Opus takes the ‘Question Time’ stage


Last Thursday 19th May saw Opus directors Ann Tonks & Irene Allan and Marketing Assistant; Natalie Robinson join the audience of BBC Question Time held at Walsall Town Hall.

Pre-Question TimeIt was the perfect opportunity to listen to people’s views on the upcoming EU Referendum in June. It was also perfect timing for Opus, as we got a little practice in before our own Opus in Conversation EU discussion that took place the day after on Friday 20th May.

The evening started with a check-in where we were handed an official Question Time slip to fill out the one question that we had chosen to ask (if selected). We were in a canteen style room at first where people could network, grab a coffee and biscuits. The room filled up rapidly between 6.15 and 6.30pm and we were due to head to the studio around 7.30pm. As we were waiting in the room, David Dimbleby popped by to introduce himself and talked us through the process of the recording. David gave us a little practice run, by giving people an opportunity to ask him a few questions including very open and quite personal questions; someone got straight in there with the big Q of: “So David, will you be voting IN or OUT?!” -from this comment, we knew what kind of evening it was about to become, an interesting one at that! We were also told by David that we were the chosen 150 people from over 800 applicants!

Afterwards we moved in to the main hall where the filming took place. We were told we were going to have a practice run, with volunteers from the audience to pose as panellists alongside a great acting comparer who softened the tension and made the experience comical but still on topic. Unfortunately there wasn’t a volunteer from Opus! We spent an hour or so firing questions back and forth to the acting panel – this was a great warm up which definitely geared the audience for the live show. Shortly after, the filming team advised us that only 5 questions had been chosen; it was a nerve-wracking moment to find out whether or not someone from Team Opus was to be selected – unfortunately not, but the questions chosen by Question Time team covered most the topics many of the audience would have asked.

We were told that the real filming was about to commence and that no editing would be made for the show, therefore everyone was supposed to be on their best behaviour (which turned out to be the case). David introduced the panel to us prior to the airing and then the show started with title music. Panellists included Amber Rudd, Yvette Cooper, Tim Farron, Paul Nuttall and Paul Mason, each with very different and interesting backgrounds.

The debate started straight away with the 1st question – fantastic points were made which triggered into a debate touching on several issues which then lead to a hearty hour’s discussion. Before we knew it, David closed the show and that was that. We can’t wait to go back!

Overall all, it was a very interesting evening which all of us are so glad we got to participate in! As mentioned it was perfect timing for our own in-house EU discussion which took place on Friday 20th May. A voice recording of our debate can be heard via Clive Reeves PR:

Our next ‘Opus in Conversation’ will be Bees in an Urban Environment.

If you missed Question Time on Thursday 19th May you can watch it here and try and spot some familiar faces:

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