Guest Blog: Director Josh Maughan on Partnerships, Opportunities and His Latest Show, EUCHARIST

'We are firm believers in the responsibility of the theatre industry to empower social and personal change and transformation'

By: Jun. 12, 2024
Guest Blog: Director Josh Maughan on Partnerships, Opportunities and His Latest Show, EUCHARIST
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In 2020, my best friend Freddie Acaster and I decided to set up a production company – after one too many G&Ts. With a steady hangover the next day, we trudged through the admin and launched Springbok Production House – our now award-winning company set to open its fifth season this Saturday at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden. Freddie and I met after being rejected from Guildhall. I asked her for drinks. She thought I was flirting, but still gave me a chance. And the rest is history.

Our last four years in the industry have been characterised by four sell-out theatre seasons at some of our favourite venues in the UK which have flourished due to the beautiful partnerships we’ve established with fellow creatives in the Off-West End theatre scene.

In 2021, we met the wonderful Phil Bartlett (The Hope Theatre’s previous Artistic Director) as we opened These Craters of Ours, our first London season. We were very young, very green, and very nervous – but Phil believed in us as a team and gave us a tremendous platform to produce work at The Hope Theatre in Islington, just down the road from the venue of Freddie and I’s first production meeting.

Phil’s belief in the narratives we were sharing guided us through the creation of two of our defining pieces of work Nice Jewish Boy and Our 1972, neither of which would have been possible without the diverse and inclusive platforms the industry has offered us.  This is why, in the creation of our fifth London season, Freddie and I decided that it was now our responsibility to show other creatives the same faith that Phil showed us when we were two hopefuls.

Enter Saskia Mollard and Tobias Abbott, the stars and writers of Eucharist, our new project opening in just a few days. My dad (who is a convenient part-time PR agent for Springbok) had told me about his work colleague’s daughter, who had just written a show she was hoping to perform in London. I was slightly sceptical and didn’t think much would come of it  (my dad is a hopeless optimist for theatre projects) but we set up a call anyway. Seconds in, I was hooked, and prayed they’d ask me to jump on board. Our love story is short and sweet as minutes after the call, Springbok signed on as producer and I was set to direct. It was almost too good to be true.

Guest Blog: Director Josh Maughan on Partnerships, Opportunities and His Latest Show, EUCHARIST

However, it still is that good and still is true. Thanks for the optimism, Dad! We’re in our second week of rehearsals for Eucharist and this project is a dream. Eucharist is a psychological romance about love, grief, and the gory lengths people are willing to go to for money and power. After Clara, a broke, solitary, young woman swaps out her heart for a large sum of money, her new boyfriend goes above and beyond to keep her safe. But are his motives as pure as they seem?

It is such a privilege working with Saskia and Toby on bringing their vision to life and a wonderful reminder of the power of collectivism in our industry. Freddie and I are firm believers in the responsibility of the theatre industry to empower social and personal change and transformation – and we feel fortunate to be in a position where we can give platforms to incredible creatives who have urgent, challenging, and raw stories to share.

I see a very bright future for Springbok Production House. Yes, we’ve had our struggles and rejection is a familiar word – but our roots are strong. We’re working with some truly outstanding creatives and sharing the stories we wish we’d heard growing up. And at the end of the day, making theatre with your best friend isn’t the worst job in the world.

Eucharists run from 15-19 June at The Etcetera Theatre




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