Bob Bailey

A myblog.arts site

First Presentation – 6 minute presentation on who are you, who are your students


Presentation 6 minutes

an abridged version of the full powerpoint (due to small file size on a blog)



Presentation text:

Hello fellow students and Lecturers….

May I welcome to you to the premiere of:

  • 1# curtain

“The Bob Bailey Show”   Ta-da….

  • 2# bob bailey show

The year was 1966; Harold Wilson was Prime Minster and during the World Cup Last Round match of that year…

  • 3# applause and curtain open

just before ½ time – the Midwife called out from Mum and Dad’s East Ham, East London bedroom “Are you gonna come up and see the birth of your baby, Mr Bailey?”

So my Dad waited for ½ time and then scarpered up the stairs to witness the successful birth of me; a blood covered bonny baby weighing 64lbs (no, wait; that included the Midwife’s Medical case)…

  • 4# baby on scales

My Dad asked if the baby and Mother were doing well and as soon as he was told both were – he ran down the stairs to see England beat France   2 goals to Nil    going all the way to lift the World Cup (for the very last time EVER)

  • 5# england fans

I was a bit of a loaner and not an altoghter well little chap. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 9 years later. School life was okay, my Mum and Dad cared and supported me with the subtle love of the working Class.

  • 6# kids in the street

I wouldn’t play games with my older brother; I was never sports minded (a result, I believe, of my Dad’s rather short lasting interest in the my birth) and, somehow, I found going to the Theatre with my Mum a great thrill. She would take me to the Christmas shows at The London Palladium and, as a rare treat, would see a Musical (once every 5 years or so). I was fascinated by the magical world that I saw in front of me, all happening in real time but transporting from one world to another, with colours and costumes that I’d never witnessed before… I was “Hooked” (to use a Disney expression)

  • 7# Palladium

I made my own little theatre from chipboard and dowel, bicycle lamps and coloured sweet wrappers as lighting gels.

  • 8#   model theatre

It had a fly tower and a revolving stage and I would play for hours and hours putting on shows for no-one.   I obviously wouldn’t grow up to be a Producer or an Actor!

In my last year at comprehensive secondary school my previous Art Teacher asked if I wanted to take the Art ‘O’Level exam; he gave me the key to the studio and I spent my lunch hours painting and drawing on my own with no tuition. I was very surprised that it was one of 8 exams that I passed.

And I ended up with 5 job interviews;

4 Banks and

  • 9# logos

An Engineering Company

On being offered all of the jobs I needed to choose so I phoned each one up…

Midland took too long to answer the phone so I crossed that one off,

Nat West couldn’t tell me which branch I would be sent to so that one was off the list

The Bank of England said I would be burning old scrapped £1 notes which formed the heating system for the entire building so I crossed that one off,

Matthew Hall Engineering Company said I would be sent off to the North Sea to stay on an Oil Rig for over 6 months

  • 10# oil rig

I get sea sick and I’m afraid of heights so I thought “that ain’t gonna work”

So that left Lloyds Bank, where I was posted in Marylebone High Street rubbing shoulders with rock stars and Judges, Fashion Designers and Old dears with Purple rinsed hair… I lasted there for 3 years then went to another bank but resigned after 2 ½ years when I was told that Diabetics would not be included into the non-contributory Pension Scheme. Onto another bank…

  • 11#   suited man with briefcase

During that time I had been designing Amateur Theatre Company shows and had enrolled in an evening class at The City Lit to learn more about Theatre Design. It was at there that a fellow student said “Why don’t you do this for a living; you’ll need to study at BA level but I think you can do it”…

  • 12#  sketch of crow

So I prepared a very simple portfolio: I had no life drawing so I copied a book I bought, added some photos and sketches of my Am. Dram. designs and also made a model box and Set Design and drew costume designs for Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

  • 13#   model tree

At the interview I was told that my model trees were rather ‘mickey mouse’ (to which I replied that I had heard that Central Saint Martin’s taught all Students how to design the best trees in the world), but that my designs showed promise and my life drawing was fantastic…

  • 14#   oh no

On receiving my acceptance letter from CSM I had to tell my parents who were horrified. “What do you wanna study THAT for? You’ll be working wioth all those poofs !! Oh dear; how little did he know that THAT was one of the many reasons why I DID want to study it !

  • 15#   julian and sandy

So, I started my 3 year BA course at a fantastic College, in a fantastic central location, with fantastic fellow students and met some amazing Theatre Professionals. I graduated in 1993 and went straight into assisting many top-notch Theatre Designers for 2 years. I applied to the Arts Council for a Theatre Design Bursary and was amazed when they said I was to work at The Bristol Old Vic for a year.

