INTERVIEW WITH JAMES SEABRIGHT

James Seabright has produced and/or general managed over 200 shows since 2001, with an emphasis on touring shows around the UK and internationally, as well as productions in various venues both on and off West End in London. He has been profiled by both The Independent on Sunday and The Stage, and has twice been the recipient of the Stage One New Producer Bursary (2002 and 2004). He has been a guest speaker at RADA, City Lit and at the Masterclass series run by Theatre Royal Haymarket. James was commissioned by Nick Hern Books to write So You Want To Be A Theatre Producer, which was published in May 2010 and in an updated edition in 2016. He is a board member of the League of Independent Producers, a member of the Society of London Theatre, and an associate of Wilton’s Music Hall.

James presented a large number of productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe under the Festival Highlights banner, winning a wide range of awards, including five Scotsman Fringe Firsts for productions directed by Hannah Eidinow.

In November James will be talking at this year's TheatreCraft hosted by the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Central London. From direction to stage management, producing to marketing, lighting to designing, TheatreCraft 2016 is the only place to be for a unique glimpse into careers ‘behind the scenes’ in theatre. TheatreCraft will take place on Monday 14th November and is free and open to anyone aged 16-25.

At the moment you are…
…co-producing The Boys In The Band in London and on tour with fellow Stage One alumnus Tom O'Connell, co-producing Trainspotting and F*cking Men with recent Workshop alumna Louisa Davis of the King's Head Theatre, producing the latest world tour of Potted Potter, the fourth West End Christmas season of Potted Panto, lead producing the Olivier Award winning Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, and opening the debut London season of Black Is The Color Of My Voice at Wilton's Music Hall.

What does Stage One mean to you?
I was so fortunate to be supported by Stage One with a bursary very early in my career, back in the mists of time - so long ago that it was before marketeers had invented social media (2002). That early vote of confidence and the mentoring support and office access that went with it set me off with a spring in my step and I haven't looked back. Now I'm delighted to regularly host a trainee producer in my office and also to sit on the bursary panel for Stage One.

Last show you saw and loved?
The new version of La Boheme at the King's Head Theatre. I can say that with total impartiality as I saw it before becoming chair of their board of trustees!

What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
Personally I love the heady mix of commerciality and cooperation. People who come to theatre from other industries are often shocked by how openly information is shared, both officially and through more informal channels - but it's the lifeblood of the business that we work together in this way and challenge each other to make the next show the best one yet both artistically and on a business level.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
I remember veteran producer Lee Menzies telling me on my first big raise, not to count investment until the cheque has cleared! And that nugget has stood me in good stead over the years. Lee was our host in the original bursary office on Wardour Street and imparted much wisdom on us impressionable youngsters along the way.

To find out further detials on our Bursary Scheme click HERE.
To find out more about TheatreCraft click HERE.