We're always hearing about what it's like to be an performer in London, but what about the other creative professions? We want to hear from the programmers, the venue managers, the designers...and today:

Artistic Director of Theatre Deli, Jessica Brewster.

Jess is founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Deli. Prior to working full time with the company she worked for 8 years in TV and most recently was Producer / Director on the Great British Bake Off for the BBC. She’s a single mum of 2 kids and a really fat cat and lives in the Worcestershire countryside. 

04:30am: Yep. It’s Monday so it’s always a painfully early start unless I’m working from home (and even then with two kids there’s no lie in). I’m pretty good at getting up early now so I get straight up, shower, get dressed, feed my cat Fat Toby, make a very large cup of tea and get commuting. Due to a previous life as a TV producer in Bristol I live miles away from any of Theatre Deli’s venues.

05:15am: Jump on the National Express - a life saver for charity based commuters - cheap and cheerful even if you do get stuck on the M4 for hours. On the coach I catch up on emails, stare seriously at the cashflow forecast, plan my week using GTD, and maybe get some reading done

09:00am: Arrive at Theatre Deli Broadgate, have a quick chat with whoever is behind the bar, grab an Old Spike black coffee and head upstairs to have more computer time before everyone arrives at 10am.

10:00am: My check ins with staff start. I catch up with Sophie on the cafe to talk through her plans for food. Then I call Sarah in Sheffield to prep for when I’m in the office there later this week and we have big catch up about programming for Theatre Deli’s cross-organisational programming happening in all venues for the rest of the year. This includes a Migration Festival in June, Rain & Shine our new children’s festival in summer and a festival on mental health in the autumn.

We also talk about the Christmas Show in Sheffield. Every year we do a large scale immersive show, and after working with the Guild of Misrule for a couple of years we’re self-producing this year. We talk through ideas for the design team who will be crucial to the success of the project.

11:00am: I head into a 3 hour meeting with the entire London team to plan Christmas and Summer activity in both venues. We have a brilliant brainstorm and decide on programming theme, events and structure for Christmas, which I’m really excited about. Roland, my co-director, takes the team through a SWOT analysis for summer as building work happening around us has thrown us a couple of curve balls and we need to rethink our approach to attracting customers and audience.

3:00pm: I have a check in with our landlord, British Land, to talk through potentially programming a brand new high-profile immersive event, our summer outdoor space and, less excitingly, issues we’re having with charity business rates.

4:00pm: I join in the Broadgate staff ‘Big Time’ meeting where we look over the last week’s activity across the space, plan next week’s activity and needs, solve issues and celebrate successes.

6:00pm: I head into Broadgate to check out Sense of Space on Finsbury Square, an immersive sensory experience in a box!

8:00pm: Jump on the bus to Shoreditch Town Hall to meet with my friend, VR & tech artist Jane Gauntlett to see Curious Directive’s Frogman - a mixed theatre VR experience. Lovely lead performances and a commitment to narrative impressed us both.

11.30pm: I get back to my friend’s house in Brixton and collapse into bed to get ready for a trip to the Sheffield Venue tomorrow.