Published: Wed 21 Jun 23

Our First Future Formed Theatre Tech Placement

This month we were thrilled to welcome Natalie Brady, learning the ropes in our Technical department.

Natalie came to us as part of Waltham Forest Council’s Future Formed, which provided ten Waltham Forest residents with technical training and paid placements in theatres across London, including at ours in Dean Street. We took the opportunity to ask Natalie about working at Soho Theatre.

Why did you apply to Future Formed?

Since completing a work placement as part of the Kickstart scheme in May 2022, I’ve been working as a sound engineer at Walthamstow Trades Hall. Though I had already learnt so much in a year and a half, I felt I needed to take additional steps to build on my experience, so when this fantastic opportunity came up I had to take it.

What’s your link to Waltham Forest?

I’ve lived in Waltham Forest for as long as I can remember, went to school and college here and am still living in the borough.

Tell us about your love for the arts

My mum says that before I could even speak I would hum the tune to My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. When I was 6 years old I asked my mum for a guitar, when I was 10 I asked for a keyboard, and I taught myself to play both. In school I was heavily involved in the music department – I sang in the choir, played drum kit in steel band and viola in string group, which led to fantastic opportunities performing around the borough, and even at the 2015 Music For Youth festival at the Royal Albert Hall. Now I play drums in a punk band which was born out of the Trades Hall. With all of this performance experience, I’d imagined myself pursuing an on-stage career, but since completing the Kickstart placement I’ve discovered how interesting and important the back of house processes that are part of curating a performance are.


“The staff at Soho Theatre are all so lovely, the energy in the main office and green room (where we had lunch) is great, everyone was so interested in who I am and what I'm doing, and I love the company's ethos of diversity and inclusivity.”
Natalie Brady

What did you get out of Future Formed?

For a while I doubted my abilities as a sound engineer, but having completed Future Formed I now feel more confident. I discovered that there are so many roles in theatre, from production manager to laundry assistant, and I think most people don’t realise this. I’ve even decided to broaden my horizons and train as a lighting technician. My placement week at Soho Theatre has been wonderful – shadowing so many tech rehearsals has expanded my understanding of how theatre is run, and the creative decisions that go into bringing a script to life. The world feels as though it’s gotten bigger since completing the course.

Favourite moment?

The training week was delightfully sunny, and I am grateful to have spent it with such a diverse group of incredibly friendly people. I have never been more pleased waking up at 6am every day (note: this was by choice). On the last day I took everyone’s number and created a group chat – I now have so many more contacts in the industry.

What would you say to people in Waltham Forest thinking of taking part in Future Formed?

I would encourage you to go for it! Having come from a live music background, I was not initially focused on the theatre element of the programme when I applied, but I’ve since discovered that the industry has so much more to offer than I first realised. There is so much crossover in the performing arts, you may find ways to give and gain support from the people you meet even if you end up pursuing seemingly unrelated interests. All experience is good experience!

Our brand new venue

See where we're up to refurbishing the old Walthamstow Granada into a state-of-the-art 21st century comedy venue in the heart of the Waltham Forest community - Soho Theatre Walthamstow.

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