INTERVIEW WITH ANDY BARNES

Andy is Executive Producer of Perfect Pitch, a company created for the development and production of new British musical theatre which has led to several productions, notably The Go-Between (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal & Derngate Northampton & Derby Live) Winner of Best Musical Production at UK Theatre Awards & nomination for Best Regional Production - Whatsonstage.com awards; Lift (Soho Theatre) nominated for Best Original Music – Whatsonstage.com awards; The House of Mirrors & Hearts at The Arcola; and From Up Here (South Hill Park).  Perfect Pitch shows have been produced in New York, Tokyo, Mexico, Belgium & the world premiere of Through The Door in Korea.
Andy received the Stage One Producers Bursary in 2006 and has independently produced a several shows including ; The Wiz (Hackney Empire); Departure Lounge (Edinburgh, New York, London & Chicago) nominated for Best New Musical in the Whatsonstage.com Awards; When Harry Met Sally (UK Tour); Tell Me On A Sunday (UK Tour); Days of Hope (Kings Head); Dr. Foster (Menier Chocolate Factory) Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Gene Frankel Theatre, New York) and Dreams Come Out to Play (Birmingham Rep and UK Tour).

At the moment you are…
We are always in the process of developing new musicals and we have a number of workshops coming up with partners around the UK and some exciting new shows coming through. We are also Associate Producer on The Go-Between which opens in May at the Apollo Theatre with Michael Crawford. We originally developed the show from early 2009 and so it was a natural progression to see the project through to full production. It’s good to be working with Joe Smith again who I first produced  in 2010 with and it’s nice to have his knowledge and support as it’s the first show developed by Perfect Pitch to reach the West End.

What does Stage One mean to you?
Stage One is a brilliant resource and support for new and emerging producers. I had only produced one show, The Wiz at the Hackney Empire when I received the Stage One bursary in 2005. I had just started out full-time as an independent producer. I pitched three projects to the panel one of which was the creation of the first Perfect Pitch showcase for new musicals which has lead us to where we are now and for which I - and many emerging writers - will be forever grateful.

Last show you saw and loved?
I went to see The Girls at the Lowry last month and loved it. It is exactly what you would hope to get from two writers of the pedigree of Tim Firth and Gary Barlow, but the sensitivity with which they, and director Roger Haines, dealt with the piece and it’s issues was fabulous. I laughed and cried and laughed again within a matter of seconds. It deserves a future life and it will no doubt get one.

What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
The ability to be creative and inspired every day. We get to work with so many wonderful creative people. Having had a very different career for many years before coming back to theatre I have seen the best of both worlds when it comes to getting up for work on a Monday morning, and the grass is most definitely greener in this industry, and despite the cuts to the sector we have a lot to be grateful for.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
Don’t produce a musical as your first show….Stage One told me that…and I see where they’re coming from. It’s hard to get it right and you will learn with experience….that said, you’ll have the best time and I wouldn’t go back and do it any differently.

To find out more about the Stage One New Producers Bursary, click HERE.
To find out more about The Go Between, click HERE.