Our Creative Producer Annika Edge blogs about how making 7 Veils has influenced her career path, and heading off on tour with Mata Hari…
Hello. My name’s Annika, and I’m the Creative Producer of 7 Veils. That still sounds weird: “creative producer”. I had kind of got used to working as Producer, which is usually something close to an events manager… Same hectic schedule, same craziness, and very similar rewards of seeing people walk away from what ever you made happen with a smile on their face.
But it’s been 7 Veils, and Mata Hari – this wonderfully strange, almost mythical woman – that has made me realise that what I really am, and, importantly, what I want to be is a Creative Producer. So I should probably get used to the title.
Having been part of this exciting new project from (almost) day one, which is now over a year ago, I’ve seen the show grow. I’ve nurtured it together with Laura (performer) and Abi (writer), tearing bits of it apart, putting new things in, being present in the rehearsal rooms as well as on my laptop at home. It’s been a collaborative process that given me the encouragement and enthusiasm to call myself what I am: I am a Creative Producer. I am someone who makes ideas happen.
7 Veils has been one of my first theatre ventures and it’s been an amazing process. It feels that as a creative team we have “clicked”: created something beautiful, which can be seen in this one-hour show, which keeps developing; but which has also been something beautiful behind the scenes. Mata Hari has brought us even closer together, knowing how we tick, how we work and how effectively we can work together creatively (“the deadline is tomorrow lunchtime? Of course we can submit that 3 page form!”). It has been an amazing experience to share our work, first of all in front of a small, intimate sharing session and then in the Kings Arms; receiving reviews and feedback, engaging with more brilliant young creatives and getting invited to further opportunities.
With this new empowerment that I have gained personally, but also as team, I am looking forward to Mata Hari’s future. Just as she, the historic figure of the notorious exotic dancer/spy, always travelled a lot, I know that this show is calling to go further, make more people smile around the UK (and abroad), and give her Wikipedia page that well deserved increase in clicks. (Go on. You know you want to.)
An experienced producer said to me the other day, “stay curious, keep looking for challenges and face them”. And that is what we are doing; the 7 Veils tour is a completely new, and somewhat daunting, adventure. But it is our adventure, and I believe that with someone as passionate as Mata Hari, and a tight-knit cerative team (another tip from the workshop leader) this challenge seems very achievable and exciting. Mata Hari and her team have a lot more history to write and I am excited to be part of it.
The 7 Veils 2015 tour is already up and running, and you can catch us at The Swan, Dobcross as part of Oldham Coliseum’s First Break Festival on Tuesday next week!
We’ve also just announced that we’ll be taking Mata Hari to the Brighton Fringe Festival in May!