Meet the Faculty 11 – Guy Chapman

I first worked with Guy in the mid 1990s when I was working with the Society of London Theatre creating an annual trade show for the West End, plus a showcase for upcoming productions for the group travel trade. He was one of those generous guides to what was happening, and what was still being thought about. He remains incredibly attuned to the latest comings and goings. But now I benefit from that with his International knowledge too. He’s my go to person when an Indian film director asks me who could bring his Bollywood musical to the Palladium, or a Russian theatre wants to bring Gorky to the Park. Now it is a pleasure to have his inspirational generosity supporting the DipCP producers of the future.

What was your journey into producing?

It started early at school when I decided I would direct and produce the autumn term school play – I did this because I had been designing and building sets for other peoples’ shows and wanted more control! This continued through university though I decided I was better at producing and selling tickets than directing.

What inspires you to be a creative producer (and/or keeps you going)?

To share what I love plus provide a forum for ideas.

Is there a style of art/theatre you particularly want to create/produce?

I enjoy new writing with a challenging structural or political slant. For instance being one of the producers on the premiere of Sarah Kane’s CRAVE was very inspiring and its still a play that challenges theatrical language (currently being streamed from Chichester).

Have there been any barriers or challenges in your creative journey?

The late 80s and early 90s were surprisingly tricky if you were gay trying to break into the main stream. Support was there but people were quick to label you.

Who/What/Where inspired you ?

The whole process of a being at the Royal Court Theatre is still my biggest inspiration where the atmosphere was ‘come up with an idea and then make it happen’ whether creating a classical orchestra to perform Sunday concerts, set-up tours or put on your own productions in the Theatre Upstairs. Working with Max Stafford-Clark and Stephen Daldry

What are you working on now (which you can tell us about)?

Working on a host of on-line streaming projects including LITTLE WARS  with Juliet Stevenson and Linda Basset this week, recording this Wednesday a musical evening FALLING STARS (this was supposed to be live at the Union at the end of the month then film – yesterday it was all brought forward. THE UNDERSTUDY  with Stephen Fry (this is happening in reverse – its was a radio piece with animations during the 1st lock down, now its being put on stage for two night at the Palace Theatre in December. Further into the future I am trying to put Martin Sherman’s ROSE (staring Maureen Lipman)  into the Trafalgar Theatre for 4 weeks.

Within the Diploma programme/idea what are you most looking forward to helping/experiencing ?

Looking forward to helping people meet and make contacts. Its all about bringing different creative talents together to create work. more difficult at the moment but on the converse side there is a greater willingness by everyone in the industry to make things actually happen.

If you were going to share 1 or 2 gems of advice to aspiring producers, what would they be?

Let you imagination soar and then look at the practicalities. Don’t be bogged down by people who say no, but find a team who can make an idea take flight.

How do you ensure your own personal wellness (especially at this time in the world) ?

Look for the positives in everything. I got so much out of the 1st lockdown in terms of zoom contacts with people I hadn’t spoken to for ages, books that I discovered and having time to think. It’s important to set challenges however silly – I decided I would cook a different meal everyday for 10 weeks. + Because I  had access to a pool due to where I was in France I swim a kilometre everyday at 4pm regardless of the weather and how cold it was.

How do you like to learn / acquire new wisdom, info ?

Read constantly and not just the on-line news feeds or  blogs that one agrees with. It really important to look at the publishers/authors who attack the arts and find out why. On-line forums as useful but there can be too many to choose from.

How do you see the future, what could change for the better, what must be protected, how can the arts and your role in the arts move forward in uncertain times ?

I feel with big shows unable to perform at the moment producers can be more creative as more spaces and audiences are available to them. Continuing to mine the relationship between on-line and live work is going to be important now that barriers have been broken down. I feel there is a real look towards us to provide a dialogue on what is happening in the world, [not just] provide distractions and entertainment – in essence to be the strong core to these uncertain times.

For more information on all the faculty and the course explore these pages and for alerts on events and future blogs we have created a facebook page which will lead you to introductory videos and explorations, as we begin to recruit for the April 2021 cohort for the DipCP.