From education to employment

London South East Colleges’ student wins placement at National Theatre

A student from London South East Colleges’ Greenwich campus has won a place on a 10-week technical theatre training programme at London’s National Theatre

16-year-old Nathan Ffinch-Shah from Hackney was among 300 applicants for the programme and was successful despite only joining the College’s Production Arts Level 3 Diploma course in September. 

The ‘National Theatre Young Technicians’ is an exciting opportunity for young people to develop their skills and learn about a variety of backstage and offstage roles with some of the country’s top theatre industry professionals. It runs each Wednesday evening, enabling the students to pick-up a wide range of on-the-job skills in lighting, sound, video, automation and set design/construction. As the programme proceeds, each student will be assigned to a specialist area to shadow the theatre’s technical staff and work on actual productions.

Nathan has had a desire to work in the theatre for a number of years and couldn’t wait to leave school and get started at the College. He said:

“I wanted to get out of the classroom and start being hands-on. I know I’ll learn quickly and acquire the knowledge needed to get a job doing something I love.”

So far, Nathan has attended just one session and is already smitten by the experience. He continues: 

I loved my first night. We were taken on a full backstage tour. We were shown the lighting rigs, the props department, the stage set workshops, and sound studios. Afterward, we got a full induction and made aware of their health and safety policies and requirements. It’s all very exciting.”

Nathan’s tutor at the College, Ian Shillito, is very impressed by how Nathan has hit the ground running since showing up for his first lesson. Ian says: 

“This is indeed something very special and an amazing opportunity for Nathan. He is very enthusiastic and has given his fellow classmates some brilliant feedback on what he has learned so far. I know this will give his career and his chances of being successful on-course a massive boost.”

After completing his course at the College, Nathan would like to progress to an advanced apprenticeship and perhaps study for a degree before entering the industry full-time.

If you are interested in becoming a professional actor, dancer, set designer or make-up artist and would like to build a successful career in the theatre or film and TV industries, London South East Colleges can help. A great range of courses are on offer to get you started and open days are being held throughout November. 

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