London-based Australian producer Garry is the GM in RGM, our resident rainmaker and company MD with over 25 years experience developing, producing and managing ground-breaking productions around the world.
Garry is the lead producer and managing partner of Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical, the Broadway and West End hit show that is now Australia’s most successful theatrical export. For the past decade Garry has been responsible for driving Priscilla’s international success; to date the show has played to almost 6 million people in 135 cities in 30 countries around the world.
After working as stage manager for Melbourne Theatre Company, Garry headed to London where he worked as stage manager for Noises Off around the world. He returned to Australia and a life as company manager, production manager and sometimes even director for several big shows.
Garry’s list of credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Steaming, Sweet Bird of Youth, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Boy From Oz, Blood Brothers and Showboat, and (while joint Managing Director of Back Row Productions) he toured many international shows including Tap Dogs, Slava’s Snowshow, Mums the Word, Gumboots, Fosse, Shaolin Monks of China, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Jerry Seinfeld, Cats and Circus OZ.
Like Priscilla and Tap Dogs, Garry’s story is quintessentially Australian. Before winning a scholarship to NIDA (Australia’s national drama school), he spent his youth playing semi-professional football and surf-lifesaving on Wollongong’s beaches. After leaving school he worked on the blast furnace floor at the Port Kembla steelworks where he fell in with a gang of immigrant labourers who nurtured his interest in theatre and encouraged him to apply for NIDA.
Garry not only won a scholarship and graduated, but returned some years later to teach – and then head NIDA’s Production Course for over a decade. He has enjoyed an unbroken relationship with the school for over four decades including two terms as a member of the Board of Directors. He is currently serving as a member of the NIDA Foundation Trust board.
Garry has a degree in Dramatic Art, a law degree, an MBA, and holds a number of trade qualifications including rigging, scaffolding and pyrotechnic licenses. He is an ardent Sydney Swans supporter and his hobbies include scuba diving, sailing and piloting his light plane.
What is your secret superpower?
Lateral thinking and equanimity
What’s your proudest career moment?
The first Priscilla opening in Sydney in 1996.
What has been your most memorable theatre experience?
The formative influences remain with me – the first Australian productions of The Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ Superstar. I saw them both in the same month, both left me gobsmacked. This was the first time I genuinely thought about making a life in theatre, those songs still move me.
There are many more; shows I have been lucky to work on and performers I have loved working with: Chrissy Amphlett and her heart-breakingly vulnerable and brave performance as Mrs Johnson in the 1988 Australian production of Blood Brothers; Todd McKenny channelling Peter Allan in the original Boy From Oz; Hugh Jackman’s first professional role as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, the crazy infuriating untrained and unconsciously brilliant Gumboots performers … I could go on!