Theatrical charity Stage One has thrown its backing behind emerging producer James Quaife, by awarding him £50,000 to co-produce upcoming comedy Barking In Essex, which stars Lee Evans, Sheila Hancock and Keeley Hawes.
Quaife, who previously produced productions including Ella Hickson’s Precious Little Talent and Rob Hayes’ Step 9 (Of 12) at the Trafalgar Studios, will co-produce the show, which runs at the Wyndham’s theatre from 6 September, alongside established producers MJE productions.
Speaking about the monetary support from Stage One’s Start-Up Investment Fund, Quaife said: “I am thrilled to have received this investment from the Stage One Start-Up Fund for the West End production of Barking In Essex. To have both the financial support and the support from industry professionals is absolutely crucial with the development of my career as a commercial producer. I am extremely proud and excited to be a part of this production and wish to thank MJE Productions and Stage One for allowing me this incredible opportunity.”
Stage One is committed to helping new producers learn and develop in the theatre industry, through apprentice schemes, workshops, mentoring and financial support. Its Start-Up Investment Fund is only available to outstanding new producers who have already worked with Stage One. Previous recipients include Richard Darbourne for the transfer of All That Fall to the Arts theatre, Sue Scott Davison for Our Boys and Eleanor Lloyd for Butley.
Joseph Smith, Stage One’s Chief Executive commented: “James is an ideal candidate for the Start-Up award. He has shown great promise as an emerging commercial producer, working his way up through the different scales of productions. Stage One is proud to support his next step as a co-producer of a new West End play.”
Barking In Essex, which will play at the Wyndham’s theatre and also stars former Ashes To Ashes star Montserrat Lombard and Lark Rise To Candleford’s Karl Johnson, is the tale of a notorious gangster freed from prison after seven years. Though he is intent on collecting his £3,672,000 booty, his dysfunctional family don’t make it easy.