INTERVIEW WITH JACK MAPLE
Jack is currently producing the European premiere of Stephen Schwartz’s musical Working at the Southwark Playhouse. Previous productions include the Olivier Award-winning revival of Show Boat directed by Daniel Evans (New London Theatre) and The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Southwark Playhouse). As Associate Producer Jack recently produced The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss (Park Theatre, National Tour & West End).
Jack started his career interning at Jamie Wilson (Stage One Alumni) Productions and subsequently went on to work as Assistant to the Company Manager on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and then as Assistant Producer on Accolade (St James Theatre). He has previously worked for Mark Goucher Ltd, The Almeida Theatre, Neil Laidlaw Productions, Bill Kenwright Ltd and is currently Production Coordinator for MPSI Ltd on the World Premiere of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell.
In 2015 Jack attended the Stage One New Producers’ Workshop and in 2016 he was awarded a bursary towards his development as a commercial producer.
At the moment you are…
…about to go into rehearsals for Working at the Southwark Playhouse, whilst acting as Production Co-Ordinator on Bat Out Of Hell The Musical at the London Coliseum. Working opens on 2nd June and Bat on the 5th June…so it’s going to be an interesting few weeks!
What’s it like working on a production created by theatrical royalty Stephen Schwartz? Is there extra pressure to get it right?
Working is a truly unique show written by about 8 different composers including James Taylor and Lin-Manuel Miranda, which tells the individual stories of everyday American workers. This production is the European premiere, so there is certainly an added pressure attached but Stephen has been so gracious and open in sharing his ideas. The show was originally written in the 1970’s and has been rewritten and added to over the years, so we’re delighted to be presenting this new and slightly updated version to 2017 audiences. We’ve also assembled an extraordinary creative team headed up by director Luke Sheppard and a terrific cast that I couldn’t be prouder of, so I feel the show is in safe hands.
What does Stage One mean to you?
Stage One is an invaluable source of information and wisdom afforded to very few other careers. It’s been said a number of times but producing can get very lonely. Stage One has introduced me to so many great friends and mentors - I question where I would be without it’s support.
You are one of the youngest West End producers, after co-producing the Olivier Award Winning Show Boat last year. What was your journey to becoming a Theatre Producer?
I had just left full-time employment in January last year when Show Boat was brought to me by my close friend and now co-producer on Working, Ramin Sabi. Having left school in 2013 with this crazy idea in my head that I wanted to be a theatre producer, I moved to London and started working in some of the best production offices in the West End. My first big break was an internship for Playful Productions working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2014. After that, I went from office to office learning on the job. I owe it to producers like Jamie Wilson, Mark Goucher & Neil Laidlaw for taking a chance and welcoming me into their offices.
How has the Stage One Bursary and Workshop developed your career?
I attended the workshop in 2015 and found it bridged so many gaps in what I had learnt so far. It also introduced me to a number of cherished colleagues who are now doing the most exciting projects. Whenever I meet someone who tells me they want to be a producer, I urge them to apply for the workshop - it truly is invaluable. Likewise, the bursary was a real stamp of approval on my career so far. People in the industry know what Stage One is and to tell them that you are a Bursary recipient is an instant mark of recognition. It’s opened a lot of doors for me since it was awarded to me.
Last show you saw and loved?
I saw Part One of Angels in America at the National over the weekend. I have to wait 2 more weeks for Part Two and I honestly cannot wait.
What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
The community. I love that I can email anyone in the industry and 9 times out of 10 they’ll suggest grabbing a coffee. It’s that sense of camaraderie, especially amongst producers and I love the collaboration involved in putting a show together.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
“Raising money never gets any easier” or “Every show needs a reason”.