This is what it's really like to organise the most secretive event in the UK

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Hannah Keegan
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Amber Molyneux, 30, is a producer at Secret Cinema. She lives in London with her husband, Jonathan. 

My alarm goes off…

At 6.10am. Most days, I head straight out the door to the gym. I have a breakfast of fruit and yoghurt when I get back. I usually wear a smart dress – either Sandro or Claudie Pierlot – and flat shoes. I’ll check my emails on the way to work. I’m in the office for 9.30am.

I’m responsible for… 

Delivering Secret Cinema’s amazing immersive productions. This involves coordinating with all our different departments such as production, design and casting to ensure everything is on time, on budget and as magical as it can be. I manage four people in my production team but we have about 250 people working on one show. Right now I am working on Romeo + Juliet.

I got my job… 

By stumbling upon my talents. I originally wanted to be a journalist and studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire. My first job was working on BBC Four’s radio dramas – I realised that I was really good at organising all the moving parts of a show and loved seeing it come to life. I went on to work in the BBC’s Edinburgh Festival team for four years before joining Secret Cinema this year.

Glamorous masks and a packed agenda: all in a day’s work for Amber 

My typical day…

Sees me sort through all my emails as soon as I arrive at the office. Then I meet with the creative team to go over where we’re up to in terms of planning. Often, I’ll bring all the departments together to discuss where the project is at, what needs to be done and what our focus is for the week. We have a very strict timeline to ensure that everything launches correctly. At times, we’re pushing to make something work against all the odds. 

I’m in constant contact with my team of four over WhatsApp – we’re like a hive mind. I focus on the end game and they make sure that all the production is ticking along. Our priorities are constantly changing depending on how far along in the project we are. At the start we might be casting and looking for vendors, then we’ll start pulling together the initial plans and later we formulate the event management and nail down all the health and safety and operations. 

I try to stop for lunch at 1.30pm – usually a falafel wrap or salad – but sometimes it’s 3pm or 4pm if I’m busy. My production assistant tells me off. The afternoon is usually taken up with site visits or meeting council members, partners and suppliers. I leave around 7pm.

Secret Cinema are currently working on Romeo + Juliet 

My most memorable work moment… 

Was when I saw Secret Cinema’s Back To The Future, before I even got the job. The stage opened and the DeLorean came out just like in the film: it was amazing to witness. I knew I wanted to work for them.

The worst part of my job…

Is the secrecy. It is so difficult when you’re making all these exciting plans that you can’t talk about. We have to sign NDAs.

The best part of my job… 

Is seeing people’s faces when they come to our shows. They see what we’ve made and their eyes light up.

After work… 

I like to relax. My husband often cooks – something like chilli and wedges. Then we’ll watch The Split or Westworld. I’m constantly thinking, so I write down anything that’s worrying me ready to pick up the next day. I’m in bed by 10.30pm.

My Plan B: Detective

I have always wanted to be a detective. Maybe I’d be a freelance private investigator – how cool would that be? I’ve always been good at solving problems and I use that skill in my job now. But I like the idea of putting clues together, too.

Images: Liz Gregg