February 13, 2023

A Theatretrain Hero

When Theatretrain opened its doors in 1992 there were two students who have gone on to take very different journeys in the performing arts industry. One was the irrepressible Gemma Collins. She is described as a  media personality and businesswoman and has 2 million followers on Instagram and over 1 million on Twitter.

But today I want to write about the other ex-student, Jason Kew. Both Jason and Gemma went to Lingen in Germany to represent Great Britain at the World Festival of Children’s Theatre. Jason also performed in our Beatles Show – The Long and Winding Road – the first time we played the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Jason liked performing but he developed a real interest in the technical side of theatre.

He worked extensively in the Westend and Disneyland during his late teenage years.  At age 19 he went to work at the Barbican Centre in the City of London – the world-renowned theatre and concert hall and home of the London Symphony Orchestra.  He worked his way through the ranks to eventually become the technical supervisor and Head of Lighting at the Concert Hall and he is currently the Acting Technical Manager. Alongside his work at the Barbican, he has freelanced as a lighting designer including for acts such as Take That, Little Mix, S Club 7, Westlife, Kylie and Elton John.   He has also worked on TV and Film on a variety of shows from Ant and Dec, Big Brother to Harry Potter, Marvel Films and James Bond. He is currently working on a number of Netflix productions, alongside designing tours for bands and Artists in the U.K. and abroad. Last year he designed the lighting for Paul Weller when he recorded a set at the Barbican. He is simply an industry professional.

Apart from being a family man he is also a very nice person. Jason has never forgotten where he came from. All these years he has been our stage manager and called all our large-scale productions. He doesn’t need to work with Theatretrain but I’m glad he does. When we go into a big venue like the Theatre Royal Drury Lane or the Royal Albert Hall he speaks the language that other professionals understand. He has our back and being entirely unflappable he holds what we do together backstage. When, in one day, you have to bring together sound, lighting, an orchestra and 1200 young people you need someone at the centre of things who can talk it through and unite everyone backstage. And he’ll be doing it again this September when we return to the Royal Albert Hall.

So today Jason I salute your professionalism, I’m proud of what you have achieved but most of all I thank you for your incredible loyalty – you are one of those people who definitely put something back.  

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

Related Articles

Flying through Flanders

Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, recounts his Antwerp escapade, from coffee calamities to exploring vibrant theatres and explores how Belgium see value in the arts.
Read more >

Crazy for You

Join Theatretrain Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett as he shares the enchanting experience of watching 'Crazy for You' at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Dive into the magic of tap dancing, embrace the cheesy love stories, and discover why this musical is a perfect blend of joy and optimism.
Read more >

A Success Story

Dive into the vibrant world of theatre magic with Kevin Dowsett, Theatretrain's Artistic Director. Today, he shares the incredible journey of Callum Balmforth, a former student turned professional performer, making waves on and offstage!
Read more >

Saying Yes to Ideas

In this insightful blog, our Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, explores the power of saying yes to ideas and the transformative impact it can have on creativity and communication.
Read more >

I Have a Dream   

In this blog post by Kevin Dowsett, the realms of reality TV and musical theatre come together. The blog provides a exploration of the inner mechanisms of a reality show, the varied skills of its contestants, and the skill of establishing a connection with an audience through song and character. His distinctive viewpoints illuminate this considerate analysis. For the complete blog post, please click on the link either above or below in the bio. ☝️👇
Read more >

Important Things in the Arts

In this blog by Theatretrain Director Kevin Dowsett, we delve into the vital role the arts played in his school days and how they shaped his career. Discover the concerning decline in performing arts education and the need to bring it back into the core of the school curriculum. Kevin emphasizes the life skills and personal growth that the arts provide and underscores their intrinsic value in nurturing young minds.
Read more >