Title: INSTALLATIONS DIRECTOR
With experience in the theatre industry spanning back to 1984, Alan Jackson is a valuable member of our team and heads up Hawthorn’s Install department.
Having joined Hawthorn in 2004, Alan’s passion and knowledge within the sector soon enabled him to progress to his current position where he has overseen a multitude of projects, ranging from school halls and churches to News UK’s broadcast studios and the Crucible Theatre. We caught up with him to find out more…
Having joined Hawthorn as a Business Development Manager for the whole business, what attracted you to focus on installations as the business grew?
I have a lot of experience of the theatre industry and it felt natural for me to bring this knowledge forward and apply it to installations. I like the idea that the work we do for a venue could last anywhere up to 20 years, being used by many, many people for all kinds of productions and events.
You’re often out and about visiting venues across the country, what might you get up to on a day-to-day basis?
Our team pride ourselves on high standards and a main of area my focus is overseeing all of our work to ensure we maintain this, providing a consistent and high quality service to our customers.
I regularly visit new customers to carry out consultations on their requirements to make sure we deliver everything right first time. I also get involved in ongoing projects, carrying out site visits and project meetings to check progress, maintain standards and ensure we deliver on time.
Hawthorn has experienced rapid growth in recent years, what does the future hold for our Install team?
I have been with the business since there were just 30 members of staff but our core beliefs of high quality, value for money and a focus on customer service and retention still ring true and will stand us in good stead for future success.
The Install team works across a range of venues and, with a focus on continued growth over the coming years, we’ll be aiming to maintain a breadth to our work that gives us highly desirable skills.
After 12 years in the business you must have worked on some interesting projects, is there one that’s been particularly memorable?
I don’t have a particular favourite but I really enjoy working on school projects. Installing theatres and studios that I know will get lots of use and help young people pursue their interest in the industry gives me great joy.
Part of my role includes training clients on how to use the kit we’ve installed – it’s great to receive positive feedback about how they’re putting their new skills to the test to deliver some great productions.
You started your career in theatre – do you have a favourite production?
I don’t have as much time to get to the theatre as I’d like to nowadays however some of my most enjoyable experiences have been in the audience at lesser known productions. Two that stand out for me are from the 1980s. One was a play called Marilyn that had a six month run in the West End and the other’s name escapes me but it took place in Hammersmith and the Russian director used lighting and direction in really interesting ways that have stuck with me ever since.