Producer Profile: Nisha Oza & World's End
Nisha has previously worked for Tamasha Theatre Company,The National Theatre and Kiln Theatre. As Producer (film), credits include The Yellow Room and The Scene. Nisha is currently working at National Theatre Productions, as part of the Stage One London Placement scheme and is also one of 10 producers who joined the Bridge The Gap scheme in it's pilot year. Nisha is currently producing World's End at the King's Head Theatre opening at the end of August. Find out more below....
Energetic single mum Viv (Patricia Potter, Holby City) has just moved in with her shy, troubled son Ben (Tom Milligan,Harry Potter & The Cursed Child), eager to start afresh and escape their past. Next-door, single father and painter-cum-security guard Ylli and his enigmatic son Besnik are also negotiating their horizons, against the televised backdrop of catastrophe in their native Kosovo.
When Ben and Besnik discover their shared passion for video games they find solace in each other, but it becomes clear that they imagine freedom very differently from their parents.
A subtle rumination on single parenthood, sexuality and video games, James Corley’s debut play is a deceptively gentle and achingly tender portrait of lives lived in the heart of the city, yet squarely on the world’s edges.
DATES: Tuesday 27th August – Saturday 21st September, King’s Head Theatre
TICKETING: Previews on 27th August & 28th August range from £10 - £14. For all other performance dates, prices range from £10 for under 30’s to £29.50
BOOKING: Get your tickets here or call 020 7226 8561
You are one of very few who have managed to participate in 3 Stage One programmes in the space of 7 months! (Bridge The Gap, Producer’s workshop & the London placement scheme) How have you found it?
It's been amazing. I didn't have many expectations when I started out with Stage One, and I've ended up feeling like I'm part of an incredibly supportive and knowledgeable community. The workshop in particular was a real game-changer for me professionally - those three days completely reaffirmed my goals as a producer. Being in a room with such an inspiring group of producers (who are now only a whatsapp message away), and hearing people that I look up to share their experiences, made me feel like I could actually DO producing. The placement scheme has felt like an extension of that. The support from the Stage One staff & the mentors that I've met through the organisation has also set me up with a level of confidence that makes it a lot easier to go out and produce independently, with the level of determination that's needed to get your plays to stage.
How has Bridge the Gap helped your journey as a producer?
I was accepted onto the Bridge The Gap scheme after working in the subsidised sector for quite a few years, with a vague idea of who I wanted to be as a producer, but unsure where that sat in the commercial world, and not feeling confident of whether I'd fit into it. Bridge The Gap essentially broke commercial producing down for me, allowing me and the other producers on the scheme to influence the programme so it was tailored to us as a group. One of the most valuable aspects of Bridge The Gap for me, was mentorship - I was paired with Rachael Williams at The Park Theatre, who I've had monthly sessions with since the programme began, covering everything from rights acquisition to general management advice. Overall, the programme put me in a position where I could make the most of Stage One's other programmes, and in turn kind of fast-tracked my route into commercial producing
What have you found most challenging since starting your placement? And what’s been the most rewarding part?
Working on productions like The Lehman Trilogy and A Taste Of Honey is amazing - to see how the cogs turn behind the scenes in a vast organisation like the National Theatre, and learning how the role of the producer varies in a Theatre of that scale, is inherently rewarding, daunting and slightly mind-blowing on a daily basis. Acclimatising to a new working environment is always going to come with its challenges, particularly when you're working with more departments than you have the capacity to remember, but working as part of the NTP team, and having the access, exposure and mentorship that the placement provides is brilliant. I also feel like being in that environment really fuels my enthusiasm for the independent projects that I'm working on.
World’s End opens at the King’s Head Theatre on the 27th August. What was it that caught your eye with the show and spurred you to produce it?
The key thing that made me want to produce World's End is the writing. I'd worked with James Corley on a couple of short films, but when I read World's End, I was stunned. It's the type of play that made me want to work in theatre when I was 19, working in a shoe shop & spending every spare minute sunk into a leather seat in the Royal Court auditorium. It's just a brilliant story, sensitively told, which is timeless in a way, but also set against this 90s backdrop that allows for nostalgia and history to really hit you hard. Once I knew the play existed, and then found out that the King's Head Queer Season existed, it was a no brainer in terms of whether I should produce it or not.
What’s been the most rewarding/exciting part of working on this project so far?
Director, Harry Mackrill and myself came on board with a very early draft of the play. Because we've been involved from such an early stage, one of the most rewarding parts of the project has been the collaboration between us - there's a real team spirt, and it's a joy to be surrounded by such talented people, and adding to that through assembling our creative team.
I also never thought I'd say this, but something that's been incredibly rewarding is the fundraising side of the project. It's a definite rollercoaster, but when your hard-work pays off, and you feel relatively steady on your feet, it's the best feeling to know that as a producer, you're in a secure position to facilitate the production.
What’s the trick to managing your independent projects as well as a full time role in a production company?
I definitely haven't completely figured that out yet. It's taken me a while, but I feel like I'm at a point now where I'm honest with myself in terms of what actually needs to get done to reach a goal, which, as a life-long procrastinator, has made me more efficient with my time, and a calmer producer. There's also been more than a few late nights and 'what am I doing with my life' moments - these moments were punctuated by a mild lactose intolerance that really got to me after drinking large quantities of coffee whilst working on budgets late into the night, so I'd recommend looking into dairy alternatives as a preventative measure.
What will you be doing on opening night?
Internalising my fear, making sure everyone is happy, compulsively checking spreadsheets, maybe some light carpentry, all while feeling genuinely ecstatic that people get to see this play.