After playing around with record players and tape decks with his Dad, Richard was first able to develop his interest in sound and lighting at school when the drama department at Kesgrave got a new studio. Mr. Punaks and co. entrusted a few of the kids to look after things and set up for school plays, school bands and after school functions (often in exchange for an excuse to avoid PE). After leaving school in 1990, he began helping behind the scenes at The Regent Theatre (then called the Odeon Cinema) and soon found he loved working backstage. Sound had always been a major interest and hobby and before long he started working with The Andy Betts Roadshow as a roadie and then Hollywood Nightclub as a technician where he was given the nickname "Flipper" because of his size 12 feet.
In 1994, a friend asked if he could help with sound for a small pantomime in a local church as their regular guy was no longer available. He agreed and went along with a home made multi-core, a borrowed mixer and the sound system he had built up on the roadshows. When asked what he wanted put in the programme, he decided he should actually start thinking about being a proper company and from the name Flipper, Dolphin Productions was born. Things went well and at the end of the week, he was asked if he could return the following year. Another two years under his belt and the lighting man decided to retire so Dolphin Productions took that over too.
Over the years the company has grown, more equipment has been bought, and more customers reached and helped. We are now a large company with a very diverse customer base. One day we're installing a new lighting rig in a school, the next we could be off on tour providing all the technical aspects of the show and a team of staff looking after it. We currently provide services such as:
Production management for numerous shows for a large pantomime company working all round the UK;
Supplying and building a full music festival site including putting up a stage with sound and lighting, erecting over 50 tents and supplying electricity around the whole site for them;
Technical support and equipment for bands, local am-dram groups, education services, the local council and regular work in various parts of Europe with touring bands.
We have now relocated to just outside Ipswich bringing our office and warehouse together in one location which has helped us streamline how things run and also given us a new base where we can have client meetings.
Most importantly of all, it doesn't matter how much we grow or how busy we get, you will still always find us at Dryden Road Church in February helping Castle Hill Amateur Players (CHAPs) stage their pantomime, and Richard will be forever grateful to both Mr Punaks who gave him his "start" in this industry and his parents for their support (and patience when he regularly filled their front room with large speakers and racks that "needed repair").