PRODUCER PROFILE: Fiona Steed
Fiona joined Smith & Brant in July 2018, having most recently worked for Sonia Friedman Productions as a Production Coordinator on The Ferryman, Dreamgirls and Consent. Prior to this she worked as a Production Coordinator at Greene Light Stage (previously Old Vic Productions) and as Production Assistant at Mark Rubinstein Ltd as part of the Stage One Producer Placement scheme. We wanted to get an insight into her experience working on the recently opened & Olivier nominated Come From Away...
Q&A with Fiona Steed
What was your first encounter with Come From Away?
I had a pretty exciting start to my new role as Assistant Producer at Smith & Brant Theatricals. In my first week in the job I was delighted to be sent to New York to watch the show on Broadway. It did not disappoint. I was absolutely blown away by the show, and couldn’t stop talking about it when I got home. I’m glad my friends have now seen it in London, because for months I was boring them with my love for a show they hadn’t managed to see yet.
Have you worked on a Broadway transfer before? How does this compare to a revival or a piece of new work?
No, this is the first time I’ve worked on a Broadway transfer, so it’s been a great learning experience for me. The US team have so much experience that I can draw from and I’ve also learnt a lot about the very particular demands of Broadway compared to the West End.
Because COME FROM AWAY is based on real people there’s also a ready-made family that go everywhere with the show. Getting to meet them all in the lead up to the London opening night was such a unique experience, as I’ve never worked on a show like that before.
What are your day to day tasks now that the show is up and running?
We co-general manage the production with Playful Productions so actually now the show is up and running my workload has calmed down a bit which is nice. I always try to use this period to reflect on the experience and think about what I’ve learnt that I can implement going forwards.
At the moment I’m also closing down the accounts for TRUE WEST, which finished a successful run in the West End at the end of February.
In terms of what’s next; I’m working on a high-profile new play Smith & Brant are opening in the West End this summer, so I am in the process of doing the creative and cast deals, finalising the budget and preparing for the press night. I am also working on some shows we have on our development slate. This makes for a pretty varied working life, which is one of my favourite things about my new role!
How do you balance working on a show that’s up & running and the next project?
I’ve got a good memory, so luckily I find jumping between projects comes relatively naturally to me. I just make sure I listen, read emails properly, and try and always think ahead to anything that might prove to be challenging. I also work with a wonderful team which always helps!
Most important lesson you learnt along the way?
Always ask questions. Never make the same mistake twice. And check every email attachment before you send it…
Your favourite moment/song?
I really love the curtain call – the show ends on such a high note and the live band have a play off on stage. The audience goes wild for it every evening and I love being there for that moment – it’s such an electric atmosphere. I host all the post-show Q & As so I always make sure I catch the end of the show.
“This is the show we all need right now” The Sunday Times
“This miraculous masterpiece is totally, soul-feedingly wonderful.” Timeout
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Come From Away is 100 minutes with no interval. Recommended for ages 10+.
As it continues sold-out, record-breaking engagements on Broadway, across the USA and in Canada, Come From Away has landed for its UK premiere at London’s Phoenix Theatre.
This joyous new musical shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air
passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.
As uneasiness turned into trust and music soared into the night, gratitude grew into friendships and their stories became a celebration of hope, humanity and unity.