Here at The Empty Space Theatre we wanted to share with you what it’s like being here on a day to day basis!
One of the joys of working in a theatre is that every day is different! It can range from the spectacular to the supremely mundane. We love every inch of it.
So first things first. Who we are! We are The Empty Space Theatre in Media City in Manchester. We are a black box theatre with a 155 capacity. We are predominantly a theatre venue that is available to hire. However we also produce our own shows as well! So we cover all bases. Not only are we a theatre for hire, but we also have two studios which are also available to hire.
You can find out a bit more about who we are and what we do on our website and on our social media! So make sure you keep up to date.
Now, on to describe a week in the life of a theatre in Manchester!
When you work in a theatre you actually look forward to Mondays! These days are the ones where we tend to take a little bit of a breather, getting our feet back underneath us after a long week! You’ll know what I mean when I get to the weekend!
So first off is coffee! I don’t think any of our staff could start a Monday without a coffee and a gossip. Jo, the owner also brings her two dogs; Sky & Chewie into the theatre on a Monday.
This is then followed by managing the week ahead. We look at the bookings we have for the theatre. As we are available to hire, we can have bookings in on any day and time of the week. So we need to know what is going on to make sure we have enough staff!
Once we know who has hired the theatre or the studios for the week, we need to check what they need. We will manage the ticket sales for some shows, we will also help promote the shows on their social media. So first thing to do is check what each show needs!
Monday is also a money day. With so many bookings and different companies hiring our theatre, we often use a Monday to check our accounts, make sure invoices have all been paid! This includes the tax man.
Now because we also produce our own shows. We are currently producing a pantomime of Aladdin! So rehearsals are well under way, and they are using our main space. So we have to make sure we look after the director and the musical director!
At the moment Tuesdays are our main day for renovations and planning in the office. We have recently bought Studio 2 and 3. These are situated a few metres away from our main theatre building. Now we have had to do a lot of work to get them to where we want them to be! We’ve knocked down a wall, built a ceiling and had to soundproof the rooms. This was a heck of a lot of work but we still have more to go!
The work we have planned for the studios for the rest of the year includes; getting heating into the space! We are currently using small electrical heaters. We need to plaster and paint the walls. They are still looking a little worse for wear from the previous owners. Next on the list is Wifi! So as you can see there is a lot of work that needs to be done before it is perfect!
This is Chris’ speciality! Chris is in charge of all of our social media. So Wednesdays are our social media days. We want the wider community of Manchester too know that we are here and we are available to hire, and what better way to do that than spreading the word! We’ve been around for about 5 years now, but with Covid, we really are still a new theatre. So no one knows we are here yet!
When doing the social media, you will often find Chris running around the building taking photos and videos of any of the rehearsals or bookings we have in. He’s currently thoroughly enjoying filming the rehearsals for our Aladdin rehearsal.
Thursday we have a breather! We all take a day off - unless the theatre has been hired! If we have a booking, we will make sure we have enough staff to work the show. This will include, front of house, a technician and bar staff!
Fridays are more social media and website related days! We have set aside Fridays to make sure we are writing blog posts, updating our website and more social media. We decided to start writing blog posts so that we could keep everyone up to date with who we are and what we do. We need to make sure we are on top of the website, because that is the main place people will come to book tickets!
Every Saturday we have a regular booking in the theatre for a stage school. So you will often find us joining in with the warm ups! Some of our staff also work as teachers for the stage school, so its nice to keep it in the family! You will always find around fifty kids all rehearsing on our wonderful stage.
Saturday is also our busiest day for theatre hire. Everybody wants to do a show on a Saturday night! So most of the time after the stage school we will clean and tidy the space so that it is ready for our hire in the evening!
We will then have staff working the show! One of the joys of working in a theatre is the fact that you get to watch all the shows that come along! We recently had a fantastic theatre company called Parallel Lives using our space!
Sometimes our theatre hire bookings will clash with our stage school. On the occasions that this happens we will move the stage school into our studio spaces for their rehearsal.
On a Sunday we have a regular booking in our studio space. We have a stage school there delivering their acting academy. They will also use the space to teach the kids filmmaking and screen acting. We adore having our theatre and studios filled with young actors.
Then after a long week, we clock off nice and early. Normally we will have a cheeky wine or beer before we all head home!
So that is roughly what our staff do in a week. I’m pretty sure I’ve made it seem as though it’s nice and relaxed. On a day to day basis we are often putting out fires managing our theatre hires, rehearsals and all over our admin work. It’s not an easy job, but we really love it and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are proud of being a small theatre business in Manchester! Keep an eye on this space!