Andrew Pygott started out helping his parents at amateur shows when he was just five - now he runs a company that designs the lighting for Elton John.
Innovation Productions, which has just expanded and moved to Barnsley, design and provide equipment for Elton’s private events and one-off shows.
The company specialises in event management and supplying entertainment technology, including lighting, audio, video and stage equipment.
Set up in 2000, the company has also built stages and supplied lighting, sound and video for shows by Leona Lewis, Status Quo, Katherine Jenkins and McFly.
Away from the big stars, the business provides technical support for drama groups, theatres, schools, colleges, corporate events and festivals; providing equipment sales, hire and installation.
The company grew out of Andrew’s involvement with shows through his mum, Elaine when he was a child. His dad, Eric, was an electrical manager and so helped out on the technical side.
Andrew said: “I used to go to lots of shows with my mum from a very young age. When I was about five I started helping putting props on stage and nailing carpets down. When I got to eight I was allowed to plug things in.
“I had no idea then what it would all lead to. But I was always fascinated by the technical side of theatre.”
Andrew gradually bought his own equipment which he rented out to amateur dramatics groups and to people organising events. Initially his dad helped him out, particularly when Andrew was too young to drive.
He then worked as a technical manager for a number of cruise liner companies before returning home to concentrate on his business.
Innovation Productions has now expanded to a warehouse in Barugh Green and has set on five new staff and is advertising for more.
Shaun Higginbottom, of Enterprising Barnsley, which helped he company get a business growth grant said: “It’s really exciting to think that a Barnsley company is involved in such high profile events and that we have such expertise here in the town. And the bigger premises mean that they will be able to take on more clients and employ more people.”