skip to main content

Oliver Cooper

Oliver Cooper

I’m a Project Draughtsman in the Digital Drawing and Design Office, my role is to take a show designer’s models and sketches and create design and construction drawings using CAD Software. During this process, I adapt the designs in collaboration with the designer and production manager to balance aesthetic and budget concerns whilst ensuring they remain practical to use on stage.

I started my career as stage crew eventually working my way towards being Deputy Head of Stage, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m very practical and always enjoyed doing the plans where possible, as I was trying to learn more CAD skills which were mostly self-taught. I never considered making it my full-time job, until I saw an advert for a project draughtsman at the NT. I decided to apply, and got asked to work on a small outdoor project, which then led to me taking on a show. From here the shows have been getting bigger and bigger and everyday is an exciting challenge.

Every day is a learning day, and because of the role I am in, I get to work with most technical departments of theatre; this has fortunately led to me having some very random knowledge and gaining some varied training that wouldn’t usually be thought of as being directly related to my role, but has certainly helped me. Alongside this I have had the opportunity to look at new software and hardware combined with training to help my role, which in most places wouldn’t be considered.

If I was to give someone advice about working here, I would say go for it, speak to everyone you can. There are such a variety of people and skills that you can’t help but learn and experience something new.