Backstage and Drinking

I recently worked on a show were I observed something that shocked me. In this day of occupational health and safety, I would have thought that seasoned technical staff would realise that what they were doing was wrong and very in-appropriate. The sin – drinking backstage during a set up. The crew member that was drinking was the touring production manager, and was responsible for the safety of his crew and the dancers that made up the show. But what does a venue tech do about a situation like this. In theory they can ask the offender to leave the venue, but that is going to have a major impact on the show. Maybe ask tactfully that they cease drinking and save the rest for after the show. May be venues need to have guidelines that visiting technicians need to follow.

I am not to sure what the solution is, but I believe that drinking during a set up, show or bump out is  putting people in a potentially harmful situation. Theatre can be a very dangerous place and we don’t want people, whoever they are, put at risk.

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2 thoughts on “Backstage and Drinking

  1. I agree completely. I did a show a few years ago, and I was one of the few under age members of the crew, and when the annual dinner was held in-between shows, every one drank like the world was about to end! Unfortunately, this created tension between myself and others in the crew that night.

  2. Drinking at venues should be completely banned (unless it’s a party and no one “works”). At the beginning of my career I got nearly killed by a idiot colleague who has been drinking and was working overhead and has been so clumsy to kick a 2m board over a 20cm rail. I was working 15m below and the board missed me by only a few centimetres. Luckily I had my brown undies on!

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