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Principal Cast Announced for European Premiere of WORKING

Gillian Bevan, Dean Chisnall, Krysten Cummings, Siubhan Harrison, Peter Polycarpou and Liam Tamne will lead the cast of the European Premiere of WORKING, directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography by Fabian Aloise. WORKING will open at Southwark Playhouse on 7 June 2017, with previews from 2 June, for a strictly limited season ending 8 July 2017. Further casting to be announced.

Gillian Bevan played regular Clare Hunter in the Channel 4 series Teachers. Her other TV credits include recurring roles in Holby City (BBC1) and Doctors (BBC 1). Gillian recently played the title role in the RSC’s production of Cymbeline. Her previous theatre credits include the Witch in Into the Woods (Manchester Royal Exchange), Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot (West End), Polonia in Hamlet (Manchester Royal Exchange) and Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Krysten Cummings originated the role of Mimi Marquez in the West End production of Rent, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. She also played the role on Broadway. She most recently appeared in the Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Dean Chisnall is currently playing the Narrator in Blood Brothers (UK Tour). His previous theatre credits include the title role in Shrek the Musical (Theatre Royal Drury Lane & National Tour), LoveNever Dies (Adelphi Theatre), La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre) and Never Forget (Savoy).

Siubhan Harrison most recently starred as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls (Savoy and Phoenix Theatres). Her other notable theatre credits include Lorene in From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Sally Simpson in Tommy (Prince Edward Theatre) and Rizzo in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre).

Peter Polycarpou has a wide range of theatre, TV and film credits to his name. He recently appeared as Buddy Fiddler in City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse), Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre) & Inspector Messiter in The Magistrate (National Theatre). Peter was part of the original casts of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and played Ali Hakim in the National Theatre’s Olivier Award-winning stage and film production of Oklahoma! alongside Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipman. Peter played regular Chris Theodopolopodous in BBC 1’s Birds of a Feather from 1990-1994 and appeared in the film adaptation of Evita starring Madonna, as well as the 2004 musical film De-Lovely.

Liam Tamne most recently starred as Frank N Furter in Rocky Horror Picture Show (UK Tour). His other theatre credits include Raoul, in The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Enjolras in Les Misérables (The Queen’s Theatre) and Link Larkin in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre). Liam was part of team Will.I.Am on BBC’s The Voice in 2013.

WORKING is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. The show has been adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the creators of Godspell and Rags, with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg.

 This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation.  WORKING employs a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers, including five-time Grammy Award-winner James Taylor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights) as well as Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead.

WORKING first opened on Broadway in 1978, under the direction of Stephen Schwartz, with a cast including Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton, Joe Mantegna, David Patrick Kelly and Rex Everhart. The show has since undergone several revisions, with additional songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda being introduced in 2009. WORKING was last performed off-Broadway in December 2012, under the direction of Gordon Greenberg (Holiday InnGuys and Dolls, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris).

WORKING will have Set Design by Jean Chan, Costume Design by Gabriella Slade, Lighting Design by Nic Farman and Sound Design by Tom Marshall with Musical Supervision by Alex Parker, Musical Direction by Isaac McCullough and Casting by Will Burton CDG.

The new production at Southwark Playhouse is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

WORKING is produced by Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi & D.E.M. Productions.

Full casting announced for Defibrillator’s major new revival of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind

Lie of the Mind
Lie of the Mind

Lie of the Mind

With their critically acclaimed production of Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate running at the Trafalgar Studios, Defibrillator Artistic Director James Hillier today announced the full casting for their production of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind. Joining the previously announced Gethin Anthony (Jake), Kate Fahy (Lorraine), Robert Lonsdale (Mike), Laura Rogers (Sally) and John Stahl (Baylor) are Nancy Crane (Meg), Alexandra Dowling (Beth) and Michael Fox (Frankie) in a new updated version by Sam Shepard as yet to be seen in the UK. The production opens at Southwark Playhouse on 8 May, with previews from 4 May, running until 28 May.

“Love… it’s a disease that makes ya’ feel good. While it lasts. Then, when it’s gone, yer worse off than before you caught it.”

America. The great wide open. Two families torn apart by more than one brutal marriage. Out of this bleak landscape emerges a human spirit that burns bright. At heart a love story, this poetic and gritty play explores the ambivalence of family relationships, of love lost and found, against the backdrop of a macho American West.

Defibrillator’s production will feature a soundtrack composed and performed live on stage by acclaimed musician James Marples, bringing a slice of rock n roll to one of the 20th Century’s most audacious American plays.