  • 16#   translations

Yup; I popped several cherries and had a brilliant time there, returning to London to set forth as a Freelance Theatre Designer.

  • 17#   dick whittington

So 22 years of Theatre Design experience I have designed operas

  • 18#   don giovanni
  • 19#   tosca
  • 20#   macbeth
  • 21#   fedora

dance pieces for the Royal Ballet:

  • 22#   all nighter
  • 23#   all nighter costumes
  • 24#   Blood and rosemary  

Classic drama:

  • 25#   An Inspector calls
  • 26#   Strangers on a train
  • 27#   The Importance of Being Ernest
  • 28#   An enemy of the people

and new plays:

  • 29#   The empire
  • 30#   Bottle universe
  • 31#   Love Me Tonight
  • 32#   The Lieutenant of Inishmore
  • 33#   Moster Raving Looney
  • 34#   Reigen

and musicals:

  • 35#   Anything Goes
  • 36#   Cabaret
  • 37#   Never Forget
  • 38#   Rent

and devised works including DV8 Physical Theatre Company, working in most Theatres in England, and some in Scotland, Austria, Germany, Holland and Denamrk.

  • 39#   Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness
  • 40#   The Brothers Karamazov
  • 41#   DV8

I’ve also designed a TV show and was chief model maker for The Les Miserable Film.

  • 42# Les Miserable
  • 43#   assorted model making

meanwhile my health has deteriorated, the stress levels have increased, my hypo awareness isn’t great and the state of the Theatre Industry has become poorer, with less work being produced as Theatres Co-produce with other theatres which reduces the work for Directors, Designers, Writers and Actors alike.

  • 44# medicine, brexit, trump, etc

In 2015 I was asked by Nichola Fitchett, the then Pathway Leader of Theatre and Screen Design at CCW Foundation Course, if I was interested in helping out teaching her students. I agreed, remembering that my old CSM mates always said they learnt more from me than our Lecturers… I thought otherwise but believed I might need help with reducing how much dependance on freelance Theatre Designing I had.

  • 45#   lightbulb

So 3 years later and I’m still teaching at Foundation. I’m also involved with the INsights Programme and Widening Participation; teaching on Saturdays and during half term young newbies the skills and delights of Designing for the Stage and Screen. I have taught students for 3 weeks on the Summer School programme and have sarted helping out with Academic Support at Wimbledon College’s Theatre and Screen Design Departments.

  • 46#   CCW, Insights, WP, Academic support, study abroad

The current 67 students I teach at Foundation are, of course, a very mixed group.

  • 47#   flags

From different nations

  • 48#   theatre words

with different understandings

  • 49#   round and rectangular faces

very different outlooks

  • 50#   distinction merit

very different standards

  • 51#   money
  • 52#   fully booked
  • 53#   genius
  • 54#   fame

and very different ambitions

Our students may go on to study BA’s in a number of subjects such as Theatre Design, Costume Design, Production Design for Screen, Prop Making, Costume Making, Performance Artists and Designers, Hair Make-up and Prosthetics Designers, Scenic Artists, Puppeteers and Puppet and Mask making, Wig Makers etc. etc. etc.

  • 55#   phantom
  • 56#   queen of hearts
  • 57#   grand budapest hotel
  • 58#   harry potter head
  • 59#   rsc costume maker
  • 60#   performance design
  • 61#   muppets
  • 62#   hagred wig

Out of 67 Students we have about 15 who have mental health conditions that effect their concentration and attendance. Students suffer from stress, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety attacks, Diabetes, Dyslexia and Dismorphia. Some of these have not been declared but with the amount of Therapy and empathy that I have I hope I can help the students with their self-cofidence, their Design and making skills and help steer them to reach towards their ambitions.

  • 63#   happiness

Well, Ladies and Gents, my time is up and the plug will be pulled; It’s been a pleasure sharing my life with you in….   The Bob Bailey Show.

  • 64#   close curtains
  • 65#   that’s all folks and applause




The Powerpoint presentation lasted over the allocated 6 minutes.

I hadn’t had time to practice it in the room (it worked fine at home and lasted a few seconds over 6 minutes) and had a prepared text that accompanied the powerpoint.

So it went over the 6 minutes but I wasn’t allowed to continue to the end (it would have taken another 1 ½ minutes)…

The feedback from the group was really positive. It was “witty”, “gave a great insight as to who you are”, “was presented in a fun, entertaining way”

But it didn’t fulfil the brief as it went on too long, it did not talk about my students. The last 1 ½ minutes of the presentation was all about the students!

How very frustrated I feel; the time it took to do the powerpoint presentation (I have never made one before), writing the script and then having the nerve to stand infront of people to present it…


You live and learn !!

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