INTERVIEW WITH MARTYN HAYES

Martyn has had a range of experience in production and management in the commercial theatre sector over a number of years in organisation such as; Walt Disney Theatricals, Stage Entertainment and the Really Useful Theatre Company.  Most recently Martyn was the executive producer of Dirty Dancing in the West End, Germany and the Netherlands – however Martyn has not produced his own work before. This summer Martyn is producing Dear Lupin at The Apollo Theatre on Shafesbury Avenue.

At the moment you are…
Producing, along with my co-producer Kenny Wax, the West End production of Dear Lupin at the Apollo Theatre, starring James Fox and Jack Fox.

What does Stage One mean to you?
This is the first show that I’ve produced on my own, as opposed to working for a company,  and trying out a brand new show, on tour initially, and not through a subsidised theatre, is not easy. So when I received the Start Up Fund to help and support Dear Lupin it was most fortifying, whilst the advice from mentors within the profession has been invaluable.

Last show you saw and loved?
There is quite a lot to choose from, the productions that stand out over the past few years would have to be Chimerica, Jerusalem, Clybourne Park and London Road. Chimerica because it was so imaginatively staged; Jerusalem as Mark Rylance’s performance was just mesmerising; Clybourne Park for the writing, direction and performances; and London Road as it had me totally captivated throughout and came up with such an original new way of putting together, and performing, a musical.

What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
The truly collaborative nature of putting on a production, and that it’s live and there’s no safety net. Also, when starting a production the deadline you work to is so very exact. The curtain has to rise at a certain minute on a certain date and this really focuses everyone, you have started the timer and there is no way back - and the adrenalin kicks in.  I can’t think of any other artistic venture that works to such a precise deadline.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
I started off at The Duke of York’s Theatre working backstage in the evenings and manning the stage door in the mornings.  I had no real idea what I wanted to do in theatre, or what was possible, and actor Sir Alan Bates (who was starring in The Seagull at the time) told me “try to get a job as an ASM, buy The Stage each week, and look for a job that can give you an Equity card”. That set me on my way.  I was also bemoaning my lot once to my mother-in-law, about a certain unfair situation, and she said “remember that fare is what you pay on the bus.”  That has always stuck with me.