Backstage at The Lowry: Steve McEachran, Deputy House Manager.

I joined The Lowry in September 2002. Firstly as part of the Conference and Events Team and then the front of house team in May 2004.

As Deputy House Manager my main role is to duty manage shows – liaising with the company and technicians, briefing our ushers and making sure that the audience are in their seats ready for the start of the show.

I like to live dangerously. I have been known to make up a tannoy announcement on the spot rather than write and follow a script. This has on a number of occasions tripped me up. I remember once referring to the merchandise stand as being opposite the post office (rather than box office). When there are several shows on in one day it can be quite frantic and I have been known to get The Lyric and the Quays mixed up when making announcements and confusing morning, matinee and evening show times. I am of course a trained professional and I am sure no one notices!

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Another responsibility I have with FoH is to manage our 19 strong Casual Information Assistants. Their role is to welcome our visitors into the building and provide them with the information they need so that their visit Is as pleasurable as possible. And of course no visit is complete without a copy of The Lowry Guide book at just £4!

On busy matinee days our Information Assistants play a crucial part in identifying visitors as they enter the building and making sure they get to the correct event, conference, show or exhibition.

My third role in the FoH department is to help manage the 300 strong volunteer programme. Every year I organise the recruitment and devise a training programme for the volunteers. On average each year we will have 90 applicants to join the programme and we usually take on between 15 and 25 volunteers.

I really enjoy working at The Lowry. My job is varied and keeps me on my toes. It’s great when a big show like War Horse or Wicked come to us. It means we can pull out all the stops and show off our brilliant building.

I am very excited about the next phase of development within the building both structurally with the bar, restaurant and foyer lighting and also artistically with the studio programme.

The FoH department has been referred to as “the department of smiles” I am proud of that title. Being friendly, helpful and welcoming to people is a great way to make a living!

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