Tuesday, 25 March 2025

Welcome



Why hello there!
Welcome to the website of the freelance theatre technician and stage manager Anthony Watson. 
Thank you for coming here, come take a look around.
Feel free to contact me via email at anthony@anthonywatson.com

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Find the funny

Find the funny is a term that people use to find the humour in a bad or everyday situation. Im sure you have done this yourself.
I have just finished my last tour of Oily carts 'tube' our third tour of the UK and fourth outing in total. This tour we all seem to agree was our most successful not only in shows but our relationships with each other. Of course there are times on all three tours that things have just all gone tits up at first you just dispair but in the end you just cant help but find the funny and just laugh about it, this tour was no different.
The storys normally come in the form of digs, we all have them in this industry and im sure most of yours are better than mine but this show has created a couple. In honesty we have been lucky with this show that they have been booked for us and are mostly hotels like travlelodge or premier inn's which are fine as you know what your going to get. This tour there was the town of Grimsby, Im sorry to say Grimsby but your not a great town, im not sure what came first the name or the place, I did not see anyone smile in three days. This Hotel was alright very outdated and looked like an office block outside. The carpet looked like the old school orange and brown seats on buses. Nothing out of our digs beat Bolton. When i went into a shop in Bolton and asked what to do round there the reply was 'leave' when in the digs themselves in the middle of the evening we discovered there was someone else staying there, we were not told. When we came home one afternoon we discovered a very large man without his top on sitting on the sofa watching tennis. Thats just the start of Bolton.
We had one show were at the end we had literally been defeated by six autistic children, the cast collapsed onto the floor and nearly fell asleep 30 seconds after the last child left. I ended up acting as security for the musician and it was just mental, I hope one day I will write more about that crazy show.
One theme that runs throughout all these situations is that we couldn't believe it at the time but we found the funny in each situation and had a laugh about it sometimes quicker than others.
Just remember that when it all goes to pot and it seems like its all going wrong just remember to take a deep breath and laugh.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The rest of the trip.

My last post i wrote on the plane and posted a month later as im completely useless at the whole writing posts thing. I will keep going but i wanted to do a follow up to that post about the rest of the trip out there.
So on the first morning after landing i woke up unintentilly early so got myself ready and wanted to go and explore and thought the first place to see would be the grand mosque. I had a little look up about it and couldnt quite figure out when it opened or how the best way to get there was so went downstairs and asked the nice man by the door with the title of concierge. He asked me to follow him and before i knew it i had a cab in front of me and the door opened and i was put in and sent off. After a 20min drive i arrived at this beautiful building known as the grand mosque. This was a stunning and peaceful building that was very white with these lovely inserted tiles of flowers. I was there for quite some time and felt very relaxed after. Once back at the hotel I headed to the beach which was very empty. So from there onto work. We arrived at this school were there was plenty of people to help us set up.
This was how it was for the week, whatever we needed there was plenty of people to assist us in the work. It was great and very welcoming, there was plenty of food provided and it was always very tasty. All the shows we did out there went very well and had some great responses from the children, carers and teachers they took the show into there own. We was in two schools, first being in Abu Dhabi and the second in Al Ain which is part of the state of Abu Dhabi and about an hour and a half drive from the main city.
Im not really talking about the work this time but about the trip. A couple of interesting things happened in Al Ain.
First off when arriving in the hotel we very quickly picked up and the difference of treatment between men and women but not how you expect. The only female of the group had the room that looked over the swimming pool, it had fruit bowl and chocolate dipped strawberries, the men had the view that looked over the carpark and no extra's.
The second story from the hotel was that one night due to calling back to the UK and the time difference was that i tried to stay awake till midnight, unfortunately i drifted off for a little. I awoke and im not quite sure why what made me wake up but i woke up and turn round to see a man standing in my room.
Now this would be a perfect cliff hanger point if it was the end of a HBO episode or a chapter in a book but alas it is a blog. It took me about ten seconds to realise what was going on in my head i was coming back into focus the brain was waking up and going, right this is a hotel room, yes there is a man standing in the room, this is not normal, he is wearing a hotel uniform, no he does not look like he is going to hurt me. After that 10 seconds I then screamed and jumped out the bed. He asked if i rung reception to ask for slippers and bath soap, which i had not. Once talking about this with him i shook his hand and sent him off, I never complained because if i had this guy would of been sacked and sent back to India and i could not have done that to someone.
We was also very lucky to be taken on safari. A landrover turned up and took us out to the desert. We drove for about forty minuets before we turned off took the air out of the tyres and started dune bashing. We drove for a while before stopping to have a stroke of some camels and of course photo opportunity then a little more driving before arriving at a camp for food and entertainment. It was great there as we went sand boarding and quad biking through the desert.
The trip broke all my expectations of the country and they are a very friendly and kind city. The work was fantastic and overall was a great experience.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Catch up

I originally wrote this on the plane o. 28 Feb and have only got round to posting. 



