upstage productions…all about us!

We are a theatre production company specialising in child-friendly theatre and traditional pantomime. We were founded in 1990 by Shirley Bull, Victoria Ward is now the Director of Upstage Productions.

No theatre company is without its superstitions and coincidental theories and at Upstage we are no exception – our (proven!) belief is if you star in one of our shows your next job will be in the West End. Here are a few examples of our theory;

Matthew Jeans played “Aladdin” – went on to be in “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables”

Michael Wolston-Thomas played “Prince Rupert” – went on to be in Motown

Sean Carey played “Simple Simon” – Went on to be in “The Play that Goes Wrong”

Richard Carson played “Prince Charming” – went on to be in “Miss Saigon” and “Les Miserables”

Genevieve Taylor played “Fairy Peapod” – went on to be in “Wicked”

James Wolstenholme played “Fleshcreep” – went to be in “School of Rock”

Piers Bate played “Aladdin” – went on to be in “Waitress”

victoria ward – director

Our Director, Victoria Ward (pictured) trained at Mountview and most recently performed in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre London. Victoria has also appeared in The Sound of Music, Our House, Hairspray, Do I Hear A Waltz, and Les Misérables in front of the Duchess of Cornwall. Her other acting credits include: Sugar, Blood Brothers, Wonderful Town, South Pacific and many different roles for Carl Rosa Opera Company.

Victoria has performed many times in pantomimes at the Radlett Centre but is now thrilled to be on the other side and enjoys her Directing (telling people what to do) role immensely. However, in 2017 our Wicked Fairy was so ill that Victoria stepped in and did the next 8 performances. She learnt the part overnight and went on stage off-book for her first performance – what a pro! She is immensely proud of this, however, throughout the performances, the only thing she never got right was the end of the Taylor Swift song SHE had put into the show herself during rehearsals!

thank you shirley…

Shirley became the co-founder of Upstage Productions in 1996 and also produced several successful touring shows during her career in theatre.

She sadly passed away in 2017 and is sorely missed by all those that worked with her. Shirley enjoyed producing, directing, scriptwriting and many other aspects of professional theatre. She was a director of a full-time theatre school, ran a highly successful children’s agency and was a children’s administrator for other production companies.

As a friend and business partner of Shirley’s, she was a wonderful woman to know and was known to many as ‘Auntie Shirley’.

In an industry that can sometimes be ruthless, here was a lady who was kind, caring, wanted people to succeed and was happy to give anyone a leg up into show business and loved it when people went on to bigger and better things.

For someone heavily involved in theatre most of her life, she wasn’t flamboyant nor needed to be the centre of attention. She wrote many wonderful and funny scripts for our pantos over the years and was the queen of subtle innuendo. I feel honoured to be carrying on the legacy of Upstage Productions that Shirley built from the ground up over 20 years of dedication, commitment and style. But more importantly I feel blessed to have known her and say she was my friend, a true friend and one I could always rely on and we only get a handful of those in a lifetime.

We all miss you, Shirley, you may be gone but you most definitely will not be forgotten and your true spirit will shine on through our future productions.

Victoria Ward.