Updated: May 10
When setting up a company like ours or a theatre company, you might want to google “how to set up a (theatre) company”, in honesty, this is something I’ve just done at the end of February, nearly two months since launching Play Dead. There’s loads of brilliant advice and tips and tricks out there, but there’s no hard and fast way to go about doing it. Do it your way. You may have a need to instantly set something up and get something happening, you may develop ideas and gather collaborators over time, you may be many, you may be flying solo. In the end, you’ll make your own successes and mistakes and learn as you go.
Eloise and I were the slow burners. We’d been threatening to do something creative together for about 7 years, and over time we knew that threat involved movement, and maybe music, and play. We threatened lots of different ideas, and none stuck, until this one, and we couldn’t shake it off, and it felt like the right timing, so then we dived in head first.
We set up Play Dead on January 2nd 2019. We wanted to hit the new year running, January is renowned for being quiet after all. On reflection 2nd January was ambitious, we were still reeling from Christmas gorging and New Year boozing, and no one is seriously back to work on the 2nd Jan, they might be sat in front of a computer but they aren’t working. Even the House of Commons weren’t back until the 8th!
So we’d built a website, we had a logo, we even had two jobs in the bag already and we launched shouting out our name loudly from the mountain - PLAYYYYY DEEEAAAD. We had some lovely people shout back at us, and we heard a lot of our own echo. Which felt a little lonely, but we’d done it, we’d put it out there and we officially existed now.
And looking back, there’s things I’d change about the way we launched and how prepped we were, but lessons learnt, it happened and we were taking up some space. We knew what we wanted to achieve and we’d made the jump. And that’d be my only advice really, make the jump, try and make it with friends and supporters of you around, try and be as prepped as possible, try and have a project lined up to focus on after the launch (no matter how small), make plans that keep the momentum going, but just make the jump.