It’s been 36 weeks since I first stepped through the doors of The Vaults to begin the placement year of my university course, and I can’t believe how much it’s changed me. This journey has been filled with wonderful adventures with a variety of bizarre personalities to help me through along the way, and it’s fair to say I wouldn’t have made it without their guidance.

Before starting my placement at The Vaults, I knew I was heading on an unpredictable and somewhat peculiar voyage into the underground tunnels of Waterloo but I never imagined it would make me fall in love with theatre all over again. I was thrown straight into the deep end on my first day, helping set up the lighting, dressing rooms and photo-booth area for a Cornetto event hosting Little Mix as their main event.

Fair to say I had a pretty amazing first week.

From there onwards, there was no stopping. It was all new territory for me, as I’d only ever really worked backstage in a classic proscenium-arch theatre; which of course, is nothing like The Vaults. I feel that working in an arts event space rather than a ‘strictly theatre only’ building has opened me up to a new form of art and theatre that I wasn’t really aware of. Originally being a dancer and singer, I have always wanted to run my own theatre that’s not exclusively theatre productions but also welcomes all sorts of creative productions. And after working in that kind of environment, it has inspired me even more to continue working towards that goal; that it is possible. The Vaults has presented art and theatre in a way that I had never really experienced before and made me realise that there is more out there that I would be honoured to host in my own place.

The unusual choice in companies and the constancy of all having something to present is two of the key reasons why I’ve learnt so much. The Vaults is ever changing and there is always something new and challenging on the horizon. At one point we had 6 events on in one night, so you learn to adapt to the high paced, ever-growing pile of problems, change in production or design and technical difficulties that make up the fun parts of theatre.

Refurbishing the pub has been one of the highlights. Looking back at what that place was before, compared to how it looks now, is unbelievable! The creativity and vision that those guys have is endless, and knowing I was apart of that feels fantastic. I love being practically based, and demolishing that old DJ box with a crowbar will forever remain one of this years greatest memories.

So. Much. Fun.

I love the team, and it still amazes me how such a small group of people can run a big venue such as The Vaults; it’s ridiculous how hard they work, but their end results are proof of that.

I’m not particularly an emotional person, but I just want to say a big thank you to Kieron Vanstone for pushing me forward when I was holding myself back and providing me the opportunities to build my self-confidence and prove that I’m not the shy person I perceive myself to be.

As well, I would like to thank the rest of The Vaults (and the Vaulty Towers) team for putting up with me when I had no idea what you were talking about, and for teaching me all the things I never thought I’d need when it comes to running your own company.

Thanks for a great year!