David Wimpenny, Technical Manager at The Lowry
- Arts and creative
Name: David Wimpenny
My job title: Technical Manager at The Lowry
How I got the job… I didn’t know what to do when I was younger, and I saw an advert for a technical collage course in theatre so applied for that at Oldham College. After collage I worked at contact theatre for a few years, gaining some knowledge and experience. I then worked at the Royal Northern College of music for four years until I got my full-time job at The Lowry. Five years ago, I got the opportunity to apply for the Technical Manager role and that’s where I am today.
My position in a nutshell… With four other people, I organise and arrange the day to day working of the Lowry Tech department, with an eye on lighting. I assist visiting companies before they get here and whilst on site with their productions.
My typical day… There is no typical day for me, every day is different. Sometimes we could do a 16-hour day but then we could do a 4 hour day the next. It’s a very rewarding and fun environment to work in. It’s very creative and there is a lot of problem-solving day to day, but every day is different.
My most memorable moment… We do a festival called week 53, and we had a show called ‘Everything I see I swallow’, which I technical managed. I got the opportunity to tour with the visiting company to Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it won a Fringe first award – it was great for me and The Lowry to be a part of this.
The worst part of my job… Anything to do with the stage department and woodwork. If I bring a saw out of the workshop, someone will take it off me and ask what I need cutting because I am terrible at woodwork.
The best part of my job… Being creative and being able to make designs that adapt into numerous shows. We have a lot of shows on and we need to make sure a lighting design works for multiple shows. Getting all of the designs together to make one unified design is one of my favourite things to do.
What are the key skills/attributes needed in your role… You need to be computer literate and have good communication skills. You need to have a good aptitude to work, be proactive and be able to work well with others as well as autonomously.
Advice for someone looking to go into a similar role… I would try to get in with amateur dramatic companies and young companies and say that you are interested in technical work. I would also download as much as possible – there are free lighting software’s – so you can practice offline and look at lighting design and stage shows on YouTube.