At 5.50pm I meet Stephen Johnson, the pre-concert speaker for a quick sound and CD check, at 6 change into my smart black concert gear, and then at 6.15 meet Stephen again to send him on stage for his talk.  The great thing about organising the pre-concert events is that I get to listen to them and find out lots more about the music we’ll be hearing later on in the evening.

When the talk finishes at 6.50 I have time to go to the box office to pick up a ticket, dart around backstage trying to talk to some players about complimentary tickets for the forthcoming tour and give some players who are attending the post-concert dining club some directions!

At 7.20 I head to Stage Left (pictured) backstage-rfh-stage-left. When we’re almost ready I have to do a loud clap so the players know it’s nearly time to go on (they like to chat a lot and I always feel embarrassed doing the clap!).  Philippa our Orchestra Manager sends on the players (and conductor!) from Stage Right, and I, alongside someone from Southbank Centre production wait for Philippa’s nod from the other side so that the players can go on stage at the same time!  At just after 7.30 the show kicks off.  This is the long corridor that runs along underneath the stage – it’s very quiet as all the musicians are now on stage rfh-backstage-corridor-2

I wait until the overture is finished and then slip into a seat to catch the remainder of the first half.

During the second half of the concert, I arrange with Southbank Centre who is going to give the conductor and leader their gift. Today we’ve chosen wine instead of flowers as both are male! I then sit and listen to the symphony from backstage, watching on the monitor. At 9.20 the concert is almost over and get ready to do a turn on stage and present Sir Simon Rattle with his bottle of wine…. This is the scary bit!

Ceri, Projects Manager