"It’s hard to see how this production could be improved on. Festive family theatre rarely gets better than this." Nigel Smith for The Stage
As 2016 closes, I’ve had chance to reflect on what has been a phenomenal year for me. I’ve had the good fortune to work on more theatrical performances than ever before. The year began with a crazy January with three shows opening. Avenue Q was in its third year of touring and opened with some new faces and many old ones in The New Theatre Cardiff. Myself and associate Matt Chisholm, worked our usual Panto for PricewaterhouseCoopers at The Peacock Theatre before its move to Birmingham’s Alexander. One of my biggest and most enjoyable shows of the year, Peter Quilter's End of The Rainbow began in Colchester before embarking on a UK tour. April saw me return to Sell A Door Theatre to design a their production of James and the Giant Peach on its international tour. It was great to spend a week or so back in The Lowry Theatre, for an improvised production, 100% Salford, as part of Week 53 Festival. It really was lovely to return to The Lyric after spending so many years there on their casual staff.
The Month of May began with an introduction to Manchester's hottest new theatre Hope Mill. The unique space reunited me with Director James Baker after several years, for a Co-production of Parade. The show also ignited a new relationship with producer Katy Lipson who has partnered with the venue to produce some brave and exciting shows in 2016 and beyond.
Following on from a little holiday I was delighted to return to Colchester's Mercury Theatre following End of the Rainbow, this time to design for their new summer production of Wind In The Willows. A great opportunity to work with new music writer Rebecca Applin and director Matt Cullum. August saw PTM's production of Little Red Ridding Hood head to Edinburgh along with an all new musical I had been working on with the guys at HSL Group, Stop The Train. This great new show with some really catchy music penned by Rice and Guard, is set for a wonderful future if its sell out run at the Fringe is anything to go by.
As Panto season approached I returned to Colchester to work on their production of Dick Whittington. I had a great time on this with some old friends and a few new ones too.
So now, here we are in January as I look towards our late Panto for PricewaterhouseCoopers again. As the other productions close over in Colchester and around the UK, It really has been a great year. 2017 is looking busy so far and I can’t wait to tell you all about the productions I have planned as and when I can. I’m looking forward to more visits to my friends at Colchester, Hope Mill, along with some London ones too. So here’s to a bright and successful year to all my friends, family, producers & co-workers in the theatre industry.
All the best.