Tom Stevens, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Marketing Officer, was up in Sunderland this week as the Company opened a week of Sleeping Beauty performances.

‘As a relatively new addition to Birmingham Royal Ballet in the marketing department, getting out to the venues to see the company perform on tour is still something that really excites me – and last week’s visit to Sunderland was only the second time I had been up there, despite regular visits by the company.

‘I was not staying for the whole week, but just going up for one night, to speak to the marketing team at the Sunderland Empire and to meet some of the press from that neck of the woods. More importantly for me, however, it’s a great opportunity to see the dancers and the technical department away from the offices and in a new environment – when they are very different. As this blog shows time and time again, for the dancers and backstage crew it is a punishing schedule on tour, and the chances to get something to eat, for example, are few and far between – a sandwich from a vending machine is often the greatest offering!

‘I was somewhat luckier, and between catching up with the marketing team, had some time to go out and grab a meal before the performance started. Our opening night coincided with St Patrick’s Day – so in (and outside of) the local Wetherspoons there were lots of large green hats and plenty of emerald face paint! It’s a cliché to say it, but it really was chilly up there, and yet the number of people going about in tiny skirts, t-shirts and without coats shocked me – they’re a hard bunch in up North!

‘We had an amazing curry just round the corner from the theatre, got back in time for the start of the show, and speaking to the press in the intervals they loved The Sleeping Beauty as much as I love it every time I see it.

‘Now though – back to Birmingham, finalizing campaigns for the rest of the tour and beginning to think about the finer details of our mid-scale tours in May and June. Next week – I’ll do it all again in Plymouth… can’t wait!’

Tom.

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