Colin Ingram of Colin Ingram Ltd
Colin has worked in the theatre industry for 23 years with some of the world’s leading producers, directors, designers and writers. Growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s, Colin’s parents would take the whole family on trips to London to see big musicals. Colin went to the University of Edinburgh to study law, but says he spent a lot more time putting on shows than poring over legal tomes! It was there he formed the Edinburgh University Footlights and co-wrote two musicals with his friend Ross Macfarlane, now a Scottish judge.
“At that time, Cameron had five shows in the West End so I had to grow up really quickly. Cameron was all about the detail – from whether the front-of-house pictures were curling at the edges to every aspect of casting. He raised the quality of production to a level that had never been seen before. Yes, he was tough and if you screwed up you got a bollocking, but I took so much away from that experience.”
“Part of my job was to raise money to produce Billy Elliot, so I spent a lot of time schmoozing big fund managers. It was a very busy time for me. We were trying to do the impossible – start a theatre company doing four shows a year without any subsidy.”
With Kevin Spacey, he produced eight plays including Hamlet starring Ben Wishaw, Aladdin starring Ian McKellan, and Richard II, Philadelphia Story and National Anthems starring Spacey.
After leaving the Old Vic in 2005, Colin continued on as a consultant for the Broadway and Australian productions of Billy Elliot – The Musical and started up his own production company, Colin Ingram Ltd. He produced the Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp musical Movin’ Out in the West End, then lead produced and general managed the West End premieres of Gone With The Wind directed by Trevor Nunn, Breakfast At Tiffany’s staring Anna Friel and Ghost The Musical (nominated for 5 Olivier Awards, winner of Best Musical, Manchester Theatre Awards) directed by Matthew Warchus. In 2016, Colin returned to produce and general manage Breakfast At Tiffany’s with the Curve Theatre, Leicester starring Pixie Lott (nominated Best Actress at WOS Awards) in both the West End and UK Tour.
Ghost has been an enormous global hit for Colin over the past eight years. When it opened in London in 2011, a review from The Stage described it as “one of the two best new musicals of the year” and “a genuinely involving and gripping entertainment”.
Colin acts as global producer on Ghost – The Musical which has performed in South Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, Australia, Brazil, US Tour, UK Tour, Germany, Russia, Italy, Hungary, Sweden, Turkey, Dubai, Japan and new productions in Spain, France and Italy next year. The worldwide success of Ghost came as a massive relief to Colin after his disheartening experience with Gone With the Wind, directed by Trevor Nunn, at the New London Theatre in 2007. Hammered by the critics, it ran for 12 weeks and lost most of its £4m production costs.
Colin joined Madison Square Gardens Entertainment as Executive Vice President of Productions. At Radio City, he produced the New York Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes directed and choreographed by Mia Michaels – a major undertaking involving over 350 cast, crew and musicians and produced the 2016 Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes achieving the highest revenue in its 85 year history.
Colin is developing a new musical version of Back To The Future with the film’s creators Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale with music by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard.
“You learn from both triumphs and failures, but Gone With the Wind definitely taught me that all big musicals need extensive workshopping, and ideally an out-of-town tryout. That’s what I did with Ghost, and that’s why we’re doing Back to the Future in Manchester before it comes to London. You’ve got to sort out the problems before you open a big musical because the cost of changing things at the 11th hour is prohibitive.”
In 2018, he co-founded InTheatre Productions with Peter Kane as a new production company to develop his slate of new musicals and produce a new version of Grease which opened a UK Tour in June 2019, and to co-produce and invest in other musicals with third party producers. It’s first co-production will be On Your Feet opened in London in summer 2019 and is touring throughout the UK. His new musicals include two major film titles with music by multi-award winning British recording artists.
“If investors see how hard you work to make something a success, they will come back and work with you again, even if they’ve lost money. The year after Gone With the Wind, Peter invested in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which had three separate incarnations between 2009 and 2016.”
To watch further videos featuring Colin on BBC London News and BBC Working Lunch, please click HERE and choose the Videos tab.