From the age of eight when James Quaife was taken to see his first West End musical - Joseph by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber - he has never wanted to do anything other than work in theatre. James started his career at the Harlequin Theatre working as a theatre steward. Rather than staying in the auditorium and doing his job, he would often slip back stage and watch from the wings.
From then on James worked exclusively in theatre, both in the administration side and the technical side. In 2005 James worked for Universal Arts as Associate Front Of House Manger for Hill Street Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After this James worked for the National Student Drama Festival as the Local Coordinator for two years and then took on the position of Press and Publicity officer in the third and final year of working for the company. In 2006 James went on to work for Opera Holland Park as the health and safety officer and in his second season with the company he was promoted to Associate Front Of House Manger.
While studying at the University of Hull, Scarborough Campus, James produced and directed over 7 productions, all while still studying for his degree. In his third year he wrote, directed and produced his first musical entitled Jack, which was based on the unidentified serial killer, Jack the Ripper. In 2007 James decided to return to London and complete a Master of Fine Arts in Directing at St Mary's University, culminating in directing and producing the production Orpheus by Kenneth McLeish at the Battersea Arts Centre. After leaving St Mary's, James produced and directed productions for several venues including the Tristan Bates Theatre, The New End Theatre, The Albany and the Barons Court Theatre. He also assisted on the musical Possessed by Teresa Howard with music composed by Steven Edis at the Arts Theatre and the transfer to the Oxford Playhouse.
James then went on to form JQ Productions in June 2008 and since then he has produced the first UK revival of Painting a Wall by David Lan the world première of Death of Long Pig by Nigel Planer the European premiere of the musical Little Fish by Michael John LaChiusa and the first London revival in 25 years of the production Moliere or The League of Hypocrites by Mikhail Bulgakov in association with the National Theatre Studio. Moliere gained four-star reviews from The Guardian, Whats-on-Stage and London Theatre Reviews. The production was also critic's choice for The Guardian for three weeks and was awarded Best Plays of 2009 by History Today.
In 2009 James went to work for The National Council for Drama Training where he managed two film projects in Edinburgh and Cardiff and 4 London film seminars at ITV with guest speakers including Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris and Paul Andrew Williams. Later that year James was selected to take part as one of 8 new producers for the Old Vic New Voices: 24 Hour Plays, which were performed on Sunday 26 July at the Old Vic Theatre. In 2010 James was invited to sit on the panel as a judge for the Olivier Awards.
In 2010 James went to work for The Old Vic Theatre as the Project Manager for Old Vic New Voices. During his time at OVNV James launched and managed the T.S Eliot US/UK Exchange, with the launch being hosted in London by James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons . The project took place in New York and London with the New York Showcase being hosted by Hugh Dancy at The Public Theater (2010) and the London Showcase being hosted by Kevin Spacey at The Old Vic (2010). In 2011 the Showcase took place at the Vineyard Theatre in New York. James then went on to manage and produce The 24 Hour Plays; Old Vic New Voices 2010, hosted by Shappi Khorsandi and 2011, hosted by Seann Walsh. James also assisted on The 24 Hour Plays: Celebrity Gala, 2010 hosted by John Cleese and 2011 hosted by Rob Brydon.
Towards the end of 2010 James produced the musical Striking 12 by Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin and Valerie Vigoda for Waterloo East Theatre and was the Associate Producer for PLATFORM by Duncan Macmillan and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm for Old Vic New Voices / The Old Vic Tunnels.
During 2011 James was the Project Manager for Time Warner IGNITE which commission 24 new plays over 2 years for which 6 of them were turned into a short film and will be screened at Warner Bros in London in 2012.
In April, 2011 James produced the London Premiere of Precious Little Talent by award winning writer Ella Hickson at the Trafalgar Studios. The play was directed by James Dacre and stared Ian Gelder, Olivia Hallinan and Anthony Welsh. The production received high critical response from The Times ****, Evening Standard ****, The Telegraph ****, Financial Times ****, Fourthwall ****, Exeunt **** and The Daily Mail. The production then went on to be awarded Best Play of the year at The London Theatre Festival Awards 2011.
Most recently James was awarded a Bursary from Stage One, a company who are dedicated to supporting new producers and productions in order to sustain the future of quality commercial theatre in the UK. James then went on to produce the West End production Step 9 (of 12) by Rob Hayes. The production was directed by Tom Attenborough and stared Blake Harrison who shot to fame play Neil in the Inbetweeners. The production ran for 4 weeks at the Trafalgar Studios in May 2012 and was reviewed as "...a play that everyone needs to see, before it is too late *****."
James has just finished producing the world premieres of People Like Us by Jake Brunger and Happy Never After by Hannah Rodger which opened at the Pleasance Theatre in London in November 2012. Both plays received high critical response from The British Theatre Guide *****, WestEndWilma *****, WhatsOnStage ****, The Public Review, ****, FourthWall ****, The Good Review ****, OneStopArts **** and Everything Theatre ****.
James is currently working as Assistant Producer (Stage One) for Seabright Productions Ltd and is currently working on the UK Tour of The Showstoppers, Oliver Reed - Wild Thing, Miss Havisham's Expectations, The School of Night and Potted Potter.
James will also be Co-Producing with Mje Productions the West End premiere of Barking In Essex by Clive Exton, staring Lee Evans, Sheila Hancock, Keeley Hawes, Karl Johnson & Montserrat Lombard. The production will open at the Wyndham's Theatre in September this year.
James is delighted and proud to be what he has always aspired to become.