Interview | 11 Jun 2019

Breaking into the International Market beyond the U.K

Posted in Top tips, Tools & Advice, Motivation & inspiration, Interview, Client,

This month we spoke to Founder of Anystage Productions Paul Cockle on expanding outside of the UK,  the international markets his creative production company now operate in and how working with freelancers is integral to his business.

Despite the unknown challenges of Brexit, the U.K’s ambitions to expand globally are stronger than ever. The number of UK based SMEs expanding globally, increased by 6% last year to 232,000, making that almost 10% of all SMEs.

If you are on the fence as to whether you should broaden your horizons, then do read on, as Paul shares with us his motivations behind taking his theatre production company global, the benefits of expanding beyond the U.K. and how freelancers have supported his business model.

Paul, Tell us a little about Anystage Productions, the work you do and why you founded the company?

Anystage originally started in 1996 as a Theatre production company and technical drawing office. We evolved over the years and now we are a creative production company making shows around the world.

We are a UK company with a London based core team of producers and creators. We also work from a creative centre in southwest France where we rehearse our shows. We have a big show in Macau and recently delivered the Ambani wedding in Mumbai.

How does your business work with freelancers and how do they benefit your business?

Our business relies on freelancers especially in design areas and we nearly always work with remote designers. We need graphic designers to help put presentations together and illustrators to work with more specialist theatre designers.

Your company operates on an international level, what advice do you have to anyone that wants to expand their business globally?

For us, the UK market is too limiting and we have to work globally to follow the commercial growth centres in the world which for us our Las Vegas , Dubai , Macau and other centres in Asia.

I would encourage anyone in the creative industries to look to export their work and find ways to sell your business globally. For us, it is the only way we have been able to grow.  It’s also it’s a lot more interesting than just being UK based.

Our world used to see the West End as the pinnacle of international show production. Now we see it as a rather tired place lacking investment and full of commercial pitfalls. All of the world has become our stage.

‘Anystage productions work’s creating global spectacle’s internationally and was please to discover The Work Crowd website and then find a freelance graphic designer who could work closely with us on complex project proposals.’ - Paul Cockle, Founder, Anystage Productions

If you want to discuss how freelancers can support your expansion into new markets, feel free to give us a call on 0203 828 8440 or drop us a line at