INTERVIEW WITH ROBYN KEYNES

Robyn Keynes studied on the CT course at East 15, and was first introduced to the world of producing through The Optimists programme, run by China Plate. As a freelance producer she works mainly in new writing, producing work at venues including: Southwark Playhouse, Finborough Theatre, Pleasance London and Edinburgh, and the Arts Theatre (West End). She was Assistant Producer at Independent Productions in 2012/2013, working on two UK sell-out tours. She was Festival Coordinator of the National Student Drama Festival 2014. Recently Robyn completed the Stage One London Commercial Producing Placement with Smith & Brant Theatricals.

At the moment you are...
Assistant Producer at Smith & Brant Theatricals.
Orson's Shadow is the first project I am lead producing for Smith & Brant which I'm really excited about, working alongside Emily Dobbs Productions to bring this hilarious play about the acting greats to Southwark Playhouse in its European premiere.
I'm also Assistant Producer on The Mentalists starring Stephen Merchant and Steffan Rhodri which are both due to open in July, so it's a busy, exciting month!  I'm also continuing to work on Memphis, where we're currently rehearsing Matt Cardle to take over from Killian Donnelly as Huey, also in July!

What does Stage One mean to you?
It is the best network of producers, colleagues and friends there to support and aide your journey in the industry.  It opens so many doors into jobs, contacts and advice which can be so hard to reach sometimes, they are absolutely invaluable.
The Stage One Producing Placement which I recently graduated from gave me an invaluable opportunity to work in the commercial theatre sector at the highest level: experiencing and learning how to produce commercial productions in a supported environment.  I am fortunate to now have a permanent job with Smith & Brant and am continuing to learn and grow within this organisation through the support of Stage One.

Last show you saw and loved? 
On Wednesday I saw This Is How We Die by Christopher Brett Bailey at BAC and it was just immense - powerful, brutal and thought-provoking.
I also absolutely loved Teddy at Southwark Playhouse which I saw recently, it was so much fun, with a stunning script, original music and knock out performances, plus you get to dance at the end!

What are you looking forward to in 2015?
I can't wait to open Orson's Shadow and The Mentalists this July - I think they are both so funny and can't wait to share them with an audience.  Seeing Matt Cardle portray Huey in Memphis is also very exciting, I think he's really going to surprise a lot of people.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given? 
Be gracious to everyone you meet, you never know what might happen in the future!

Orson's Shadow is playing at the Southwark Playhouse 1st-25th July 2015
@OrsonsShadow  @swkplay
Memphis is playing at the Shafesbury Theatre
The Mentalists opens on 3rd July