Studio Manager steps down

TPS Studio Manager, Sean Ridley, has decided to step down from the role after four years at the helm.

Joining Team TPS back in September 2019, Sean quickly set to work with the task of revitalising the venue to host a variety events – including theatrical productions, music gigs and even wrestling!

During his time, he has overseen a refurbished Box Office area and Bar (including a move to a card system for both areas), a complete overhaul in the lighting and sound provisions for the venue – not to mention a website launch, venue rebrand and the construction of an outdoor canopy which serves as both an outdoor theatre and also a foyer.

Throughout the COVID period, Sean and the team worked tirelessly to upgrade the venue with a new sound system and additional lighting, before overseeing the production of several virtual events once restrictions allowed to ensure a continued output from the venue and also secured permission to be one of the first venues in the Country to reopen with COVID test events – before attracting a new style of event (Wrestling) to reopen the venue to full capacity for the first time in over 18 months.

This variety of productions was not to stop there – with the return of The Winton Players for their play ‘Ladies in Lavender’ and in 2022, the world famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra took to The Studio’s stage to a sell out crowd – inviting several TPS Students to join them for the concert that will be remembered for years to come. In early 2023, CCADS Theatre presented the first non-West End production of The Shawshank Redemption whilst in 2018 and 2022 the venue hosted two musical premieres of TINSEL (by Michelle Magorian and Robert Buckley) and Operation Santa (by Daf Hughes) respectively – with TPS being an ideal ‘producing house’ for new and upcoming works by local artists.

In 2022, The Studio surpassed 5000 ticket sales in a single year (a venue first) and the following year managed to overtake this feat by achieving in excess of 6000.

As well as stuff at The Studio itself, Sean also led the Lighting Design for the TPS whole school musical ‘FAME’ and managed all the tech for the first post-COVID major show of ‘High School Musical’ – both at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth – whilst several of his Technical Students have gone on to be full time technicians in the theatre/music industry, including Dom Turner (now full time at Chichester Festival Theatre) and Alex Chun (LD for famous bands such as Kasabian).

Sean leaves TPS Studio with it now standing as a fully fledged venue in it’s own right, and will be returning to it as a performer in February playing Christopher in The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time (tickets on sale now!).

He would like to thank everybody, staff, volunteers, visiting companies and patrons for their support during his time at The Studio, and looks forward to seeing where the venue will go next.

Studio smashes ticketing record

We are delighted to announce that, following last year’s record breaking ticket sales of over 5000 – The Studio has recorded in excess of 6000 ticket sales in a single year.

“This is absolutely wonderful” Sean Ridley, Studio Manager, said. “The events programme this year has been very different to last, with events such as the TPS whole school musical returning to the New Theatre Royal now we are ‘back to normality’ so to speak – but with the events we’ve had in place such as Operation Santa, Comedy, Wrestling etc we really can be confident and say the venue is going from strength to strength and I am incredibly proud of the team.”

Sean – who joined towards the end of 2019 – has spent the vast majority of his time at TPS as the only full time member of staff managing the venue, whilst also handling all the school facilities bookings.

“I would have achieved nothing without the team around me, the crew are all casual workers on zero hours and there’s been a lot of volunteering happening too, and everyone who’s worked with me over my time here cared deeply about the space so much we all tend to go more than the extra mile. It’s superb to have had such a dedicated team that supported the venue with me.”

The Studio also has a crew of Student Technicians, ranging from Years 9-11 who also assist with daytime events as well as weekend productions.

“I want to give the students who are interested a real world experience working within this industry, and therefore my ethos has been to treat them as professionals working in such an environment – and I am so proud to have inspired some of them to go on bigger and better things. That’s by far my proudest achievement.”

Everyone at The Studio would like to thank everyone for all the fantastic support of our lovely little venue, and we look forward to welcoming you back as we wrap up this year’s programme, and look ahead to 2023/24 with a whole new team coming in to take up the reigns from Sean, who sadly departs for pastures new this month.

Every ticket and purchase at the bar goes straight back into The Petersfield School and helps towards enhancing the unrivalled student experience we at TPS strive to deliver. Your support matters!

Studio achieves 5000 ticket sales in a year!

We are delighted to announce that, for the first time in the venue’s history, The Studio has recorded 5000 ticket sales in a single year.

“This is a simply incredible achievement” Sean Ridley, Studio Manager, said. “When we started this year, we genuinely weren’t sure how things would pan out. We were still in the midst of postponements and changes right up to the wire, with some shows still reprogramming themselves right up until February time. So to have smashed a record and then hit such a huge milestone is a testament to how hard the whole team has worked over the course of this year.”

