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1963 to 1978 (in the UK)

First professional job in 1963 at The Establishment Club in London’s Soho.

Learned his trade as: Assistant Manager at Swansea’s Grand Theatre; Front-of-House Manager at London’s Hampstead Theatre Club; Theatre Manager at Malvern Festival Theatre; House Manager at York Theatre Royal; returning to Hampstead Theatre Club as General Manager, where he produced his first show, a revival of the musical The Fantasticks.  Received a Bursary from the Arts Council of Great Britain to study theatre administration.

At age 24, appointed General Manager of the City of London’s Mermaid Theatre, working alongside Artistic Director, Sir Bernard Miles.

Established relationship with the Soviet Union’s Theatre for Young Spectators in Leningrad.  Received a second bursary from The Arts Council of Great Britain, this time to study children’s theatre at the Russian actors’ famed home base.

At age 27, appointed General Manager for Triumph Theatre Productions, helmed by producers Paul Elliott and Duncan C Weldon.  Managed very many shows during this period, including the West End premier of Grease, starring Richard Gere and Elaine Paige, and Roy Dotrice’s one-man play on Broadway, Brief Lives.

Joined Paul Elliott in creating Paul Elliott Entertainments, commuting regularly between the company’s offices in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney.  Worked as Associate Producer on ground-breaking world tours, including: The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hedda Gabler, starring Glenda Jackson; Rock Hudson and Juliet Prowse in I Do! I Do!; Douglas Fairbanks Jr in The Pleasure of his Company; and Sir Michael Redgrave in The Hollow Crown and Shakespeare’s People.

With restaurateur Christopher Hunter, created London’s first New York-styled cabaret supper room, Country Cousin, presenting several seasons of cabaret by international stars such as Peter Allen, Dolores Gray, Holly Woodlawn, Barbara Cook, Charles Pierce, Lorna Luft and the controversial but brilliant Wayland Flowers and Madame.

1978 to 1989 (in the USA)

In 1978 produced American cult-film star Divine in Tom Eyen’s comedy The Neon Woman at the Alcazar Theatre, San Francisco, which lead to signing a personal management contract with Divine (lasting until his sudden death from sleep apnea in 1988) and establishing Bernard Jay Management, based in New York.

Brought Divine into the world of disco with hit singles Born to be Cheap and Native Love, followed by an extraordinary six years of travelling the globe with Divine in his top-earning personal appearances at discos and arenas. Oversaw negotiations and managed the star for his movie roles in Polyester, Lust in the Dust and John Waters’ Hairspray.

Produced Earl Wilson Jr’s long-running off-Broadway hit musical Let My People Come in Lesotho, Africa, and an off-Broadway revival in 1985.  Managed the careers of ex-Supremes singer Cindy Birdsong and cabaret favourite Nancy LaMott.

1989 to 1993 (back in the UK)

Again produced Let My People Come, this time at Paul Raymond’s Boulevard Theatre in Soho.

Appointed Executive Producer for Brighton Cares, raising funds for those living with HIV/AIDS in Brighton, Sussex. Produced stage spectaculars for the organisation, including the 120-cast tribute to British composer and songwriter Lionel Bart, Consider Yourself.

From 1993 (in South Africa)

Appointed Deputy Managing Director for Attie Van Wyk’s Big Concerts, based in Cape Town.  Producing projects included The Fantasticks starring Jason Donovan, a tour of the musical Summer Holiday, Michael Flatley in Lord of The Dance, The Magic of David Copperfield and Operama’s Aïda for one glorious performance to over 40,000 people at the rugby stadium in Pretoria.

Held the position of Chief Executive Officer of The Johannesburg Civic Theatre (later renamed Joburg Theatre) from 2000 to 2013.  During his tenure – and subsequently as an independently operating theatre practitioner – he served as Executive Producer of non-replica stage productions at Joburg Theatre that included Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lionel Bart’s Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s The Boys in the Photograph (previously titled The Beautiful Game), Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Sister Act and a multi-award-winning production of the musical The Color Purple.  

Also produced the musical Saturday Night Fever at Pretoria’s State Theatre and has been responsible for bringing many world-class stage shows to South Africa for the first time, including Burn the Floor, Spirit of The Dance and Le Grande Cirque.

with Douglas Fairbanks Jr on tour in Australia with The Pleasure of His Company, 1977

with Divine at Andrew Logan’s The Alternative Miss World

in London, 1980

with Ricki Lake after the filming of Divine’s movie Hairspray, New York, 1988

with Shirley MacLaine, backstage at Sun City, 1993