Meet some of our RSC Roosters - staff who were born in the Chinese Year of the Rooster.

This week marks the start of the Year of the Rooster. Roosters are people who were born in 1945, 1957,1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and of course 2017 (although we don't have any of those working for us just yet).

Helen Cave

Helen Cave, Head of Events (Development Department)

I work in: RSC head office, Stratford-upon-Avon

My job in one sentence: I run events for supporters and stakeholders, everything from fight workshops to VIP dinners.

The most exciting thing about my job: The people you meet - I have been lucky enough to meet all kinds of VIPs. Only last Tuesday I met the Chinese Ambassador and his extraordinarily large bodyguards.

The most unexpected thing about my job: The things that go wrong are never the things you predict! Just when you think you've planned for every eventuality, the unexpected comes right round and bites you. 

Favourite RSC show: Nicholas Nickleby, Newcastle Theatre Royal, 1985. My friend’s mum was poorly so I was asked last minute. I didn’t really know what to expect but that production was one of my most impactful theatrical experiences. When David Threlfall took his curtain call as Smike, he hobbled on stage and as he came to the front he straightened up to his full stature and the whole theatre took a sharp intake of breath as we all realised the brilliance of his physical performance.

I would like to play... Hermia from A Midsummer Night's Dream... because I am short and I love the way she yells at Helena. 

David Stevens

David Stevens, Theatre Guide and VIP Experience Host 

I work in: Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Other Place 

My job in one sentence: To ensure that tours are a valuable experience and people leave knowing a little bit more about the theatre - and how important the audience are to us!

The most exciting thing about my job: Taking first-time visitors around the theatre, and doing enough to inspire people to return to see a production. 

The most unexpected thing about my job: Meeting people on tours who I haven't seen in 40 years!

Favourite RSC show: Always the latest production, but if I had to choose I'd say Paapa Essiedu in Hamlet. But what a magnificent year 2016 has been with the ground-breaking Tempest and The Seven Acts of Mercy which is brimming with compassion. 

I would like to play... Having played Hal in 1966, I'd love to play his dad, Henry IV. 

What does Chinese New Year mean to me? I lived in Hong Kong and Singapore for six years, and one of my daughters was born out there in the year of the Rabbit. There is an unwritten rule where my friends from Hong Kong send me Christmas cards, and I send them Chinese New Year cards. This has been going on for 40 years! 

Being a Rooster I tend to blow my own trumpet - cock a doodle do!

Michael Chakraverty

Michael Chakraverty, Front of House Manager  

I work in: a variety of venues really, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan and The Other Place.

My job in one sentence: I manage our performances as well as various events, exhibitions and the day-to-day running of the RSC.

The most exciting thing about my job:  Taking first-time visitors around the theatre, and doing enough to inspire people to return to see a production.  No two days are the same - you never know what'll happen! 

The most unexpected thing about my job: The wide-range of productions, events and audiences; there is always something going on. 

Favourite RSC show: Richard II (2013). It really came to life for me in this production. 

I would like to play... Lady Macbeth. Everyone loves a good baddie, eh. Being a man didn't matter back in the day... 

Rhiannon Jenkins

Rhiannon Jenkins, Estates Assistant   

 

I work in: our London venues, and sometimes Stratford-upon-Avon

My job in one sentence: Organising meeting rooms, rehearsal rooms and accommodation, along with keeping the London office running - and stocked with tea and coffee, the most important task.

The most exciting thing about my job: Just being involved in the RSC. I'm a big theatre lover, so it's been great fun getting to see behind-the-scenes. 

The most unexpected thing about my job: The amount of property the RSC owns - it's not just the Swan and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre y'know! 

Favourite RSC show: Hmmm, Midsummer Night's Dream - it's a lot of fun and it's totally mad. 

I would like to play... Lady Macbeth, because she's a total badass and completely loses the plot. Plus, she's the one really pulling the strings.

 

Barbara Penfold

Barbara Penfold, Senior Sales Assistant 

I work in: the Royal Shakespeare Theatre shop 

My job in one sentence: Supporting our manager and the other senior sales assistants in ensuring the smooth running of the shop! 

The most exciting thing about my job: Variety!

The most unexpected thing about my job: The strange requests we can get from some patrons.

Favourite RSC show: Midsummer Night's Dream - I saw it at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park and it was magical. 

I would like to play... Ophelia because I love, love, love the quote "Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be".

What does Chinese New Year mean to me? I love that it is based on the lunar calendar as the moon has always fascinated me.

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown, Marketing Officer 

I work in: RSC head office, Stratford-upon-Avon

My job in one sentence: It's a fast paced environment and there is always something new to be getting on with. 

The most exciting thing about my job: Going behind the scenes and meeting the cast and crew to Tweet, Instagram and Facebook about our shows.

The most unexpected thing about my job: Again, it's really fast paced and each week is completely different to the last. 

Favourite RSC show: I think The Tempest was outstanding. 

I would like to play... Iago. The villains are always more interesting.