hills Road Alumni Jack Merritt and Isobel Rowbotham work with the Learning Together initiative where students based at the University of Cambridge and… More...