A full-scale alien invasion is set to hit the Birmingham NIA next month with the first-ever stage outing for TV hero Doctor Who, writes Neil Elkes.
And while assorted Daleks, Cybermen and Silurians will be plotting the conquest of the Earth on stage, behind the scenes a Sutton Coldfield company is pulling the strings.
Steve Hill and David Andrews, owners of Events, Marketing and Other Stuff, based in Cofield Road, are more used to the rigours of life on the road with rock’n’rollers like Oasis.
But as tour manager for Doctor Who Live, Steve will be making a rare foray into theatrical production.
He will be making sure the 80 or so cast and crew, including Young Ones star Nigel Planer, are in the right place at the right time for the 25-date UK tour.
“Doctor Who Live is a major show, with a live band, theatrical performances, lasers and pyrotechnics. It is quite ambitious,” he explains. “It’s a privilege to be involved. Doctor Who is a British institution, it is watched by millions. It’s part of our culture.”
A former bass player with local bands like The Starfighters, Little Big Horn and The Grip, he did not reach the heights of stardom he dreamt of – number 63 was his highest chart position – but found a place behind the scenes.
That rock experience was channelled into a new career as production and tour manager which has grown over the last 15 years, first as a freelance and more recently with EMO.
He has now worked on world tours with the likes of Bon Jovi, The Cure, Oasis, last year’s Take That spectacular and more recently this summer’s Radio 1 Big Weekend gigs.
“Having that experience of being in a band, even though they were not the most successful bands, I have seen it from their perspective. I think it helps,” he says.
“And Birmingham is the perfect location for our business, it is central, you can get to most places within two hours.”
Steve admits getting into the concert and live show business at the right time. With album sales plummeting in the face of widespread online music piracy, tours and gigs are the only way bands and artists can sell themselves.
“All the effort goes into live shows, they are the big earner for the industry,” he adds.
With the BBC now taking to the road there is optimism that the live circuit has even more room to grow.
Doctor Who Live is at the NIA from October 18-20. The show includes filmed parts starring The Doctor himself Matt Smith, while Young Ones star Nigel Planer and voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs perform live.
For full details visit www.doctorwholive.com/