Producing great art


It’s not long until the deeply moving play Shadowlands appears on our stage. The producers of the show, Jon and Anne Marie Woodley, took a few moments out of their day to answer some questions about producing a show on the scale of Shadowlands:


Why chose Shadowlands?

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly we fell in love with the story, it deals with real life issues that whilst they weren’t so prevalent when the play was first written and performed, now in modern life you would struggle to find someone who hasn’t had their lives or families affected by Cancer. But not in a morose way, the play actually shows the strength that commitment, love and support can bring, as well as showing how we all crave answers, understanding and also that degree of escapism that we see with young Douglas and his interaction with Narnia.


What are the challenges of taking such a technically demanding show on tour?

High Production values our very close to our heart at Birdsong Productions and we truly believe that a touring production should still be able to provide the scale and impact that an in-house production or west end production would have. Just because it has to go into a lorry each week shouldn’t restrict the aesthetical values of what we have on stage!

This set has a couple of truly wow factors – with Narnia being the main secret!


What have you learned from producing various other touring productions?

Producing large touring drama is hard work! But we love being able to bring high-quality drama with fantastic actors, large companies and beautiful sets to such a diverse and wide range of towns and cities across the UK. Word of mouth is vitally important as is striking the right chord and a consistent message from artwork, through to the performances.



This interview was originally published in The Mercury Newspaper 22/06/2016