Yes I'm terrible at keeping this blog updated going. The last few months, heck even the year has been insane. I've spoken on here about my work on Oily Carts tube, which right at this moment is taken me further away from the UK to Abu Dhabi. I'm currently on the flight heading there a country that is hotter in March thank it is in the UK summer. A country where it has a different belief system and moral code. The furthest out of the UK I have been is to Sweden. This is the biggest plane I have been on. For a 26 year old I am not well traveled and I suppose have lived a sheltered life in that way. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to be payed to go to another country and it is something I have dreamed of for a long time. Oily cart are a truly wonderful company that make fantastic productions and I feel lucky to be working with them. 
I have no idea what this little adventure will hold but I'm looking forward to finding out and exploring. 

Last year I had some great opportunities and worked on some great productions towards the end of last year. I've continued to work with half moon including touring London again with road safety show 'more important things' and continuing to work on there receiving shows. 
Also I continued my work with GABA including the arts festival at Phoenix based on the seasons and heading to a school in Tottenham to work on a project to do with hospitals. I love working on projects with special needs children it is very rewarding experience and much more fun. 

Towards the end of last year I worked on a project that I was lucky to work with in such a different venue. The show was from the very talented magician Nick Einhorne and performed at the magic circle. We spent a week in the venue and took Nicks vision for a full stage show and turned it into a reality. Even though I was very close to the project and the tricks I am still not sure how all of them are done and that was one of the pleasures of working on the show, still at every performance I was still being amazed and shocked at some of the tricks. Even the tricks I did know how they were done still felt amazing every night when it went right and the audience reactions are what we set out to achieve. This was something that I production managed and feel incredibly proud of, it was a very technical show with lots of video and projection but it worked well after ironing out the minor problems. I do hope the show returns as it means a lot to me and had a great time. 

The year is off to a good start already and I hope my blogging gets back up to speed and more regular. Till next time, goodbye my friends.   

Monday, 30 September 2013

The downsides

People who are not in the industry never understand the industry. I suppose that is like anyone who is not in the same line of work. You have this misconceived idea of what someones job is really like. As this blog discusses i work within theatre, Most people outside this world have this image of this glamorous and always fun time. They never think about the hard work, the actual dramas, stresses and long hours that comes along with it. Im currently touring a show around the UK. The show itself is great even on the stressful days or weeks like last week are still great when it comes to the shows. The shows for this production i find very rewarding, there a great experience every time. It is of course a very intimate show were for that hour you get to know your audience and what there personalities are like.
Its once you get to the hotel after which i find the hardest. I spend the daytime at work so by the time i get back i have no time to go explore where i am as everything is closed. The cast im not particularly close to as when it comes to getting back to were we are staying we go our separate ways and i find this point a very lonely experience. its these points, the times when your on your own for the whole night the most horrible part of touring.
Tonight as i was video calling my girlfriend eating a hotel room diner. Slightly off point thats a blog post on its own, How to have dinners and breakfasts in a hotel room! So eating my dinner of cuppa soup and two bread rolls and seeing her dinner of chicken dippers and potato smiley stars that i broke into tears as i had one of the most depressing dinners in the world and her one of the most awesome. im a sucker for a kids style dinner i bloody love them. Ive even gone and taken a walk around the town and found that all the students are having a great time and i just don't have the confidence to stroll into a bar and try and meet some people. So back to this lovely hotel room i came and put on a great album, A artist that understands the road and the ups and downs that comes with it. The tour is not only of a show but also of the travlelodges of great briton.
I suppose this blog is a bit of a rant but i need to get it off of my chest and kind of reach out to something in the world.
I just sometimes find this an incredibly hard experience one that would be much better if i was touring with people i was really good friends with. In the end theatre is not the big glamorous world everyone thinks it is, it is a terrible cruel beast to.

Now listening to:
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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Anthony Watson - Production manager?


Over the last couple of months between touring Oily carts 'Tube' I was offered the chance to production manage a new production. A designer friend of mine (the wonderful Holly Pigott) asked me to come and production manage the show she was working on, Handel furioso. This was a new opera from isle of noise and was essentially a Baroque jukebox opera. Maybe the first of its kind? So when asked by Holly i of course like any freelancer said yes and then i figure out if i can do it. Having worked in the industry for a few years now i had an idea of how to do it but never had the experience.
Once i agreed i meet the company on the first day of rehearsals and then it was full spring into the production.

As any true production manager i took charge of the budget and scheduling. I found out about the money i had which was a small amount which struck fear into me wondering if it was even possible to do it on this type of money. As any responsible person to do was to create a very organise excel spreadsheet. After day one i was very proud of my spreadsheet. Color coded tabs, sums, headers, It was all very nice looking and i could start to stop panicking just a little.

I got a final design from Holly and as we headed to the new rehearsal space we agreed with the space that we could use there workshop to build the set and bring the design together. Final rehearsals happened the week after the construction day. This meant that they had an actual finished set for the final rehearsal and run through rehearsals.

So by the point of arriving at the get in day at the Arcola theatre we were very prepared. I full set all props, lighting, projection all ready. By 6PM we handed over a tidy finished space over to the director to have a full run through with every element of the show.
I felt very proud of getting to this point, especially as we still had two days until we opened.

Im very happy and proud of how this production has gone, its been very smooth and incredibly well. Ive received very good feedback from my employers and the company. I think mostly because i came £1000 under budget!

For more information check out the facebook page.