I cheer when I lose staff…

In the last few weeks I have lost 2 associates permanently, and 1 temporarily – and each time I cheer. Over my 40 years I have lost so many wonderfully talented folk.  Unlike our ‘esteemed’ UK government this is not because of ‘odious’ pressure or testing their ethical judgement. It is because they are, each and every one of them, talented and going far.

Yesterday my latest associate got a job at the National Theatre needing to start just 2 days after being appointed.  This week by associate of the last 6 months moves full time to Plymouth Theatre Royal. But, wonderfully, next week her predecessor returns to my fold after navigating the production of a Guardian acclaimed piece of verbatim theatre in London.  Over the years Associates have left to take great full-time jobs, to become West End Producers and to join the Metropolitan Police. Each time I feel really lucky to have been loaned their skill for a while; to have been able to give them some space and support to flourish and make stuff happen; and then to give them a cheer as they move on (and become a useful contact for me in the future !).

I wish Lucy Donald great good chance at Theatre Royal Plymouth based in TR2 as Project Manager with Flying Colours – working out of, possibly, the most amazing office location in the UK.  You can find out more about her and her fellow DipCP cohort from Nov 2020 here. in the website she has painstakingly re-fashioned for CGO.

I wish Lewis Forman amazing good fortune as he joins the National Theatre as Rights & Contracts Coordinator for Digital Media joining Tom Mack, alumni of our Masters programme at Mountview. You can find out more about him and his fellow DipCP cohort from Apr 2021 here

Going forward I have a small crackteam keeping me in check and supporting the admin and marketing side of CGO and the CGO Institute.  Allegra Nespoli, also an alum of the 2nd DipCP cohort, returns to join me whilst juggling her life with her Producer role at Curious Monkey .

And my newest supporter is Olivia Tetlow who is responsible for challenging me to get onto Instagram and is the designer of the many new cartoon graphics which are populating this platform and bringing the website to more vibrant life. More on her here … please don’t steal her too soon. Together with Lucy they have encouraged our graphic designer Howard Sherwood and I to adjust the original CGO logo.  Olivia was at a Producing workshop I led at Bristol University and she grabbed the opportunity to pitch her vision to me and get me to take her and her proposal seriously. I am delighted that she is now on the CGO team working with Allegra and me.

I will lose both Allegra and Olivia in time I am sure, as their worlds of producing and creativity fill their available diaries. For now I am delighted to have them in my corner spreading the word and raising the graphic and online profile of CGO.

I write this blog as I prepare to head for my first trip to Saudi Arabia. This summer CGO will be leading a programme for Saudi aspiring theatre designers and directors in London and Perth. Then we will be leading a programme for Saudi aspiring musical theatre performers in Riyadh, Dammem and Jeddah.  Within a couple of months we will have 15 creative freelance associates working with us including bilingual UK/Arabic specialists.  We are in the final stages of detail management with the Ministry of Culture and our Local Vendors with the classes running from July 18th to Oct 28th.  And in the midst we have 14 high level creative producers coming into London and Edinburgh for a programme of network and sharing.  And through the summer we are shaping the 4th Diploma in Creative Producing which will start November 8th.   It will be 46 degrees centigrade in Riyadh tomorrow – no wonder I need Associates to keep me cool.

Do follow progress on Instagram @chrisgradyorg launched a few days ago where we are celebrating, steadily, the DipCP Alums who have taken our Diploma over the last 3 cohorts and are, undoubtedly, the most honest advocates of the programme for future zoom based attendees from around the world.

Thank you Lucy, Lewis, Allegra and Olivia – and all the generations of TRAINees, interns, assistants, MA and DipCP Alums and early career colleagues who have enriched my learning and given me calm support and suitable challenge. I wonder who the next cohort will be.

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