Creative Internships Blog Week 23
Rebecca Hobbs, Wales Millennium Centre
Only the Brave take on the marathon task of producing a new musical!
Café Gondrée (from the show) complete with gramophone
Mural designed by Helen Bur
After months of preparation, this week the Centre’s transformation into a 1940’s backdrop pre-empts the exciting launch of our first original musical, Only The Brave. Based on true stories about real people, (whose relatives are going to be sitting in the audience!), this home-grown production dramatises the events that opened the gateway to winning the Second World War.
In an organisation that is now adding a producing arm to its body, roles within the Development department are sure to evolve. The creation of new work is the perfect platform for cultivation and provides us with an opportunity to engage with a new audience. However, it is also vital that our current supporters feel a part of this milestone at the Centre. For this reason, we are hosting two separate events during the show’s run as both parties generate different motivations. The first event for our corporate and individual supporters is a celebration, to involve them in the Only The Brave journey that they have invested in, thereby deepening their access to the Centre and continuing to engage with them on a personal level. The second event, for prospects, press and producers is to demonstrate the show’s potential and the Centre’s capabilities.
During the run up to these events, preparation has been KEY and collaboration between departments has been integral to pull off such a mammoth task. The last three weeks have been a marathon effort and, despite being hugely enjoyable, putting two consecutive Development events together has been a real challenge. My role within these events is a strategic one that is steered towards research and reconnaissance. Leading on the biographies for our Prospects and Press Night has involved creating a portfolio for 120+ people and this has really tested my research and analytical skills. I have learned along the way that there are a number of creative avenues to explore when obtaining information. There are all sorts of resources available to scour through from company data, newspaper articles and forums to social media platforms and search engines if you have the patience. The research strand of fundraising is an area I am particularly enjoying for its strategic value which has been demonstrated in the run up to the Only The Brave events as the biographies have been essential to lay down the groundwork for creating and developing prospective relationships. Alongside this, I have also been preparing a final trust application for Festival of Voice so managing the two tasks has required very strict time efficiency (which is something I am definitely improving on).
The scale of the Only The Brave operation and the work that every member of staff has put in to make the production and the events revolving around it a success is difficult to put on to paper as we have all been living and breathing the production every day. As my family and friends will tell you, I have become a walking advertisement for the show and cannot wait to see the final product. The week ahead is the result of a whole organisation coming together and I am so proud to say that I am a part this iconic moment in Welsh theatre.