From Prodigy sound engineer to gifted teacher

Chris Layton who has won a Technical Theatre Award.
Chris Layton who has won a Technical Theatre Award.
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A senior lecturer in sound technology, who has worked with bands such as The Prodigy and The Pogues, has received a national accolade for his teaching.

Chris Layton, from Heckmondwike, now works at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), and was presented with the TTA award for outstanding achievement.

The inaugural Technical Theatre Awards celebrate the UK live entertainment industry’s backstage professionals.

“It was a really nice surprise to be nominated – these sorts of things don’t happen very often – and very flattering to get the award,” said Chris, whose teaching specialism is live sound.

Chris, who was a sound engineer for touring acts such as The Prodigy and The Pogues for 15 years before joining LIPA in 2000, said: “I’m teaching exactly what I was out there doing.

“As well as giving the students a broad technical understanding of their craft, I ensure they have a strong awareness of the importance of the non-technical aspects of the industry such as people skills, budgeting and time management. These are so vital.”

Chris, who grew up in Mirfield, still works on gigs and festivals outside term time.

“I like the challenge and immediacy of it all, particularly festivals,” he said.

“There’s nothing better than looking out over thousands of faces having a good time – and knowing you have been a part of that. The buzz is incredible.”