Spotlight On: Backstage and Beyond

Interviewing theatre folk has quickly become my favourite thing in lockdown. With theatres closed, I’ve been bamboozled by what to do with the gained hours. Think about it. No hours travelling to and from theatres; no pre-show socialising; no hours in auditoriums watching shows; no time spent chatting in intervals or post-show drinks; no time spent writing up reviews. Accumulatively, that’s a lot of unwanted gained time! It took a good few weeks of staring at the walls of a house I generally barely see, but this lass now has a plan…

Over the years, I’ve interviewed lots of fantastic creatives working in the industry. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have chatted to founders and ADs of companies I’ve loved for years since lockdown and it’s been a therapy of sorts to chat to directors and casts of the shows that have stayed with me and to be able to rave about theatre and shared heroes. My wish list when it comes to companies and casts is still going, but now I’m heading out in a new direction.

The next big thing is to head ‘backstage and beyond’, chatting to all those heroes we don’t generally get to see, those who make up the industry ‘village’ bringing those shows we all miss to stages. With luck on my side and willing interviewees (furlough rules permitting), I’ll be chatting to representatives across the board, from those with outreach roles to dramaturgs, from designers to stage management, from dressers to MDs. So watch this space for more interviews with fab theatre folk – the first is listed below and I’ll be updating this page regularly.

If you work backstage or beyond and you’re free for a natter, get in touch here – I’d love to hear from you!

First up is Tom Bird, Executive Director of York Theatre Royal, who chats about the leap from Executive Producer at the Globe to Executive Director of a producing and receiving regional theatre with an exceptional legacy. Touching on the opportunities and challenges he’s faced since arriving into the role in 2018, Bird offers some great insight into the running of an ambitious theatre with a bold and brave vision for the future – pour yourself a cuppa, get cosy and read the interview here.

Next up is Monica Nicolaides, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share when it comes to chatting about working as both Choreographer and Movement Director. She’s a featured choreographer for One Dance UK and has been one of Hiive’s ‘One-to-watch’ and has received support previously from Arts Council England. As someone who has been working across theatre, dance, opera and film, Monica is pretty much a treasure trove and in this natter, she ruminates on some subtle distinctions, discusses work from her impressive portfolio and shines a light on the processes of crafting movement for performance. Read the interview here.

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