What’s It Like To Produce A UK Tour?

We caught up with Russell Scott, producer of the UK tour of Godspell in Concert, about his role, his career so far and what it’s like to produce a tour!

russell scott

Tell us a bit about the project you’re working on right now…

“I am producing the UK tour of Godspell in Concert, which follows the critically acclaimed gala concert in the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue last May.  It was the first time the show was back in London for over 40 years, after launching the career of David Essex. Off the back of the success of the show I flew to New York with the Director for a meeting with Stephen Schwartz – composer of Godspell, Wicked & Pippin – who granted us exclusive rights to a UK tour. This is a totally unique venture, it’s never before been performed in concert and hasn’t been on tour for almost 10 years. We’re visiting 29 venues around  the UK over 12 weeks and, for the first time in British theatre history, we’re casting choirs from across the country for each performance.”

What’s an average day in your life like?

“Busy beyond belief! It consists of non-stop phone calls, emails and text messages from anyone; whether it be cast, crew, creative or production supplier! I have press & radio interviews almost every other day talking about the production. Also, at the moment we’re auditioning choirs all over the country! Each day I am playing a role of juggling & logistics. It’s pretty busy but very exciting. The continual development is what makes each day so great!”

What’s the hardest thing about producing a tour?

“I suppose the hardest thing is the amount of people involved & being pulled from pillar to post. I share the load with Co-Producer Mark Pettit and together we’re doing everything that needs to be done to manage and produce the tour. I am also the Musical Director so I am dealing with day-to-day cast and music issues on a creative level. The hardest thing is, being the perfectionist I am, making sure I am doing everything right and meeting everyone’s expectations, including my own.”

What’s your favourite thing to do?

“Because I am Producer & Musical Director, I kind of have two hats. As a Producer the most exciting thing for me is seeing everything come together to produce this amazing final product. As the Musical Director, the performer and musician in me is super excited about getting on the stage and performing every night. The music is so amazing. It’s not the dated Godspell that everyone remembers – it’s a brand new rock and pop score that is totally current.”

What made you decide to produce?

“I see myself as creative and I like organising, being in control and making things happen. It’s been quite organic over the last 10 years going from performer, to voice coach to artistic director. I wanted to do it because I love putting all of these different facets together to produce something so amazing.”

“It’s the worst industry in the world but I wouldn’t change it for a second!”

What was the first thing you produced?

“The first show I produced on my own was “An Evening of Bricusse & Wildhorn” – 2 musical legends & lyricists. I produced the show at Pizza on the Park and it received the first standing ovations they’d seen in over 2 years & was a really exciting project. That was in 2009. I’m going from selling 200 seats to over 2000 per venue now! Really scary!”

Thinking about the Godspell team, what are the essential roles when producing a tour?

“The main roles are the Producers and the Director. The Producers make everything happen; from engaging all the creatives, to booking the venues, to the logistics of physically making the tour happen. Kenneth Avery-Clark is the Director. Without a director you don’t have a play, you just have music.  Then there’s the Casting Director, without whom you can’t put the cast together and make the show happen.”

What tips would you give to someone starting out with the end goal of becoming a tour producer?

“It’s the worst industry in the world but I wouldn’t change it for a second!

  1. Never lose your vision of the final goal.
  2. People – make sure you have the right team and that each of them are motivated just as much as you are.
  3. Make sure you have the resources to carry out the job.”

Check out this interview with the cast and crew of Godspell in Concert!

We think this sounds like a REALLY exciting job and a great show! Find out more about the show and it’s cast and crew here.