National Theatre announces Flints Theatrical Chandlers as Workshops Partner

The National Theatre today announces Flints Theatrical Chandlers, the major retailer of theatrical goods in the UK, as a Workshops Partner with the National Theatre.

As part of the partnership, Flints will provide apprentice welcome toolkits to a number of apprentices joining the NT in 2016-2017. The kits will contain craft-specific equipment to aid the apprentices with their work. This is an exciting first for the National Theatre and Flints, and there are plans to extend the partnership into subsequent years.

 Flints Theatrical Chandlers Team

Flints Theatrical Chandlers Team

The NT launched its apprenticeship and trainee programme in 2012. The programme provides opportunities for people who might not otherwise have considered a career at the NT or in theatre, and helps to address issues of diversity in theatre more generally. An apprentice studies for a qualification- usually at Level 2 or Level 3- with an appropriate learning provider, and has an opportunity to put those college lessons into practice in the workplace, guided by some of the best practitioners in the country. Currently, the NT has apprentices working in a variety of departments, including Costume/Tailoring, Lighting, Prop-Making, Scenic Carpentry and Metal Fabrication, Learning Events, Wigs, Hair & Make-up, IT and Marketing.

Darren Joyce, Head of Construction at the NT, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Flints to the NT as our Workshops Partner. The toolkits will make an enormous difference to the apprentices we have joining our departments, giving them the best start possible to a career in theatre production. Flints are equipping the creative craftspeople of the future.’

Alasdair Flint, Managing Director of Flints Theatrical Chandlers, said: ‘I’m delighted that Flints is now the Workshops Partner to the NT. Having supplied the theatre industry for over 35 years with backstage hardware and paints, it’s great to be able to put in place this kind of partnership to help support theatre-makers to reach their potential. 

We’re excited to be supporting the workshops apprentices at the NT with special tools and safety wear to help them get the most out of their time with the NT. The NT has a fantastic attitude towards engaging young people and inspiring future generations of theatre-goers and creators. We feel very passionate about this element of the NT at Flints so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to support them in a way that’s more relatable to us, with a behind-the-scenes focus. The workshops partnership is a lot more creative than a typical corporate partnership and one that we hope to continually develop and build on over time.’

Two of the apprentices to receive toolkits are Laura Wigan, Scenic Carpentry Apprentice and Syeda Bukhari, Prop-Making Apprentice.

Laura Wigan, Scenic Carpentry Apprentice, said: ‘I’m very grateful that a company as prominent as Flints wants to support the apprenticeship scheme at the NT and the apprentices themselves. It’s reassuring and important to me that both the NT and Flints are interested in giving me the best training possible and I’m certainly in the right place for it.’

Syeda Bukhari, Prop-Making Apprentice, said: ‘My apprenticeship at the NT has equipped me with valuable prop-making skills and knowledge. It has also made me grow into a much more confident and outgoing person, and this has allowed me to participate in activities that I would not have dared to try before. The tool-kit that Flints has kindly provided will help me start my career as a prop-maker. I am so thankful for the help and support I have received from everyone at the NT and at Flints.’

Kathryn Geraghty, Apprenticeship Manager at the NT, said: ‘Since we began our Modern Apprenticeships programme in 2012, we have been thrilled at the new talent we have brought into the NT. Our apprentices come from all kinds of backgrounds and life experience and the attitude and outlook they bring helps us to ensure that our thinking remains fresh, whilst also ensuring that there is a growing pool of skilled people ready to enter the creative sector. We are justifiably proud of our former apprentices and are watching their progress into the sector with delight, which in turn strengthens our commitment to take on more.’

As a further part of the partnership, the NT will product test for Flints, and ‘NT approved’ products will be available in the Flints 2017 catalogue and on the Flints website.