The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo beckons for NIDA Technical Theatre and Stage Management student

31 July 2017

Julian Starrs in Royal Military Tatoo

Photo: MC2 Patrick Grieco, via Wikimedia Commons

Around 220,000 people will be in the audience for this year’s prestigious Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which takes place from 4–26 August in Edinburgh, UK.

NIDA Bachelor of Fine Arts (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) third year student Julian Starr will be on placement as Assistant Sound Designer for the hugely popular event, demonstrating the international reach of NIDA students.

Starr is undertaking the role as part of the third and final year of his TTSM course – a time when students are required to complete a minimum of ten weeks secondment outside of their training in order to build contacts and develop their own practice and craft by learning first-hand from industry professionals.

The Tattoo will be just one of three placements Starr will be undertaking during his two-and-a-half month stay in the UK. He’ll also be working alongside Tony Award-winning Sound Designer Paul Arditti at London’s National Theatre on the new play Mosquitos, by Lucy Kirkwood. In addition, he’ll be Assistant Sound Designer on Mel Brooke’s musical Young Frankenstein at London’s Garrick Theatre. The trip to Edinburgh will be sandwiched between the two spells in London.

‘I am of course very excited and thrilled to be working on the Royal Military Tattoo and am grateful to their Sound Designer Sebastian Frost for this opportunity, allowing me to assist him and his team and work on what is a truly remarkable event that is adored the world over,’ commented Starr.

‘I had quite a few placement opportunities presented to me. But I really wanted a lot of variation in my placement work, and decided that I had to choose a theatre production, major live event and musical.’

Last year, Starr was awarded NIDA’s Peter Baynes Memorial Scholarship, which was established in 2008 and celebrates Peter Baynes’ love of theatre by providing an annual grant for a NIDA Production student to pursue secondment opportunities. The scholarship will help Starr with the financial side to the trip, which will ultimately enable him to get a better hold of sound design.

‘When I come back after my placements in the UK, I’m working as sound designer on the musical Hello Again, which will be playing at the NIDA Playhouse. Having already completed extensive training with some very knowledgeable and talented tutors at NIDA, I believe the placement will develop a greater depth of knowledge and practice – to the extent where I can deliver my own sound design, not just here at NIDA but also in my professional career.’

During the run-up to the placement, Starr had been receiving mentorship from NIDA’s Associate Lecturer of Audio, Kingsley Reeve.

‘Kingsley’s been a fantastic support and a great mentor over the last few years here at NIDA. I’ve been having a lot of conversations with him regarding exactly what I want to do when I leave NIDA, and he led me in the right direction in terms of who to contact and what to do for my secondments.’

Find out more about NIDA at our upcoming Info Night which takes place on 16 August. Register your attendance in advance as places are limited: https://www.nida.edu.au/form/forms/nida-info-night-2017-registration-of-interest.