Creative Access
Resident design assistant (paid training programme)

Resident design assistant (paid training programme)

locationLondon, UK
ExpiresExpires: 26/08/2022
Production / Post-Production & Technical
£20,000 to £30,000 per year

Closing date: Friday 26 August 2022 at 12 noon

Salary: £25,000

Status: 24 months fixed-term, full-time

Start date: October 2022 (ideal but negotiable)

First interviews: w/c 12 September or w/c 19 September 2022


We’re looking for an exciting early career theatre designer to join our busy team for a fixed term of two years.

This opportunity would suit someone interested in the work and mission of the Unicorn, who is in the early stages of a career in theatre design, and who is keen to gain professional experience alongside their ongoing personal artistic development.

The traineeship includes regular mentoring by industry professionals, and training personalised to you, alongside carbon literacy, disability awareness and creative access training sessions, to further build on and consolidate your skills and experience as a designer.

The Resident Design Assistant will be part of all the artistic activity at the Unicorn, including in-house shows, co-productions, touring and digital projects as part of Unicorn Online. There’s also the opportunity to work across the organisation, to gain understanding and insight into the operations, programming and project development of a dynamic producing venue.

Because of the nature of this role, we would hope to meet in-person at the Unicorn building for interviews. If this is not possible, a Zoom interview can be arranged. Travel costs beyond the M25 will be reimbursed.



  • Supporting the Production department in delivering shows including design of set and costume elements of Unicorn productions in the main-house and studio theatres including preparation, delivery and execution.
  • Undertaking research prior to rehearsal as required.
  • Assisting freelance designers on Unicorn productions. This may include model making, technical drawing, either at the Unicorn or in the designer's studio and attending meetings with Unicorn production management. (It is not essential that the candidate is highly skilled in all areas and the role will be tailored to the strengths of the candidate and we will help develop those areas in which they may have less experience.)
  • Assisting on fabric sampling and costume buying
  • Attending costume fittings where appropriate
  • Attending rehearsals at the discretion of the Director
  • Attending and supporting production meetings and model showings
  • As required, attending previews of the Unicorn’s work as part of the extended creative team
  • Attend internal and external readings, sharings and workshops
  • Attend and participate in Engagement events, projects and workshops as required as part of the Unicorn’s co-creation strategy working in partnership with schools and community groups.
  • Assisting on Front of house and other general design projects
  • Attend regular programming meetings including script reading.
  • Join occasional senior team and board meetings as appropriate for strategy sessions.
  • Attend all company annual ‘away-days’, press nights and development events as reasonably required.
  • See work in the UK as required (ticket and travel costs beyond London covered by the Unicorn).
  • Support the Unicorn’s artist and talent development initiatives on a strategic level, including attending Freelancer forum sessions.
  • Attend and become an active member of internal sub-committee working groups: Health & Safety, Sustainability, IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, Access).
  • Adhere to Health & Safety rules, and industry legislation and standards, including the Unicorn Safeguarding Policy and Data Protection Policy, and to be mindful of the theatre’s commitment to Equal Opportunities.


Knowledge, skills, experience

  • Practical experience in a professional and/or fringe theatre context or a recent BA or MA in theatre, costume or performance design
  • A passion for theatre and commitment to building a career in the arts.
  • An understanding of and interest in the artistic vision of the Unicorn and its work.
  • Organised with ability to deliver to deadlines.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure.
  • Knowledge of how to work to budget and creatively problem-solve.
  • The discretion, sensitivity, interpersonal and communication skills to be able to work effectively with a wide range of freelance artists, production teams, and staff across artistic projects.
  • Interest in and knowledge of sustainability and accessibility issues and a commitment to improving and implementing good practice across productions.
  • A willingness to work flexible hours and travel occasionally.
  • A commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity.


If you need this information in an alternative format, please contact in the first instance.

Please state in your application that you found this role through Creative Access. 

Years of experience

  • Entry

Salary range

  • £20,000 to £30,000 per year