Thoughts from an Old Vic intern


For the past five years, we have been working with Southwark Council to provide a paid internship opportunity for young people looking for experience in the theatre. Stella Ajayi was the seventh person to take up the post, leaving us for an exciting new challenge with Tamasha Theatre Company. Before she headed off, we caught up with her to hear more about her time at The Old Vic.

‘I found out about the Southwark Intern Scheme through The Old Vic website. I was always intrigued by theatre but never had much opportunity to attend as I didn’t think it would be as accessible to someone like me. I decided to apply because I was passionate about engaging young people from less privileged backgrounds with theatre and the arts in general. The Educational and Community team offer a wide range of programmes and workshops for schools and young people, and so I thought this role would be a great way for me to get involved in helping make things happen.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the internship as it was the first ‘real’ job I had that was in the arts industry. I therefore had no real expectations, so I was often left pleasantly surprised by the magnitude of opportunities this department offers to people all over London.

I have been lucky enough to see multiple projects come to fruition, that have and will continue to benefit a diverse range of people. One particular highlight has been working on the Front Line scheme. I have really enjoyed reading applications, meeting and working with the young people from the scheme and watching them grow throughout the programme. This was also the first year that The Old Vic has worked with The Prince’s Trust on their ‘Get Hired’ programme, and I was lucky enough to meet and interview a series of remarkable potential Front Line candidates.

After five amazing months here at The Old Vic, I am now off to Tamasha Theatre Company to become their Administrative and Producing Assistant. I can gladly say that if it wasn’t for my experience here I would not have gained the knowledge, experience and passion for theatre that would be necessary to attain a role like that.

If I could offer any words of wisdom to the next Southwark Intern I would say, first and foremost, have as much fun as you possibly can whilst being here! By that I mean try and get stuck into as many projects, workshops, training programmes etc. as possible that the Education and Community team work on with schools and young people. There is nothing quite like helping out with the administration involved in seeing these projects from the inception, to then being there hands on with meeting and watching those who will benefit from it most. Additionally, if you ever feel stuck in any way, always ask! The team are so warm and supportive that they will always be there to assist you in anything that you feel you need help on.’

Applications for the next Southwark Intern are now open. Click here to find out more.