Every show has a producer, but what do they do? It’s a simple enough question, to which there’s a myriad of complex, clever and convoluted answers that all boil down to the same thing really – they get things done.
Which is exactly what Perdie Bargh, Creative Producer: Learning & Participation at Lighthouse, is doing.
“As a producer you are the organiser so you have to be organised,” she explains. “You know what you are working towards – the show or event – so there’s a deadline, then you break everything down into a series of tasks that will bring you to that point. I’m glad that my first role as producer is quite small scale because although I don’t have a team of people to do things, I am learning a lot about what it takes to get things done.”
Perdie is producing The Heart at the Centre of the World, the play commissioned by Lighthouse as part of Here and Now, a national and local celebration of culture within communities. Directed by Janisè Sadik and written by Andrew Muir from the workshops hosted with young people from Poole and Bournemouth College, it’s a play about being seventeen and a little bit lost.
“I’m really enjoying it,” says Perdie. “Essentially I’m the liaison between the writer and the director and Lighthouse. I hear what they need and work out ways to make that happen then feed back to the team at Lighthouse.
“But if you’d have told me when I left uni that within five years I would be producing a theatre play I would have given you such a strange look – like so much that has happened to me at Lighthouse I never really knew it was possible to make a job out of it.”
A Film & Literature graduate of Warwick University, Perdie started work at Lighthouse in July 2017 as an intern.
“I didn’t really know what job I would get with my degree, but at uni the only careers advice I got was to be a librarian. I liked writing and I wanted to work in the creative arts so I started looking at marketing as an option and interviewed for the marketing internship at Lighthouse. That went well, but they asked me if I would consider a role in Creative Engagement – something I didn’t really know existed before.
“I worked with Stephen Wrentmore who was Artistic Producer and we got along really well. He sees the world in a very interesting way and has a very nurturing approach that really suited me. When he left I worked more closely with Libby Battaglia and she has a great way of getting people involved in projects then leaving the experts to get on with what they do best while still having an overview of everything that’s going on. It was very instructive.”
As to where all this is going, it seems Perdie’s best plan is to have no plan…
“I thought I was coming to Lighthouse for a six-month internship, but four years later I’m still here. I’ve never had a plan and I certainly don’t have one now – I mean look at the last year, nobody could have planned for that – but I have updated my job pretty much every year so I don’t feel I’m stagnating at all.
“I love what I’m doing, I’m really enjoying it and learning such a lot on the job, so I just want to do more of it and I think there will be lots of opportunities to do that.”
:: The Heart at the Centre of the World can be seen as part of Lighthouse: OUTSIDE on Saturday 10 July.