Sam Shepard (b 1942) is a playwright, actor, director and author. He has written over 45 plays (11 of which have won Obie Awards) including True Love, Fool for Love and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, recently seen at Trafalgar Studios starring Ed Harris. He also wrote the screenplay for Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Gethin Anthony plays Jake. Anthony previously worked with the company on The Hotel Plays – Green Eyes. Other theatre credits include In the Vale of Health and What Fatima Did (Hampstead Theatre), A life of Galileo and Boris Gondonuv (RSC), Carrot (Theatre503), 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic), In Praise of Love (Theatre Royal Northampton), Ditch (HighTide), Cling to me like Ivy (Birmingham Rep) and Cyrano de Bergerac (Oxford Playhouse). For television his credits include Game of Thrones, Aquarius, ALT, Call the Midwife, Cloud Chamber, 10 Days to War and Pinochet’s Progress; and for film, First Kill, Kodachrome, We are Monster, Copenhagen, Dreck, Into the Storm, Beyond the Rave and Bus Terminal.

 Nancy Crane plays Meg. For theatre her credits include The Sewing Group, The Strip, The Sweetest Thing in Baseball and Now or Later (Royal Court Theatre), Teddy Ferrara (Donmar Warehouse), Next Fall (Southwark Playhouse), Chimerica (Almeida Theatre), Design for Living (The Old Vic), Angels in America and Love The Sinner (National Theatre), The Girl in the Goldfish Bowl and Six Degrees of Separation (Sheffield Crucible). For television her credits include Genius, Upstairs, Downstairs, Cambridge Spies, Strike Force and Nixon’s the One; and for film, The Current War, Leavey, Florence Foster Jenkins, Woman in Gold, Batman: The Dark Knight, The Road to Guantanamo and The Fourth Protocol.

Alexandra Dowling plays Beth.  For theatre her credits include While The Sun Shines (Theatre Royal Bath), I Have Been Here Before and The Last of the De Mullins (Jermyn Street Theatre). For television her credits include The Musketeers, Game of Thrones and Merlin; and for film, Starbright and Hammer of the Gods.

 Kate Fahy plays Lorraine. For theatre her credits include Handbagged (UK tour), After Electra (Tricycle Theatre), Definitely the Bahamas (Orange Tree Theatre), The Goat (Almeida Theatre and Apollo Theatre), Copenhagen (Watford Palace Theatre), Grace, Gaucho and Sparrowfall (Hampstead Theatre), Seduced (Royal Court), Old Flames (Arts Theatre), A Doll’s House (Riverside Studios), Bouncing and Sunday Morning (National Theatre) and Othello (Young Vic). For television her credits include The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, Death in Paradise, Cherished, Pure Wickedness, The Best Man, The House of Elliott, The Jury, Trial and Retribution, The Mozart Inquest, Danton’s Death, Terra Nova, Oxbridge Blues, The Lodger and The Nearly Man; and for film, Archipelago, Defiance, Brilliance, The Show, The Living and The Dead, The Fourth Angel, Somewhere Sometime.

 Michael Fox plays Frankie. For theatre his credits include An Enemy of the People (Chichester Festival Theatre), As You Like it (Transport Theatre), Leaves of Glass (Alma Tavern) and Edmund Kean (Watford Palace Theatre). For television his credits include Endeavour, Downton Abbey, Marvellous, The Ark, New Worlds, Little Big Mouth, Family Affairs, Mrs Bradley Mysteries; and for film, Dunkirk and Good People. 

 Robert Lonsdale plays Mike. For theatre his credits include Plaques and Tangles, Open Court: Piigs and Brilliant Adventures (Royal Court), Another Place (Plymouth Theatre Royal), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), A Life (Finborough Theatre), Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse), Finding Neverland (Curve, Leicester), La Bete (Harold Pinter Theatre) and The Indian Wants the Bronx (Young Vic). For television his credits include Vera, Chewing Gum, Love Sick, The Interceptor, Lost Christmas, A Passionate Woman, Plus One and Decisions; and for film, The Glass House.

