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  • The 2018 Company (pic by Mark Carline)

Sam Cheadle, Project Stage Manager, on her varied role

As a project stage manager I always say that if I do my job well no-one knows I exist and now here I am writing a column for the Chester Chronicle. My day-to-day life is very varied, from answering emails (lots of them) to attending meetings with the Chester Mystery Plays board, completing site visits at Chester Cathedral and so much more.

During the rehearsals you can find me, as artistic director Peter Leslie Wild calls it, in ‘the stage management corner’ of the rehearsal space. Taking notes to share with the production team, answering emails (more of them), recording blocking as required, liaising with designer Dawn Allsopp regarding props, taking orders for company T-shirts and even making the company the odd cup of tea.

I am extremely lucky to have a dedicated and talented team who help make my role so much easier and a pleasure. Ultimately the most important part of my job is working with our ever-growing company of nearly 400 volunteers. Each with their own story, their own challenges and triumphs and it is wonderful to witness everyone’s journey through the process of the mystery plays.

Watching crew members moved to tears during the Massacre of the Innocents rehearsal, smiling when a young performer returned having gone shopping for a Mother’s Day present with a whisk to be told “What?” “My Dad said we need one” to receiving emails of news and photos of a company member’s new grandchild. And emails (more emails) telling me how much the company members are enjoying being involved in the whole process, which are the best emails I receive. Also cake, there’s always cake. Who could not love my job?

First published in the Chester Chronicle - Thursday March 15

The Team