Producer Profile: Larner Wallace-Taylor & Duncan Moore
Larner launched her company Brickdust in 2018 alongside director, Charlotte Peters. For Brickdust, she has produced Bury the Dead (Finborough Theatre) and The Mouth of a Shark (VAULT Festival). Current projects include How Love Is Spelt (Southwark Playhouse), site-specific horror play The Hexen Cards and a studio tour of By My Strength by Bruntwood Prize longlisted Laura Stevens. She is a member of Stage One’s Bridge the Gap mentorship scheme. She also works as an actress and voice over artist.
Duncan Moore trained as an actor at Mountview and still works regularly as an actor alongside producing theatre projects. In 2016 he founded Project One and has since produced Caste and Windows (both at Finborough Theatre) and associate produced Pippin (Southwark Playhouse) and Spring Awakening (Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester). He is supported by the ETT Forge programme and the Stage One Bursary.
How Love Is Spelt
“She wanted spontaneity, adventure… I said I can be spontaneous… I just need a little bit of time to plan.”
Peta is new in town and ready for whatever London has to throw at her. She’s looking for romance, for friendship, for exciting people to lead her on big adventures. But being an independent woman in the new millennium isn’t easy, especially when there’s a constant reminder of the life you’re trying to escape.
With each new encounter, Peta flirts with what might have been, but has the journey to London put enough distance between her and her past?
This is the first major revival of this fascinating and funny play from Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning playwright Chloe Moss (This Wide Night, Soho Theatre; Dickensian, BBC) which was first produced at Bush Theatre in 2004. How Love Is Spelt is directed by Charlotte Peters (Associate Director War Horse, UK Tour and An Inspector Calls, West End).
DATES: Wednesday 4th - Saturday 28th September 2019
TICKETS: £22 | £18 concessions | All previews £14
BOOKING INFO: Get your tickets here or call 020 7407 0234
How did the two of you meet? And what made you decide to co-produce How Love is Spelt?
DM: I think we originally met as actors at a play reading. But it was our mutual friend Charlotte, who is directing How Love Is Spelt, that brought us together as producers.
The project actually came about in an amazingly organic way. We had talked a bit about producing something together, and Chloe's agent had sent some scripts to Brickdust. We did some workshop readings of a few different plays, and How Love Is Spelt just jumped out as something really special. You could sense the room reacting to it. I remember agreeing pretty much there and then that we needed to make this happen!
What’s the show about & why should we come and see it?
LWT: The show is about Peta, a young woman from Liverpool who moves to London for a fresh start. It’s about her trying to connect with the people she meets in the night and in finding out more about them she also discovers things about herself.
There’s something very London about it. Almost everyone I know in London isn’t actually from London; there’s this universal sense of opportunity which people feel when they arrive in the city but it’s also a place where it’s very difficult to connect with other people. Chloe Moss captures this with such humour and authenticity - the writing is very special.
You’re both performing in the show as well as producing, what’s the balance like?
DM: I'll let you know once we start rehearsals! But truthfully, having done it a few times before, I think the demands of balancing both probably pushes me to be a better producer - to be even more organised, even more on top of my time management. In many ways it's probably not too different to producing multiple shows at the same time, I think if you do it right they can really complement and strengthen each other.
Other than raising the money, how have you split the role of the producer on this project?
LWT: I’m actually quite surprised at how organically this came about but I’d say that Duncan’s taken on more of the budgeting whereas I’ve taking on more of the communications. We consult each other with all the big decisions but we’ve trusted each other to get on with it really.. at least so far anyway!
Duncan, how has connecting with Stage One and receiving a bursary award helped with your development as a Producer?
DM: At the risk of sounding like a cliché - where do I begin? I think anyone reading this can probably understand how much the financial support and expertise of a mentor are an unbelievably big help. And what everybody says about becoming part of a community is 100% true. It's kind of great to have people from so many different backgrounds, producing so many different types of show, but still to have so much in common.
Larner, how has Bridge the Gap helped your journey as a producer?
LWT: As Duncan says, the mentorship has been brilliant. All the producers and industry professionals that Bridge the Gap has introduced me to have been so honest and generous in sharing ways in which they’ve overcome challenges - be that to their career or to their projects. It’s equipped me with the confidence and knowledge to pursue projects which I previously thought were out of my depth.
What do you find most rewarding about being a producer?
DM: It was funny, when I produced my first show I was so struck by the amount of people who said to me 'wow you actually did it'. There was a real sense that so many people in this industry talk about 'this project' or 'that project', but because of the considerable challenges and obstacles to making anything happen, they never actually materialise.
I think alongside that amazing feeling of bringing incredibly talented people together into one room and the electricity that comes with that, that feeling of 'wow you actually did it' is incredibly rewarding. It's definitely something I try to remember and appreciate.
LWT: It’s so easy as an actor to feel so powerless to everything that befalls you and to feel like such a small part of the puzzle. In contrast, I love that producing is about actively making decisions and overseeing the product of each of those coming together to form the bigger picture - to have some creative involvement in bringing the world that the writer has created to life is so exciting.
One show you’ve each seen and loved that will always stay with you?
DM: A school trip to see Derek Jacobi in The Tempest. Just magic.
LWT: Mogadishu at the Royal Exchange. The first scene after the interval completely shattered everything I thought I knew after the first half.