INTERVIEW WITH THE MERCURY THEATRE'S TRACEY CHILDS

Tracey is the Producer at The Mercury Theatre Colchester who will be hosting one of our two Regional Producing Placements for 2015/16.

At the moment you are…
I’m in my new post as Producer at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester. We have a really exciting year that encompasses a huge range of shows including pantomime (I can hear the ‘slosh scene’ over the tannoy as I write!) in-house productions of Noises Off, Educating Rita, and Animal Farm, co-productions with a SOLT producer of a brand new musical, a production of Little Shop of Horrors with Salisbury Playhouse and we also have great visiting shows – we’re opening the UK tour of Avenue Q, and are thrilled to welcome Complicite in February with Lionboy and then Talawa with All My Sons. Not to forget the ever-popular one-nighters too. My working life is full of variety!
What does Stage One mean to you?
The future! Stage One gave me a future – I have a whole new career as a Producer thanks to the Stage One Workshop, Bursary scheme and Start-up and Investment Funds. The financial support is superb but, in addition, having the wisdom and support of so many vastly experienced industry professionals is truly invaluable.
Stage One is also giving theatre a future. I see so many of the people I trained with in 2010 forging out on their own or now working at ETT, Out of Joint and Soho Theatre etc. Stage One is training and nurturing the producers of the future. Here at The Mercury Theatre we are looking forward to welcoming a Stage One Regional Trainee Producer in March and helping to support the next generation.

Last show you saw and loved?
I currently love The Mercury’s production of Cinderella which is everything a child’s first experience of theatre should be, magical, classy and very funny. It’s great to see regional family theatre thriving, with audience numbers up this year. The thrilling production of Macbeth just before that, directed by our Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd, took my breath away and made me really proud to be joining the team here.
What’s been your favourite producing experience?
Working with Andrew Hall, and a superb cast, on a major tour of Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport in 2013/14 was pretty special (supported by a Stage One Start-Up Fund and Investment fund, of course!) - It was a really haunting production of that extraordinary play that I am immensely proud of but to be honest, every day of producing seems to have amazing highs and lows. Just as one is celebrating a success in one area, there are another three problems that need sorting elsewhere. You need huge stamina and determination for this job; it is not for the weak hearted.
What's the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be yourself. Ultimately people invest in you and the more straightforward you can be, the more confidence you will inspire.
What is your new year’s resolution?
To exercise – the downside of this job is you spend your days on a computer and the phone SITTING DOWN!