Blinder of a job role for Backstage Production Arts student

18th November 2022

A former Backstage Production Arts student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has been working on The Peaky Blinders Dance Tour.

Oliver Boot, who studied on the Backstage Production Arts (Technical Theatre) course from 2017 – 2019 at the College, recently gained a position as a casual technician with Birmingham Hippodrome. This has led him to work on a range of incredible productions including working with Rambert Dance Company on their dance tour, Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby.

Oli Boot in tech box at Hippodrome
Oliver in the tech box at Birmingham Hippodrome.

His role means he has worked a variety of positions at the Hippodrome such as Assistant Stage Manager, Follow Spot Operator, Sound Technician and Stage Lighting Technician; working specifically as a follow spot operator for the Peaky Blinders dance show. Working in such a range of roles in Technical Theatre has been Oliver’s dream for a long time.

At school, Oliver worked as part of the stage crew for school productions and even did extracurricular activities such as The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Backstage Pass.

Oliver was happy to discover that a college near him offered a course focused on Backstage Production Arts. Oliver commented: “I learnt a lot that I am able to use now in my role. For example, my first follow spot experience was at college and now I use those skills at the Hippodrome.”

Following college, Oliver studied Stage Management at Birmingham City University, then got straight into work with Production LX as a casual events technician. He then began his role as a casual technician at the Birmingham Hippodrome, working on a range of touring productions including Les Miserable, The Royal Ballet and Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby.

Oliver has done a whole range of technical work to get him to where he is today including working at the London Palladium pictured right!

Oliver commented: “Peaky Blinders was a real highlight as it was a world premiere so it’s something I’m really proud of.”

Oliver is very happy in his job role: “The Hippodrome pride themselves on everyone being approachable, and I have found that to be true! When I want to branch out and try different roles the atmosphere is very supportive. It means I get to experience a whole range of roles.”

Oliver’s advice for those wanting to work in the Backstage Production Arts: “Networking is the best thing to do. Talk to anyone and everyone and get work experience whenever you can.”

Find out more about the College’s Performing & Production Arts courses: SUAC Onstage