Sean – who joined towards the end of 2019 – still remains the only full time member of staff at the venue, balancing school facilities lettings alongside his goal of making the theatre a fully viable venue again.

“I’m nothing without the team around me, the crew are all casual workers – yes – but there’s a lot of volunteering happening too, and everyone cares about the space so much we all tend to go more than the extra mile. It’s superb to have such a dedicated team.”

The Studio also has a crew of Student Technicians, ranging from Years 9-11 who also assist with daytime events as well as weekend productions.

“We want to give the students who are interested a real world experience working within theatre, and the entirety of the casual crew we have all came through the ranks just like our Student Techies have. The crews we’ve got coming through the ranks are sublime. We’re so proud of them, and we’ve found the next back stage stars of the future.”

Everyone at The Studio would like to thank everyone for all the fantastic support of our lovely little venue, and we look forward to welcoming you back as we wrap up this year’s programme, and look ahead to 2022/23.

Every ticket and purchase at the bar goes straight back into The Petersfield School and helps towards enhancing the unrivalled student experience we at TPS strive to deliver. Your support matters!

Postponement Notice: Atom Heart Floyd

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, ATOM HEART FLOYD on Friday June 3 has been postponed.

All ticket holders have been refunded via our ticket providers, and we hope to announce a new date soon.

For Ticketholders who have not purchased direct from The Studio, please contact your ticket sellers directly.

Student Technicians are already the stars of The Studio

With The Studio now fully back up and running after a gruelling couple of years unable to host events, it isn’t just those on stage at our wonderful on-site venue that have been shining so far this term.

With a variety of events, including our regular school Open Mic nights to tribute bands including Eagle and Rocketmania – there has been something for everyone since the venue reopened, including wrestling fans! And The Studio continues to improve and grow, with additions to the space including new Lighting and Sound Systems, as well as a brand new outdoor theatre space – and a fully refurbished Box Office and licensed bar.

But at every event that takes place around the world, there is always one group of individuals who normally only get noticed if things go wrong.. and that’s the hard workers doing their best to be invisible, even going as far as wearing black to make sure they’re unseen (even when in plain sight on stage) – and that is the technical crew.

The Studio offers TPS students a unique opportunity to try their hand at the less glamourous side of the events industry. In fact, the entire team at The Studio (with the exception of the Studio Manager) are former TPS students who came up through the ranks as Year 11 Tech prefects, learning the ropes and becoming the backstage and front of house crews of the future. Some of these students have gone onto major venues, most notably Dom Turner – one of the Senior Studio Technicians – who is about to embark on his second season as a lighting engineer at Chichester Festival Theatre having operated before on West End productions.

This year, in addition to the Year 11 prefects, the invitation to become a student technician was extended as a trial to also include a couple of keen Year 10 students – and they have already impressed the team and are well on the road to setting the industry alight.

Ollie M, Michael F and Adam O have not only been involved helping with the wide range of productions taking place in the theatre, but they have even been given the opportunity to run events themselves – from planning how to set the shows up as they arrive, to operating lighting and mixing sound – under the watchful gaze of the technical team who were on hand to support them should the student team need it.

“They didn’t really need us.” Sean Ridley [Studio Manager] laughed. “We were there if they needed us to point them in the right direction, but on the whole the recent Open Mic night and Wrestling gigs were theirs, and they should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved this year.”

“The whole team are so impressed with how they’ve embraced the chance to work on all the events we have, and they really are a testament to the school and a fine example to their peers.

“What’s also lovely to see, is they seem to enjoy working with us so much that they manage to convince their friends to come along and help. Several of them have been e-mailing me to ask if there are any more spaces to join the team!! We also tend to get a visit from Fleur A from Year 11 every show night she’s not already performing in, as she just loves to help in the box office!

“We are so proud of how far they’re coming on – and we can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings as they move into a big year for them.

“The future is certainly bright.”

Chris Dean rehearses with TPS Students ahead of SLO event on March 31

On Wednesday, the TPS Music Students were in The Studio rehearsing with legendary trombonist Chris Dean, leader of the world-famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra, as they prepared for a very special event taking place in The Studio on 31 March.

The students have been invited to join the international touring orchestra for a few numbers on the night (when their tour brings them to Petersfield for the very first time) to thrill audiences with a full programme of big band and swing hits, and will give them a truly unforgettable experience, as they will be working alongside one of the biggest professional touring bands in the world.

