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I did an Interview for RCSSD which can be found below

Theatre Sound Student Story: Ben Smith

Talking about why I chose to study Theatre Sound at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Also different projects I was involved with whilst studying there.

The Empress | Sound Designer

The Empress | Embassy Theatre, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
June 2017
Director: Pooja Ghai
Designer: Diego Pitarch | Ass. Designer: Khadija Raza | Lighting Designer: Zak Macro

It is 1887 and Rani Das and Abdul Karim arrive at London’s Tilbury Docks after a long sea voyage from India. Rani, an Indian ayah, is ruthlessly abandoned by the English family that brought her to London and has to battle for survival. Abdul Karim, who has been sent to the palace as a jubilee gift, has to face increasing scrutiny about the closeness of his relationship, as servant and munshi, to Queen Victoria.

This epic play portrays Victorian England from the unfamiliar perspective of the Indians living in London. The Empress was first performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2013.

© Tanika Gupta. Copyright agent: Alan Brodie Representation Ltd.
Photos of the production provided by Zak Macro 

Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty | Sound Designer

Tomorrow I’ll be Twenty | Pleasance Theatre Main House
February/March 2017
Director: Catherine Alexander
Designer: Bethany Wells | Lighting Designer: Johanne Jensen | Video Designer: Cate Blanchard

Based on Alain Mabanckou’s novel, this is ten-year-old Michel’s exuberant eye witness account of growing up in 1970s Pointe Noire, Congo. This captivating comic story explores rampant capitalism dressed up as Marxist struggle.

A video trailer for the complete season can be viewed here, featuring the music that I created for the production.

From Morning to Midnight | Sound Designer

From Morning to Midnight | Webber Douglas, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
December 2016
Director: John Walton
Designer: Lia Waber | Lighting Designer: Liam Tranter

A young clerk steals 60,000 marks from the bank he works in to help a beautiful Italian customer, who he believes wants to elope with him. Having burnt his bridges, he embarks on an extraordinary journey to find some meaning to his life. This German expressionist play explodes the cosy hypocrisy of bourgeois life and has been brought to vivid life in Dennis Kelly’s translation which premiered at the National Theatre in 2013.

Richard III | Sound Designer

Richard III | Studio 1 Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
June 2016
Director: Simon Dormandy
Designer: Ella-Rae Gordon | Lighting Designer: Olivia Wilson & Lauren Woodhead

I created this piece for when the ghosts haunt Richard during the final moments of Richard III. I abstracted lots of different sounds within my archive to create this mysterious theme. I love how this helped to create tension within the space and created an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Wastwater | Sound Designer

Wastwater | Speculative Design Project Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
March 2016
Designers: Elphie Ellis & Maddie Mellon | Lighting Designer: Beth Gupwell

This is part of my Sound Design for Wastwater. This transition soundscape was used to make the world of the play seem to be pulled apart by mechanical pieces. The Speculative Design was based across the road from Central in the Hampstead Theatre.

London Bridge Project

London Bridge Project | Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
October 2015

The London Bridge Project was a Sound Design task we had in our first term at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Most of the sounds used in this were completely abstracted. The crunching sounds were created using a coffee cup lid that somebody had just chucked on the pavement. The recorded sounds used in this project where completely recorded by myself in the London Bridge area.

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