Rachael helps set the scene for play

Rachael Burgess (second left) with fellow first year BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen students Benn Robinson, Cat Wilson, Jess Storey and Billie Wilson.
Rachael Burgess (second left) with fellow first year BA (Hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen students Benn Robinson, Cat Wilson, Jess Storey and Billie Wilson.

A design student has been helping to set the scene for an amazing work experience.

Rachael Burgess, from New Hartley, assisted the production design team in making props and building sets for the adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities at Darlington Civic Theatre.

The 18-year-old is studying a BA (Hons) production design for stage and screen degree at Cleveland College of Art and Design.

As the Darlington Civic Theatre undergoes a major restoration, the Central Hall at the Dolphin Leisure Centre was the home to a number of students for three weeks in the build-up to the show.

Rachael and her fellow students from the university-level campus in Hartlepool worked alongside professional set and costume designer Sarah Booth and her team to bring the set to life.

Sarah said: “Over the past few weeks the students have made flags, a number of props and painted the scenery and the carpet, which covers a massive floor area. They also helped with the last big push of getting the show ready. 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, and you can’t beat the hands-on experience.”

Rachael said: “I 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 now given me a clearer idea of what I want to do.”

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