INTERVIEW WITH DAN LOONEY

Previous Stage One New Producers’ Workshop delegate (October 2015) Dan Looney is now an Executive Producer at Collective Productions. Dan is also an actor (Book of Mormon), composer (The Confession Room) and award-winning radio personality (The Dan and Sam Show). Current and future credits include: The Wedding Singer (UK & Ireland Tour); The Last King of Scotland (West End 2017); Rock of Ages (UK Tour 2018) and Samson – a New Musical (World Premiere). Previous credits include: Bouncers (UK Tour); Spring Awakening (Basildon); The Confession Room (Concept Album Recording); The Dan and Sam Show (Radio – 2014 Best DJs Award at the Essex Entertainment Awards; winner of Essex Arts Award) and One Night of Impro (UK Tour).

At the moment you are…
The lead Producer on the upcoming tour of The Wedding Singer the Musical, starring Jon Robyns, Cassie Compton, Ray Quinn, Roxanne Pallett, Samuel Holmes and Ruth Madoc. The tour opens at Leicester Curve in February touring till October, then internationally. I am also co-producing the West End debut of The Last King of Scotland based on the bestselling novel and subsequent Academy Award winning film. The next three years will see me produce another major musical tour, a tour of a hit Broadway musical, a well-known comedy play opening in the north before playing the West End and commissioning two brand new musicals. I work closely with Adam Paulden (Paulden Hall Productions) and our different experiences complement each other perfectly.

What does Stage One mean to you?
To have an organisation devoted to developing new producers is a wonderful thing, giving a rare opportunity to connect with industry professionals on all levels. This was most apparent at the Stage One New Producers’ Workshop I attended in October. The workshop was led by prolific West End Producers but attended by producers just starting out their careers. Overall it is able to act as a brilliant support mechanism for so many budding producers and the UK is lucky to have such an organisation.

Last show you saw and loved?
I have just seen the opening night for the new touring production of Million Dollar Quartet. It opened at Leicester Curve this week and is being produced by Stage One Alumni. These days it can be hard to take a show so recently successful in the West End and take a new production on the road. The show is still engaging and has a true rock’n’roll heartbeat at the core; I’d also go as far as saying this production is slicker than the one before! Clever and concise casting has given true portrayals of the real-life characters and their musicianship is truly wonderful. I was bowled over by this particular production.

What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
We can work together to create shows that give an opportunity for escapism. People have always found multiple ways to distract themselves from general day-to-day life. Yes, I could talk about how wonderful it is to be in an industry where collaboration is key or talk about connections but all of this comes down to the fact that we want to create theatre that not only takes people away from themselves but also makes them think, be entertained, dance, cry…and so much more. It is an incredibly powerful thing to be involved with.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
“Believe in what you’re doing”. It sounds a bit “mumbo-jumbo” but that phrase really does help in so many different ways. When producing, you find numerous times that you have to sell not just your show but yourself in order to create connections and if you don’t 100% believe in the show the cracks will show. Believe in yourself, believe in what you are doing and be prepared to take criticism.

To find out further details on The Wedding Singer the Musical, click here.
To find out further details on our New Producers’ Workshop, click here.