Our amazing Producer Naomi shares with us how her Candide journey started and what being producer actually means...
I first met Jonny late at night in a room in St Peters, as he sold me the vision for Candide and asked me to come on board as Producer. I fell in love with the project from two angles - first from the creative and musical ambition that it showed, and secondly due to the fantastic team that Jonny had already assembled to bring it about. The scale of the piece that he was envisaging was bigger than almost anything I had ever seen put on, and by far the biggest student show Oxford has seen for a long time.
This show has a company of more than 60 people, has a set made out of 20 moving pieces, and requires over 100 costumes. The role of the producer is to make sure that every single piece of that puzzle is in the theatre when we open, and to sell the tickets that will cover the cost of putting on a show on this scale. Working on this scale has been wholly new for me - at one point you’re only ever focussed on solving one small detail, and then every now and then you step back and realise the enormity of what you are working on. It’s a strange role to explain when people ask, as it never entails the same thing from show to show - you can never know what emergency will arise and require immediate solution, you just know that they will arise! I love producing because it’s incredibly practical, with project management and enormous budgets, but also so creative as you have to support projects that people will want to come and see. Candide has taken both of these dimensions to the extremes - it is an enormous project, but it is going to be incredibly good and I’m certain audiences will leave knowing they’ve just witnessed something amazing.
When the show finally opens on Wednesday 8th November, I know I will sit thinking back on the last year and feel immensely proud of myself and my team for all that they have done and been.
Here is a little sneak preview of some rehearsals!
Find out more information about Candide here.