Ned Lay
Ned Lay
Old Bedalian 2009

I left Bedales and went to Australia for 9 months and ran farms as a Farm Manager moving to different locations along the east coast for the harvest of crops. Then I came back to London and worked with my father as a greengrocer for a bit, but I did my back in and spent 6 months in physical therapy and physio. I decided to train as an electrician and studied at City of Westminster College for two years before starting up my own business.

My partner at the time helped get me a part-time job at a pub with a theatre above it and I started helping them out with odds and ends, and ended up being their technical manager. Later, I decided to go off and do the festival circuit as an infrastructure manager (looking after power, water, waste) and when that job finished I started work at Central Saint Martins as a technician and soon became a production assistant. I spent three years there, producing shows on behalf of the drama centre and reached production manager, all the while still doing my freelance work.

I decided to apply to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - which Vikki Alderson-Smart recommended I do when I received my A-Level results. I continued my freelance work part-time while studying Technical Production Management.

At the beginning of this year I managed my first West End production and multiple other productions, and now I’m currently touring the UK with Transporting Live as their production manager, having suspended my studies to take this opportunity. I hope to do another national tour, a pair of shows in the West End, and hopefully tour the world before the year is out!

Beadles helped me understand self-worth and the importance of doing something that creatively challenges you and drives you every single day


Beadles helped me understand self-worth and the importance of doing something that creatively challenges you and drives you every single day, learning from others to benefit the bigger picture. Appreciating people’s knowledge as much as my own and striving to improve myself continually. Beadles helped nurture my creativity and embrace it and allow me to help others to develop their creativity. It has helped me see what my true passion is: helping to create people’s creative visions.

Interesting other activities: worked in bars, travelled, met famous people (almost ran over Jamie Oliver…), worked for the government as a consultant, have taught students, done other weird and wonderful things - but my work is my passion, it’s what gets me up at 6am every morning and sends me to sleep at midnight. 

The arts, more specifically the technical and production side of the arts, is going through huge reforms over the next couple of years - the transition is going to be amazing. I would love to be coming in to this industry at the age of 18 where change is already rife and not being privy to the archaic practices and beliefs. I’m incredibly lucky. I have pushed myself and keep on pushing, I have a range of mentors who I rely on and who are absolutely fantastic, all with their own skills and practices and individual paths they have travelled. It has helped me realise that our own development as a person is so reliant on experiences with others. 

(July 2017)