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KOBAL's long-suffering Technical Production Manager Matt Lever on Beer!

Hi all, my name is Matt Lever. Some of you might know me others might not, so first things first a bit about me: I’m 24 years old and live in Oldham, I love the premise behind theatre, I also love brilliant theatre.

This brings me to ‘Kobal Theatre Company’ and the writing force behind it. I’ve known Lowe and Distin for at least 8 years, lived with them both and am still living with Distin. I’ve been involved with the company since the beginning (Cinderella on the Rocks) under the guises of lighting plotter/operator, lighting designer and co-designer but for this show they had a new and challenging role for me – Technical Production Manager. So for this production I have great power; but with great power come great responsibility. I was thrilled with the opportunity to take on this role because it meant I was involved right from the get go even before the cast and crew was finalised.

When our writing fraternity finally finished the script and our producer had got the money, I had the go ahead to get my team together. My team consisted of Thomas ‘Dexter’ Scott as lighting designer; David Wimpenny as sound designer; Adam Gent as stage manager with Kelly Delaney as his deputy; John Benson larking about as assistant stage manager and last but not least Martha Webster as costume designer. They all did a fantastic job in designing and running the show, if I do say so myself – couldn’t have done it without you, cheers guys.

The week of the show was fun and we were finally all in one place bonding and getting to know each other better. The fit up on the Monday went smoothly and we where ahead of schedule for I think the first time ever. The technical rehearsal was great to see happen, things that Steve and Mark had envisaged so long ago finally coming together through the great lighting and sound design, the set, not to mention the brilliant cast we had for the show.

Opening night was a nerve racking experience for all concerned but especially for myself, Mark, Steve and Marcus. All of us nervously waiting to see whether or not all our hard work would pay off we were all, to put it bluntly, bricking it. But at that point it was out of our hands and up to the cast and crew to remember their lines and perform it like we knew they could. There were a few mistakes on both sides – technical and acting wise – but the audience really enjoyed it, which is the main thing.

After the show we had a question and answer session which was a little strange (the audience can stay behind and ask questions of the company). The whole point of these sessions is for us as a company to get feedback on the show. There were some valid and interesting points made, but most of the Q & A session was made up of Marcus talking – once he starts he can’t stop!

With the first night over and done with it was on to the rest of the performances and our first ever matinee which was quite strange. The fact that we were doing a show and it wasn’t in the evening, then to go straight into the second show made it even stranger. And long.

Well that is my blog, or bit about my experiences of the show Beer. I will keep you posted about the technical aspects of our future shows (if they let me).

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