Jake with a puppet!

It’s coming up to a year since I joined Little Angel as the Marketing Officer. It’s hard to believe that I have been working here for a whole year. Then I think that so much has happened during this time that it seems an awful lot longer.

When I was younger the term “a year” seemed to me a vast expanse of time that stretched out before me to enjoy. Now as I steadily get older (true, I am still the youngest in the office), “a year” seems a brief span of 12 months and Christmas is over and back before we know it. Equally the eagerly anticipated shows here at the Little Angel seemed like a distant dream 12 months ago – are suddenly real and upon us.

Looking back over the past year, one thing strikes me time and time again and that is the sheer level of openness and appreciation that I have experienced here. We are a closely knitted office, and whilst I may only see certain staff members every few months due to desk arrangements, there is a real sense of teamwork here.

It’s echoed in everything we do. Even more so now that I can see the ties and connections that the Little Angel has to the wider community. Not only do we support local families and schools, but at large the puppetry community.

The notion of a puppetry community was quite alien to me at first. A year later and I can see the connections suddenly appearing, linking puppeteers, designers, and companies together. The Little Angel really is a beacon that shines out across the arts, promoting, and developing this art from.

My colleagues work tirelessly all year round to produce continued work of excellence, and yes I am biased and am publicly representing the company who I work for as I write this, but it’s true. Our office tucked away at the top of the building might be small, and only hold half the team at one time, but from this I can see the inner workings happening. The work is vast.

From Peter our Artistic Director developing ideas for the coming season or events, to Lynette our General Manager implementing these schemes. Then further down the chain they fall, with Slavka and Sarah working Educational activities for taking part sessions. Miranda our Tour Manager allowing our work to expand out across the country, and Terry in Finance making sure the books are balanced. With Fiona keeping the building afloat in her fundraising and supported by Front of House (Alex, Wood and volunteers) and Technical Manager David making sure the lights are bright enough. Not to forget Anne  our press representative and all the various workshops leaders and helpers. The team works and produces excellence at every step of the way.

It’s a team that I am proud to be a part of.

More personally, the past year has allowed me to express myself here at the Little Angel. I’ve been creative, put on a pair of geeky glasses and developed new ways of communicating to you as an audience electronically. I have been the techno-king of the Little Angel, and proud of it too.

The blog is one of these ‘technologies’ I implemented. I hope that it has given an insight into the theatre that you wouldn’t have experienced normally. Our ever increasing Facebook and Twitter accounts offer small snippets of facts and fun for those who choose to like/follow us. Even our online videos are starting to bring more of our puppets to you at home.

This is only the beginning I am sure, and even as I type this plans are being formulated and casts are being selected for our collaboration with the RSC on The Tempest – big, big projects.

I might only work 2 days a week but the work is vast, exciting and engaging. If I can reach an audience member and open their eyes to puppetry as an art form then that’s one extra person who has experienced what I have: seeing puppetry as a beautiful art that can make you gasp in wonder, cry and laugh. It is a feast for your eyes and at the Little Angel it is what we do best.

So what does the year ahead look like for me? Well… the Little Angel goes into its 50th year, and we’re throwing a few celebrations along the way. Marketing isn’t a job that stops for a given moment, so I’ll be kept busy. They’ll be more blogs, some rather interesting memories shared of the past 50 years, and lots, and lots of puppetry.

Thanks Little Angel for the past year, now here is the next 50 ahead! Hurruh!

Written by Jake, Marketing Officer, Little Angel Theatre