Chris Dean said, “This concert is one of the really positive things to have come out of the last lockdown. While we were at The Studio recording last year, we talked with Sean [Ridley] the Studio Manager about how strong the Music department is at TPS, and how we could give the wonderful students an insight into playing music professionally. Miss Wood (Head of Music) is extremely forward thinking, and the Principal Mr Marande is right behind this venture – and best of all, the students have jumped at the chance with enthusiasm and energy.”

Tickets are available online, or in person via One Tree Books in Lavant Street.

Petersfield Orchestra join us at The Studio

PETERSFIELD ORCHESTRA is alive and well despite Covid. After a long absence from the concert platform the orchestra’s strings performed Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ to an invited audience in Liss this June.

Next it is the turn of the wind players. Ten musicians will take to the platform at The Studio at The Petersfield School on Sunday afternoon 3 October, in a sparkling and tuneful programme designed to highlight the virtuoso skills of the local orchestra’s wind section. Music by Gounod and Donizetti is featured alongside works by two 20th century composers, Jacques Ibert and Georges Enescu. “It’s all gorgeous music, including Gounod’s delightful ‘Petite Sinfonie’ and Enescu’s dectet ‘Dixtuor’” says Orchestra chairman – and bassoonist – Steve Bartholomew: “The Enescu is not that well-known but is richly textured, and has a very French flavour – it’s a joy to listen to and to play.” The concert is expected to last about 80 minutes, plus a short interval.

To cover some of the costs there is a small admission charge of £5, with Under-17s admitted free: book online by clicking here or via One Tree Books, Lavant Street or by phone: 01730 261199.

Studio ‘Lights up red’

To show support for all our fellow venues up and down the Country, the Studio lit up red on Friday night to mark a year since venues across the country closed. Some of which, may sadly never open again.

To find out more about the Light it Up Red campaign, visit https://www.wemakeevents.com/

New Studio Logo

We are delighted to reveal our brand new TPS Studio Logo, incorporating our roots of TPS whilst also retaining a reminiscent feel of the original Studio identity.

This is the first major update to the logo since the previous one was introduced around 2010 and coincides with the planned reopening of the space which is set to be hosting its’ first performances since December this coming June.

Sean Ridley, who has been Studio Manager since 2019, put the logo together over lockdown with some colleagues (including his long time collaborator outside of TPS, Dave Edwards), after he noticed some challenges with the Studio’s brand while designing posters for school productions.

“It liked to be awkward that’s for sure!” Sean said. “I simply loved the colour scheme, with the blue and silver offering a contrast to the main TPS colours of red and black, but it gave me very little in terms of play on different backgrounds so more often than not I would have to put it on a white box which felt very out of place.”

The new logo incorporates the much favoured TPS rosette, giving an instantly recognisable and local feel for the venue’s locale.

“We tried all sorts of variations, some were outright awful, but the TPS rosette was my starting point.

The logo comes in two variations – a wider one and a square one, making it fit perfectly in the digital age.

“I was so keen to involve it [the rosette] as it’s just an Iconic image, and instantly recognisable. When you’re driving along the main road, it’s visible. So anyone looking for The Studio will be able to look out for that as a landmark.”

One noticeable change is the absence of the @TPS suffix, which has been part of The Studio since it opened in 2005.

“There was a general feeling that it was very naughties, all of the departments at the school used to be Maths@TPS or Science@TPS but over the years that’s been phased out – leaving our Studio being somewhat unique but also a bit antiquated if that could be possible. I also noticed over my first year here that nearly all of our users or incoming shows would refer to us as ‘TPS Studio’ or ‘The Studio’ on their posters and marketing, so we felt as that name had managed to stick – we should run with it.”

The new logo is in already making appearances ahead of the first evening event ‘EAGLE‘ on July 3, which features former TPS students as support acts. Details on booking tickets can be found on The Studio’s What’s On page.

Sean Ridley (Studio Manager) with the new logo.

Latest Update (5 January 2021)

Happy new year everyone, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas period.

Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions we find ourselves in following the holiday period, the venue is closed until further notice.

The team are on reduced hours and remote working for the foreseeable future. Therefore our Box Office line will not be answered and voicemail messages will not be received.

Please contact us via the contact form should you need us in the meantime.

For all ticket holders to upcoming events, the Box Office will contact you with an update on any show cancellations as and when decisions are made. Please bear with us during these tricky times.

Thank you for your patience, and your continued support throughout these times.