Producer Profile: Jacob Thomas & Mother of Him @ Park Theatre
Jacob is an independent producer and general manager who, whilst establishing Jacob Thomas Productions, previously worked as the Production Assistant at Jonathan Church Productions and as the Associate Producer at Nouveau Riche.
Prior to this he had worked within the producing team at Chichester Festival Theatre since November 2017, working across shows such as Forty Years On and King Lear, as well as the entire of the 2018 season.
Independent productions include: Mother of Him (Park Theatre), Poisoned Beds (South East coastal tour), Who Cares (Festival of Chichester).
Mother of Him
DATES: 18th September - 26th October
TICKETS: Standard £18.50 - £32.50
Concessions £16.50 - £23.50.
BOOKING INFO: Get your tickets here or call 020 7870 6876
December. Toronto. It’s cold.
Brenda, a single Jewish mother (Tracy-Ann Oberman, best known for EastEnders and the hit comedies Friday Night Dinner and Toast of London) tries to manage her professional life whilst ushering youngest son, Jason, off to school. His elder brother remains asleep upstairs. This could be a day like any other, if older brother Matthew wasn't under house arrest.
Pursued by the media and tormented by guilt, Brenda tries to to hold her family together as the world is set to tear them apart. Inspired by true events, Evan Placey’s powerful and provocative drama questions what it takes for for a mother to stop loving her son.
Director Max Lindsay makes his Park Theatre debut following his acclaimed 2018 production of Angry at Southwark Playhouse. From the producer of Park Theatre hits The Life I Lead, Pressure and Madame Rubinstein.
A question we get a lot is “where do I start?” When and how did you start producing?
My first taste of producing was in 2015. I was a member of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre at the time. Chichester Festival Theatre ran a “Youth Takeover Day” where a number of us got the opportunity to go into their office for the day and takeover the departments. I was in the producers office and after that I wanted to know more about the job, so I read every book I could find on producing. The following year I decided to leave the acting course I was taking at college and put on a small concert - I invited some of the staff at the theatre to come see it and shortly after that I got offered the opportunity to work part time in the theatre office, helping set up and manage some events for the youth theatre. This led to an apprenticeship at the theatre and eventually I was offered a trainee role in the producers office. The experience, advice and training I got from - it was towards the end of my time there that Max Lindsay and I organised the workshop for Mother of Him!
Tell us more about Mother of Him – what’s the show about and why should we come and see it?
The show is a look into the lives of the Kapowitz family - Brenda, a single mother, and her two sons; Jason and his older brother, Matthew. Matthew is under house arrest and the show takes place across the days leading up to his sentencing. It’s a high profile case and the house is surrounded by media round the clock. The family, Brenda in particular, face intense scrutiny.
The show explores what’s said behind closed doors between a mother and her son who’s committed a monstrous crime; and questions what it would take for a mother to stop loving her son. It’s written by the brilliant, award-winning writer Evan Placey - and what I found particularly interesting about it when I first read it is it’s told from the mother’s perspective.
You’re co-producing this show with another Stage One alumni, Oliver Mackwood. What is the best piece of advice you could give our alumni on co-producing?
Choose your co-producer wisely. The bottom line is that you’re both there to support each other, so it’s intrinsic that you’re working with someone who you trust and get along with. Working with Oliver has been brilliant, we met a couple of years ago through Chichester and have stayed in touch since. He was one of the first people to suggest Stage One to me!
What’s the most useful thing you’ve taken from the workshop that has helped with putting on the show?
The support network. Both Stage One and the producers you meet through the workshop are the most invaluable resource of support and advice.
What will you be doing on opening night?
I’ll be sat in the audience, ready to enjoy the fruit of all our labour!
One show you’ve seen and loved that will always stay with you?
Showboat, the West End transfer in 2016 from Sheffield. I was lucky enough to do work experience on the show in David Ian’s office. It was the first West End show that I ever got to be a part of, and I utterly adored every moment. But an honorable mention to Fiddler on the Roof from the 2017 season at Chichester, everything about that show was just beautiful.