INTERVIEW WITH TIM COLEGATE

Tim graduated from the University of Kent in Canterbury with a Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies, specialising in Creative Producing, and followed that up by attending the Stage One Workshop for New Producers. Shortly after this, he undertook an internship at Playful Productions working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Blithe Spirit and Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies. Simultaneously, he produced the premiere of Dream of Perfect Sleep at the Finborough Theatre alongside long-time friends Artyzan Productions. Next, Tim took a slight change of direction, moving away from London and into venue programming as the Artistic Programmer at Venue Cymru in North Wales. After two very happy years there, and after learning more about the theatre (and music!) industry from a venue’s perspective, he relocated again to the West Midlands. This latest move has seen him join Wolverhampton Grand Theatre at an exciting stage in the theatre’s development. As the new Producer and Programme Manager he can marry together his enjoyment of programming received work with producing new creations as the theatre is returning to its producing-house roots in 2017 with a new production of Brassed Off.

At the moment, you are...
Finalising the casting call for Brassed Off and ensuring everything is in place ready for the latest venue brochure sign-off!

What does Stage One mean to you...?
I’m truly thankful to Stage One for my career and that’s not overstating it at all. Realistically, I wouldn’t have started at Playful without Stage One and it’s been a major contributor to my being hired in subsequent positions too. The Workshop was invaluable in as much that it gave me a direction with the theatre industry, introduced me to wonderfully helpful people and opened my eyes to how it all really works. I still refer back to it now regularly and would urge any aspiring theatre professionals to enrol. None of us will ever know everything but this is a great place to start.

Last show you saw and loved?
Dreamgirls was sensational. Amber Riley is superb and a worthy Olivier nominee. It was on my list of “things I’d love to produce” for ages – I even pitched it to Trevor Nunn in a hallway once when I was too young and too clueless to realise I was running before I could walk. The score is flawless - I’m just glad the UK now has a chance to experience it.

What do you think is the best thing about the theatre industry?
You get to know and work with so many different people who all have different skills and creative flairs and are all working towards the same goal of staging a successful production. There’s a great vibrancy that stems from creative minds meeting when breakthroughs are made – I love that.
Then there’s the variety that it offers – I struggle to focus solely on one thing for too long so it’s nice to know that after discussing different interpretations of a play for hours, I can open up a budget and two plus two still equals four.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been offered a lot of advice from people I admire and respect but I think the one single piece that stands above the rest is to “trust your instinct”.

To find out how to apply to the Stage One New Producers' Workshop, click here.
To find out more on the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, click here.