In 2016 Tom O’Connell celebrated 10 years of producing and he recently set up Tom O’Connell Productions Ltd to take forward his portfolio of work into the next ten years. Tom has previously been a Stage One Apprentice Producer with Fiery Angel, New Producers’ Workshop Delegate, Stage One Bursary Award Winner and recently was awarded a Start-Up Fund for his production of Out Of Order by Ray Cooney (UK tour 2017).

At the moment you are…
Producing a brand new production of Ray Cooney’s Out of Order, celebrating 70 years in the industry for Ray. We just closed The Boys in the Band in the West End and our co-production of Babe The Sheep-Pig the musical is now out on tour making families laugh!

What does Stage One mean to you?
More than a brief answer in this newsletter!
They gave me huge opportunity age 22 by giving me an apprenticeship at Fiery Angel where I was able to develop and learn so much whilst networking and building relationships in the industry. I then went on the New Producers’ Workshop and was lucky enough to win a Stage One Bursary Award which helped me develop Notes on a Scandal. Finally I was awarded the Start-up Award towards my biggest lead production yet, Ray Cooney’s Out of Order. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today and I am proud to have done all four of their opportunities.

Last show you saw and loved?
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which is a new musical being developed in Sheffield. I got invited by the creatives and I can’t get it out of my head… Fresh.

What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
We are a community and if you’re honest people understand and listen. We inspire, educate, entertain so many people and through many of our LGBT productions such as Beautiful Thing, Another Country, The Boys in the Band we have changed lives and changed opinions.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Negotiate, be kind, be honest and create a buzz about the product. I don’t sleep - I just live for theatre.

To find out more about Stage One and how we can develop your career as a producer, click here.