Rachael sets up stage job

Rachael Burgess
Rachael Burgess
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A creative student has been setting the scene for a career on the stage with an unusual work experience placement.

First year design student Rachael Burgess, from New Hartley, has helped to create the set for Darlington Civic Theatre’s production of A Tale of Two Cities.

The 18-year-old, who is studying a degree in production design for stage and screen at Cleveland College of Art and Design, joined fellow students to work alongside professional set and costume designer Sarah Booth and her team.

Rachael’s work during the three-week placement included forming trims on the side of the stage to blend in with the set and making Fleur de Lys cut-outs using silk.

She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have been quite surprised as it just doesn’t compare to reading about it.

“Working with a professional designer in this environment has been so beneficial to my learning. I have taken so much from it and it has given me a clearer idea of what I want to do and what I enjoy.

“I now know that I like working in this environment, which I didn’t know before.”

Ms Booth said: “The students have made flags, a number of props and painted the scenery and carpet, which covers a massive floor area.

“They also helped with the last big push of getting the show ready, which involved some last minute preparations for the dress rehearsal and the show itself.

“It has been great for us to have the extra help and for the students to see how hectic and hard it is getting a show up.

“You can’t beat the hands-on experience.”

Darlington Civic Theatre director Lynda Winstanley added: “We are extremely grateful for the help and time the students have given to this production, and we hope they have enjoyed the experience.”

For more information about design courses visit www.ccad.ac.uk