A day in the life of… Joe Janman, Box Office Supervisor



How long have you been working at The Marlowe Theatre?
Coming up to two and a half years.

What does a typical day for you look like?
It varies, according to what’s going on. Between us as a supervisory team we divide our time between The Marlowe Lab, answering the phones, and the front desk in the main building. If there’s a show on, it’s often very busy with customers trying to come and get last minute tickets, collect their tickets and other things, on a day without a show, it’s generally quite quiet on the desk, but there’s always stuff going on, and phones to pick up, as well as all the admin that we do – all the banking, cashing up and just monitoring sales and responding to emails.

Did you choose to work in theatre or was it just co-incidence?
My degree is in English Literature, and I studied an awful lot of plays and drama as part of that, but where I’ve worked previously has all been in customer service and then this came up, and was a fantastic opportunity to put both backgrounds and experience together.

What are your first memories of theatre?
It was at the old Marlowe. I think it either The Hobbit or The Lord Of The Rings, something like that, I don’t remember an awful lot of it, I was very young, I just remember being in a theatre. Aside from that, pantomime.

What is the best part of your job?
I enjoy talking to customers, and sharing an interest with them. You’ll get people who just want to book their tickets, and you’ll have a five minute conversation with them, but you get customers who have really interesting insight into things, and it’s fun to chat to them and work out what they like, and get them excited about what’s coming up. One of the other things is that a lot of our customers do come in with specific needs, and I get a lot of job satisfaction out of being able to provide them with that service. Especially when that’s children’s performances and you’ve got children with disabilities, or learning difficulties, and getting them into something and meeting their needs, so they can enjoy it, I think that’s probably the best part.

And what frustrates you about the job?
I think with any customer service role, it’s difficult when things go wrong. We do try our best, and we do what we can within the parameters we have, there are times when that’s never going to be enough, and you can never please everybody all the time.

What would you say has been your proudest moment since working at The Marlowe?
Inevitably, things are going to happen, stuff’s going to go wrong, shows are going to have to be cancelled, or technology is going to fail you, because it does at times, and the proudest moments for me are when you deal with that.

Favourite productions you’ve seen at The Marlowe?
The shows that I would see over and over again, despite the fact that I know what’s going to happen would be The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong. They are the first pieces of theatre that I’ve seen that really made me go “Wow!”. When you leave somewhere and your sides actually hurt from laughing. How you can make something looks like it’s going so wrong, but be in complete and utter control, and know exactly what’s happening, is art, it’s such a talent.

Outside of work I…
I’m a musician, and my faith plays a lot into that, so I normally lead worship at my church. I would say I pick up my guitar at least once a day, and do something, whether that’s just playing, or writing something new. I love watching sport, and taking part in sport.

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