INTERVIEW WITH DAN AUSTIN
Dan is the Senior Communications Officer for the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre. He deals with campaigns, events and initiatives including The Olivier Awards with Mastercard, Kids Week, West End Live and the UK Theatre Awards. As well as working with content and marketing to promote London theatre.
At the moment you are…
Senior Communications Officer for the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, which means I get to work on incredible events like West End LIVE and the Olivier Awards with Mastercard. I also work on the organisations’ initiatives like Kids Week and London Theatre’s New Year Sale. Basically it means I get to spend my day telling everyone how amazing theatre is!
When did you first discover your passion for theatre and what was your journey into the theatrical world?
I was a theatre fan long before I ever thought about actually working in theatre. Many of my earliest memories are trips to the theatre, those bright lights, amazing performers – I was always a sucker for spectacle. Before joining SOLT/UKT I worked in entertainment PR, working for clients like Fortnum & Mason and Global Radio. I switched tea and popstars for theatre and have never regretted it!
I was freelancing before I joined the organisation and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work on the biggest, and best, theatre awards show as well as the important work the Society does in reaching new audiences.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge you face when organising press on productions?
Arts coverage has been diminishing across the board so there is a challenge to securing coverage. The old routes don’t exist anymore so you have to be creative, find new outlets, new voices or just get better at speaking directly to theatre fans and consumers. It’s not all doom and gloom though, if you have an amazing story to tell (and theatre has the best stories), people will listen. The media landscape has completely changed but it’s really fun to explore the new world.
What does Stage One mean to you?
Without producers - I wouldn’t have a job! Stage One is finding and nurturing the best new producing talent, which means we’re all going to be working for years to come! London theatre is so healthy because there is a constant influx of new ideas and ways of making theatre and Stage One is partly responsible for that. Thanks guys!
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
“Get on with it”. I think impatience can be a good thing. Don’t wait for stuff to happen, go out and make it. A lot of great things happen because people got tired of waiting.