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Published 22nd Nov 2011

David with props

A talented designer has been parading his skills on the stage after securing a job on London’s South Bank.

Cleveland College of Art and Design student David Cruikshank was offered a job on the popular play ‘Parade’ at the Southwark Playhouse after graduating with a first class honours degree in entertainment design crafts.

The 22-year-old said: “I was really shocked and amazed that I got a first, but absolutely delighted. All my hard work paid off, which is just brilliant and I enjoyed celebrating the good news.”

David secured the role of assistant designer working for the first time in the theatre with a live audience.

“I went all the way to London for the interview and I got on really well with the designer,” he said. “I think he was impressed that I had travelled so far to get the job. I was over the moon when he told me I’d got the position; it was so exciting.”

Parade chronicles the life of a Jewish worker wrongly accused of rape. Set in Georgia in 1913, it is based on a true story about trying to prove his innocence.

David said: “I was involved in making the whole set, using sheets of wood, steel for a balcony and even a prison cell.

“When the producer saw it he said it was just like walking onto the original model for the play. I was so pleased that he liked the end result.”

The play was a huge success receiving top reviews from the Independent, Evening Standard and the Gay Times and David’s work was seen by packed audiences every night.

“This was my first proper theatre experience and I loved it,” he said. “It was so good seeing the reaction of people in the audience and seeing them admire my work; it was just amazing and I would love to do it again.”

The set wasn’t the first time David’s work had been admired by hundreds of people, as he also recently designed and produced props for the popular theme park Lightwater Valley, near Ripon, in North Yorkshire.

David said: “I designed and produced ceiling paintings for the new ‘Skeleton Cove’ and the ‘Hungry Harbour’ restaurant area.

“They seemed really pleased and it’s great to think that so many people will see my work.”

David had high praise for CCAD for helping him prepare for work.

“The skills I’ve learned have really helped me and the tutors really pushed me to make the most of my talents,” he said.

“They encouraged me to get as much work experience as possible and I am really pleased they did as it gave me the confidence I needed to make contacts with the right people in the industry. They also taught me that nothing is impossible.”

Useful links

Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD)

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