DaisyChain PR Q&A: Steve Jones at The Bristol Hippodrome

DaisyChain PR boasts some great supporters and we thought it was a nice idea to find out what makes them tick and share that with you. This month, we catch up with Steve Jones, Head of Sales & Marketing at The Bristol Hippodrome.

Steve, who lives in Chipping Sodbury with his wife, has been working at The Bristol Hippodrome for 28 years.

Here, he talks to us about the highlights of his job, his love of travelling, and his passion for running – despite his ‘man pillow’!

DaisyChain PR: What’s the best part of your job?

Steve Jones: I think the best part of my job is its ever-changing nature. No day is the same and due to the nature of the business, we have a constantly changing calendar of productions at the theatre. New tours go on sale, current campaigns are to be created and new audiences are to be secured. Each year we need to find a minimum of 50,000 new customers to come to see our shows.

So the exciting part of my job is it can never be completed as there is always something to aspire to. I make it sound like the trials of Atlas but I thrive on that daily challenge!

DC: What was the last live show you saw?

SJ: Excluding Hippodrome shows, the last show I saw was at my other favourite theatre, Theatre Royal Bath. It was called People, Places & Things, which was a play about addiction and had the audience at the back of the stage. So you were also watching people watching the same play as you and watching you watching it! A very new experience for me.

Subject matter was obviously quite dark, but excellent performances as you’d expect and the staging was by the same team that did Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which is one of my favourite stage shows.

Steve Jones image
Steve Jones

DC: Where’s your favourite local walk?

SJ: I live in Chipping Sodbury and so being ‘Gateway to the Cotwolds’ we are on the Cotswold Way. I’ve done a few sections of it, although I couldn’t pick a favourite. I do like walking in the Malverns though and a good coastal one. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done a bad walk.

DC: And the best place to eat?

SJ: We went on a nice walk from Weymouth to Osmington Mills and back last year, where we saw an incredible wave of sea fog coming in and stopped at the Smugglers Inn for a well-deserved lunch, which I can recommend. A traditional pub and the food was good. And it was all served on a plate instead of a slate or chopping board!

Actually, talking of which, everyone needs to follow #WeWantPlates on social media, campaigning in a fun way to stop putting food into or on obscure platforms in an attempt to be new and different. If the food is any good there’s no need to stick it in a jam jar!

DC: What’s your best quality?

SJ: I think my best quality is my gut instinct – although other people have varying descriptions of it (Mr Know-It-All!).

Anyway, I tend to get a feeling about most things, including people. I know if something is right, good or great and it has stood me in good stead over the years (although I know I don’t get it right all the time as some will testify!).

I think you have to be honest, go with what you believe in and get passionate about it, or no one else is going to. You need to inspire, drive and get the best out of yourself and others, and you have to fully trust your judgement.

DC: And your worst?

SJ: My self-belief can also let me down if I allow myself to become too blinkered about things.

I also think it could be my ‘ability’ or tendency to find humour in almost every situation or make light of them. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t always go down well. It’s almost some kind of nervous impulse to try and make a joke, lighten the situation. My brother is worse than me. Gotta love a bit of dark humour now and again, I reckon!

DC: What’s your guilty pleasure?

SJ: Other than crisps, partying, wine, cheese, more wine, beer, festivals, gigs, rugby, staying up late, eating too much, then it’s probably running stuff. Shoes, running clobber of all kinds.

I probably own far more than I’m ever going to need (not being quite the elite athlete one might think one is) and quite a lot of it doesn’t even fit at the moment. I’m still working off that Christmas over indulgence. This really irritates my other half who, actually in my defence, could quite comfortably have enough shoes for a centipede!

DC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

SJ: I would love a year off work to drive (at my leisure) around Canada and the USA to see the everyday stuff alongside all the touristy bits. I love to wander and see where roads take me. I wouldn’t say I am well-travelled, although I’ve been to a few countries and to every corner of the UK, so I think with my inquisitive nature I’d enjoy the time to go wandering.

I’m aiming to go the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year, so fingers crossed we get tickets. If there’s a travel company looking for an ambassador for their brand, I’m listening and available!

DC: Have you got a secret skill?

SJ: I’ve got some circus skills. I can juggle and I’m quite good with a diablo and with some intensive training I’m hoping to touch my toes before the summer. Again, bit of excess Christmas weight in the way! I call it my ‘man pillow’.

DC: Where’s your favourite place to holiday?

SJ: I love camping and so I have to mention Croyde in Devon. I love the coast and so the beaches in west Wales and west of England are always top of my list. I grew up in west Wales and I can’t think of a better place to be.

DC: Who’s your favourite actor?

SJ: Richard Burton – wow that voice! I’ve always loved him as an actor and I think Zulu was one of the first films I saw him in. Zulu is high on the list of most Welsh people’s favourite film as we don’t tend to feature in many.

I also read Melvyn Bragg’s biography ‘Rich – The Life of Richard Burton’ when it came out and was blown away by it. Still one of my favourite books, how he paints an honest picture of this brilliant, passionate and flawed genius whose greatest wish was to play rugby for Wales!

DC: What show are you looking forward to coming to the Hippodrome?

SJ: I’m not a fan of musicals, but I think the next big show that people will love will be Matilda. On occasion we are lucky enough to see productions in advance of touring with us and this show is exceptional in many ways. The story, the adaptation, music and staging is all fantastic but it is the performances of the children which are something else. How they learn to be so professional at such a young age is astounding.

DC: Happiness is…

SJ: Camping on the British coast in stunning summer weather with people that make you laugh!

DC: How would you like to be remembered?

SJ: I’ll be serious now we’re coming to the end. I think for those of us who are unfortunate to have lost loved ones and people close to us, it is the little things that sometimes stick with us. I hope I’m remembered fondly and for making you laugh once in a while or at least putting a smile on your face.

Either that or for being a cantankerous old bastard!

DaisyChain PR

DaisyChain PR is an effective, honest and bespoke PR service.

The company was forged as a result of a highly effective working relationship between former Bristol Post Features Writer Natalie Banyard and ex-Bristol Hippodrome Press Officer Sarah Milne.

Through our network of contacts and combined 40+ years of experience, plus our driven, hard-working and friendly approach, we secure as much media and web coverage as we can for our clients.

And in terms of costs, we can offer personalised packages at highly competitive rates (including hourly) for those on a tight budget.

Simply visit daisychainprlimited.com to start the ball rolling.

“Fabulous coverage – what can I say, Daisy Chain PR are quite magnificent.”

Ellen Kent, Ellen Kent Opera & Ballet International

“I have no hesitation in recommending both Natalie and Sarah from DaisyChain PR – their professionalism and attention to detail are incredible.”

Julian Withers, Head of Fundraising & Communications – Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home

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