Finale: Act Two – Olivia Girling

Finale: Act Two – Olivia Girling

Finale is a magazine based around theatre; one which Olivia Girling dedicated six months of the last year to create. We have already interviewed her regarding her university experience in part one. Part two of the interview is focused purely on the process of making a magazine, and with that, her own words are the only way to introduce you to Finale.


“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Finale. A magazine for theatre lovers who spend more time near a stage than their bank accounts would probably like. Be it in front of the curtain, in the wings, or part of the audience, Finale speaks to all those fascinated by this incredible artform. It will inspire you through interviews. It will educate you through debates. It will make you smile through the passion that we share. Now, get ready, take your seats and switch off your mobile phones. We’re on in five.”


To create a magazine from scratch around one single topic, you need to passionate about that subject. I guess this is why she chose theatre, “I’ve been a theatre kid ever since I was tiny. I remember my grandma buying me Oliver! on VCR for my birthday and making my mum watch it with me. Although I never remember seeing Nancy’s final scene so she must have turned it off before then! Not surprised.” She knew that for it to be enjoyable for her she needed to be truly invested in the subject. “Of course, I love fashion. But I kept wondering whether I’d still love it as much after having to dedicate every second of the day to it. Whereas I willingly spend all my time listening to musicals anyway, so I thought, ‘why not?'” 

As much fun as it is to work on something you love, a passion project as it were, there will always be negatives. “My least favourite was probably the last week or two before I needed to send it to the printers. I’ve never felt stress like that before in my life. Lots of all-nighters and crying (and gin).” As well as this there are some obvious hurdles to overcome, whether that be time restraints, creative blocks or money. It wasn’t a surprise to me when Olivia stated the latter, “Surprise, surprise: money. No one tells you until you’re deep into the project about how much it costs to print something like that! I was lucky in that my parents offered to help me out, but it was still a hefty chunk!”

From my own experience, reaching out to people to feature can be quite difficult. Individuals will drop out last minute, whilst others won’t take you seriously in the first place. Understandably this can be quite frustrating. When I asked about her experience with this, she said, “I found it quite easy, to be honest. Some of the people I reached out to were contacts of my university tutors so they were able to put in a good word for me. Otherwise, it was just a case of writing an email and being brave enough to press send!”


Of course it wasn’t all plain sailing. “Unfortunately, there were supposed to be a lot more interviews in Finale that had been organised, but it was a case of people just stopping all forms of communication. It was a shame, but that happens a lot and you need to learn that sooner or later.” Thankfully, she was able to include a number of interviews and guest features, her favourite being Glenn Waldron. “He used to lecture at UCA so my tutors were able to give me his details. He’s a journalist and previous i-D editor who is now a playwright. The career transition was so interesting to me and we had so much to talk about. We’re still in contact now, so I’m eagerly waiting his next show!” I can confirm it’s a very interesting read!

With regards to what’s next for Finale, she’s keeping her options open and receiving feedback from professionals. “I’m enjoying where I am right now. The door is definitely open to make more issues, and I’m not confined to just theatre – I could dedicate an issue to dance, contemporary art, comedies, anything!” With the help of her talented collaborators, who knows what is possible. Finale was created with the help of graphic designers and other writers, inluding Charlie Wilson, Becca Price and Treena Georgiou (links will be available below). “They’re crazy theatre nuts as well so it made sense for them to create something rather than us aggressively texting each other about every piece of stage news!

In true TBI fashion, I asked her to recommend an upcoming creator, her response? Esme Marsh. “One of my closest friends, Esme, is the founder and editor of Hook Magazine. Issue two has just been released and I’m absolutely obsessed! She’s one of the sweetest and most genuine people I know; not to mention she’s an amazing writer. Everything she puts on the page flows so beautifully – her writing is art. Check her out!”

If you want to check Finale out, it’s still on sale here, and all of Olivia’s other work can be found here.


Charlie Wilson – illustrator (instagram: @charliekwgraphics)
Becca Price – guest writer (Instagram: @beccalrprice)
Treena Georgiou – guest writer (Instagram: @treephaba)



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