Steven Thomson

Steven attended Stanley Green High School 1977-1983 and was a resident of Foxbar.

Steven Thomson began his career firstly as actor-manager of a young, community touring Theatre Company. In 1983 Arc Theatre Company toured ‘The Game’s A Bogey’ by the late and well-known writer John McGrath (founder Artistic Director of 7:84 Theatre Scotland). Prior to that he had enjoyed a summer season at the Citizens’ Theatre with the Scottish Youth Theatre mentored by Elaine C. Smith and Robert Carlyle where he met and worked with Michelle Gomez (The Green Wing) Ronnie McCann (Doctors), and Graham McLaren (Perth Theatre and Theatre Babel).

From 1983 to 1987 he worked as Box Office Manager at the Tron Theatre then under the leadership of Linda Haase (later Scottish Opera) and Michael Boyd (RSC). Following that he was appointed as Theatre Manager with programming responsibilities at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. The RSAMD had just opened a fine new public facility with four large performance spaces. During his time at the RSAMD he helped foster a significant growth in the profile of the venue, creating a busy programme of visiting professional theatre companies, musical ensembles and conference organisers whilst maintaining a balance with regular academic activities as well as collaborating widely across the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 1992, after five successful years producing high quality public events, he took up a new post as Senior Marketing Officer and assumed responsibility for the RSAMD’s entire academic print publications

From 1987 to 1993 Steven also maintained his work as a Director and Producer. In 1987 he along with Pene Herman-Smith and Lorenzo Mele (7:84 Theatre Co.) founded Made In Glasgow, a professional student theatre ensemble at the RSAMD. The company staged the first Scottish Student Drama Festival at the RSAMD, and toured to the Edinburgh Fringe with “The American Dream” by Edward Albee “Weddings & After” by William McIlvanney; The Square That Couldn’t Rock & Roll by Brian McCann; Night Mother by Marsha Norman; Zoo Story by Edward Albee; Night Mother by Marsha Norman; Fools by Neil Simon; The Street by written and directed by Alan McHugh; The Love of Don Perlimplin by Federico Garcia and The Respectable Wedding by Bertolt Brecht both directed by David McVicar. In 1991 he produced Dunoon jazz singer and Billie Holiday look-alike Suzanne Bonnar (River City) in ‘I Cover The Waterfront – the Billie Holiday Story’ by Troy Fairclough which played at Glasgow International Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. His last production in 1992 whilst still at the RSAMD was his directorial debut for the Scottish première of Nice by Mustapha Matura which starred afro-caribbean actor Desmond McLean.

In late 1993 Steven left RSAMD to go freelance and carried off a successful short-term marketing contract with New Moves – Scotland’s international contemporary dance festival. He followed that with a short stint as Press Officer for touring company Winged Horse Productions. Mid 1994 he was appointed General Manager for Promenade Productions, producers of The Big Picnic at the Harland & Wolff Engine Shed former Shipyard. This epic 1st World War production was written and directed by Bill Bryden (former Head of Drama at BBC Scotland and Associate Director of England’s Royal National Theatre). He worked principally under the Producer, Nicholas Newton (founder of London’s the Bush Theatre and son of 1950’s Hollywood film actor Robert Newton). The production was staged to great acclaim to over 50,000 people and recorded for Broadcast on Armistice Day by BBC Television.

Between 1995 and 1996 he worked for Glasgow City Council as a citywide Theatre Manager at The King’s, Mitchell and Tramway Theatres. Mid 1996 he also organised the ticketing operation for the World League of American Football’s Scottish Claymores successful World Bowl Championship at Murrayfield Stadium attended by 38,000 people.

In July 1997 Steven relocated to London to again take up the post of General Manager with Promenade Productions who had been commissioned by Channel 4 to make a new six-part drama entitled SOHO. This was to have been a £6m serial drama filmed at Pinewood Studios. Unfortunately the production was never made due to a change of Chief Executive at Channel 4 in late 1997.

During his year in London he returned to work for the World League of American Football, this time at its NFL Europe London Headquarters, managing the stadium and ticketing operation for its two main teams the England Monarchs and Scottish Claymores.

Over the last decade Steven has continued to work in an associate capacity with Bill Bryden and Producer, Nicholas Newton and continues to act as Finance Manager for the Company. He has worked on a string of BBC Radio Recordings and the production Baby Doll by Tennessee Williams at the Albery Theatre in London’s West End in June 2000.

In May 1998 Steven returned to Glasgow and New Moves in a new role as Administrative Director in a bid to consolidate his professional development within the Company and across Scotland. During his tenure he was successful in securing an increase in the Company’s annual funding by moving the company from project to core revenue funding as well as managing many successful medium scale lottery bids. He also organised a major review by the Scottish Arts Council which culminated in the creation of new posts to further develop audience and contextual programming and took the average annual turnover of the Company from £100k to circa £350k. He found continuing support from the British Council, Visiting Arts and from time to time the Arts Council of England. In a bold move in October 1999 he successfully persuaded the Artistic Director and Board that a merger between the National Review of Live Art and the New Moves festival would aid long term survival for the Company and give live art a significant annual platform. The Company launched its new five-week festival New Territories in Feb 2002.

In February 2004 he was appointed Producer of the Glasgay! festival which since his appointment has grown from a small fortnight long festival of circa 3,000 attendees to a large month long celebration at nearly 20 venues attracting up to 25,000 visitors. He has successfully repositioned the festival as Scotland’s annual celebration of gay culture, grown public funding, increased private sponsorship, and diversified the income base. The programme continues to have a strong international flavour and in his bid to keep things fresh he is currently developing a programme of commissions of new work.

In 2005 Steven was awarded a Pride Award by Phace Scotland and The List and also listed 80th in the top 100 cultural movers and shakers or the year. In September 2005 he opened the Q! Gallery, Scotland’s first gallery dedicated to gay art and artists and in Spring 2006 he will open the Stud!o, an adjacent space for creative workshops, rehearsals, performance and holistic practice.