The role of the producer is paramount when it comes to piecing a show together. When you consider the amount of shows that open in London, and the selected few that enjoy success, this offers a reminder as to how tough the role can be. Cue Tim Johanson, one of the capital’s youngest producers, who has been responsible for staging a range of fresh and exciting works from David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face in 2013 at the National, to Sabrina Mahfouz’s Fringe First winning Chef. Tim talks to us about his latest theatre projects.
Hi Tim! Dirty Great Love Story has opened at the Arts Theatre. What has the response been like so far?
It’s been lovely. I’m thrilled with how it’s gone down with the audiences. It’s a play I’ve loved for years, and it’s great to see other people enjoying it as well.
The show won a Fringe First Award in 2012 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and enjoyed success in various theatres. Why did you decide to produce the show this year?
It’s had great runs before, but I’ve always thought that it was too good not to be presented to a larger audience. I’ve been waiting for the right venue for a few years. This opportunity came up and I jumped at the chance.
You’ve also produced 2 other shows; BU21 which was shown at the Trafalgar Studios and Chinglish, soon to be shown at the Park Theatre. How long does the whole process of producing a show take?
It can be anything from 4-12 months. It depends on what venues are available and when. If it’s 4 months everything has to happen very quickly!
What are the challenges of staging shows?
There are always the practical challenges of finding the right venue and raising the money, but for me getting the right team together is always the key. People are the key to all success in theatre.
Who or what inspired you to become a producer?
I’ve always loved theatre since I first started getting involved with productions at school. When I was working with university drama societies it became clear that producing was the right position for me. These days I’m constantly inspired by my peers like Vicky Graham and David Hutchinson and what they manage to achieve.
Can you explain what a ‘typical’ day entails?
There’s no typical day really but on a quiet day I’m mostly on the phone or emailing, trying to pull together the next project. The fun days involve attending castings, reading scripts, meeting with creatives or having lunch with investors. It’s the variety of the job that makes it so interesting.
What advice would you give to aspiring producers?
Ask for help – don’t pretend you know what you are doing when you don’t. There are so many people who’ve been through it before – there will be someone who will be able to provide guidance.
Dirty Great Love Story is currently showing at the Arts Theatre until Saturday 18th March 2017. For more information on the production, visit here…
Chinglish will be showing at the Park Theatre from Wednesday 22nd March until Saturday 22nd April 2017. For more information on the production, visit here…