Unsung Heroes - Meet Matthew Coombes

5 April 2018

Matthew Bourne's Cinderella would not be possible without the work of our company on and off the stage. During the tour, as well as insights from the dancers, we will be introducing you to members of our backstage team who ensure each performance is delivered technically clean day in, day out. 

Please meet our next member in our Unsung Heroes series - Matthew Coombes (Sound Technician & Operator for Cinderella)...

Training: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (BA Hons in Professional Stage Management and Technical Theatre)

A key bit of advice for someone looking to get into this role: You have to love theatre and be passionate about the job you do. It's long hours, very demanding and is more of a lifestyle than a job. Matthew spends a lot of time away form home and working in the evenings and weekends when the rest of the world is off so you have to be prepared to sacrifice things. The pay off however is well worth the sacrifice, but it's not for everyone.  

Are there any fun facts about the show that relate to your role and what you do? The music in the show is specially recorded by a 60 piece orchestra and played back in Surround Sound. We have over 75 Speakers, that we tour to each theatre, onstage, either side of the stage and around the auditorium so the audiences become immersed in the sound.
Matthew has operated over 120 shows so far and still finds pieces in the music that he's never heard before. Prokofiev was a genius! 
Some obscure sounds are used in the explosion sequences such as ice breaking up and balloons popping.

Matthew has been documenting life on tour and sent us a time-lapse video that shows a small snippet of activity that happens during the get-out when the show transfers from venue to venue. Here you'll very quickly see them taking down the cloths and set that fly in for each scene in the show!

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