 Laura Rogers plays Sally. For theatre her credits include Winter Solstice (Orange Tree Theatre), Private Lives (UK tour),Tipping The Velvet and Arcadia (Lyric Hammersmith), An Ideal Husband, Blue Remembered Hills, Hay Fever and Pressure (Chichester Festival Theatre), Masterpieces (Royal Court), 55 Days and Revelations (Hampstead Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (USA tour and Shakespeare’s Globe), Macbeth,  A New World – The Life of Thomas Paine, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Timon of Athens, The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III (Shakespeare’s Globe), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), See How They Run (Royal Exchange, Manchester) and The Three Musketeers and The Barber of Seville (Bristol Old Vic). For television her credits include New Tricks, The Smoke, Dates, Twelfth Night, Dark Matters, Doctor Who Christmas Special, Missing, Albert’s Memorial, Rock Face, Running Scared, Relic Hunter, Pleasure Beach and The Sins; and for film, Love Me Do, The Right Hand Man, Nylon Ghosts and In Two Minds.

 John Stahl plays Baylor. For theatre his credits include The Winter’s Tale (Lyceum Theatre), Father Comes Home From the War (Royal Court), The Crucible and Ghosts (Bristol Old Vic), Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, King John, Richard III and A Soldier in Every Son (RSC), Troilus & Cressida, The Frontline, We, The People, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and The Globe Mysteries (Shakespeare’s Globe), Frankenstein (National Theatre), The Whisky Taster (The Bush Theatre), The Alice Trilogy (Royal Court Theatre), Blue Eyes and Heels (Soho Theatre), The Found Man (Traverse Theatre). For television his credits include Game of Thrones, Being Human, Beehive, Murder Rooms, Glasgow Kiss, Rebus – The First Stone, Shetland 3, Dr Finlay, Resort to Murder, Crime Story, Life of Jolly; and film, Victoria and Abdul and Loch Ness.

 James Hillier is Artistic Director of Defibrillator. His directing credits include, Terry Johnson’s Insignificance at Langham Place, New York; the première production of Tennessee Williams’ The Hotel Plays at the Grange Hotel in 2012 and The Langham, London in 2014; The Armour  (also The Langham, winner of an award at Le Miami Rebels), and Hard Feelings(Finborough Theatre).  Hillier has directed a number of short films, including How To Make A Good First Impression Part 1 which went on to win awards at Tribecca Film Festival and Cannes.  As an actor, he has worked at the Royal Court, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Bush Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange and the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. He is currently shooting the second season of The Crown.

DEFIBRILLATOR is an award-winning London based company with a growing reputation for delivering inspiring and entertaining theatre in both conventional and non-theatre settings. With a history of bringing to life less commonly used material, the company is increasingly developing and discovering new works from UK and international writers for audiences around the world. Defibrillator is led by Artistic Director James Hillier and Executive Producer Trish Wadley, supported by the Stage One Bursary Scheme for New Producers.

A LIE OF THE MIND                                                                                                                     Listings

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD

www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk 

Box office: 020 7407 0234

Performances:

7:30pm MondaySaturday

3pm matinees on Tuesdays and Saturdays

 Tickets:

Standard £20

Concessions £16

Previews £12

Twitter: @defibtheatre

Facebook: /defibrillatortheatre

 

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Casting update announced for Defibrillator’s major new revival of Sam Shepard’s A Lie Of The Mind

Lie Of The Mind
Lie Of The Mind

Lie Of The Mind

With their critically acclaimed production of Stephen Karam’s Speech and Debate running at the Trafalgar Studios, Defibrillator Artistic Director James Hillier today announces a casting update for their production of Sam Shepherd’s A Lie of the Mind. Hillier directs Gethin Anthony (Jake), Kate Fahy (Lorraine), Robert Lonsdale (Mike), Laura Rodgers (Sally) and John Stahl (Baylor) in a new updated version as yet to be seen in the U.K. The production opens at Southwark Playhouse on 8 May, with previews from 4 May, running until 28 May. Further casting will be announced shortly.

“Love… it’s a disease that makes ya’ feel good. While it lasts. Then, when it’s gone, yer worse off than before you caught it.”

America. The great wide open. Two families torn apart by more than one brutal marriage. Out of this bleak landscape emerges a human spirit that burns bright. At heart a love story, this poetic and gritty play explores the ambivalence of family relationships, of love lost and found, against the backdrop of a macho American West.

Defibrillator’s production immerses you in Shepard’s world and features live music from acclaimed composer and musician James Marples.

Sam Shepard (b 1942) is a playwright, actor, director and author. He has written over 45 plays (11 of which have won Obie Awards) including True Love, Fool for Love and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, recently seen at Trafalgar Studios starring Ed Harris. He also wrote the screenplay for Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Gethin Anthony plays Jake. Antony previously worked with the company on The Hotel Plays – Green Eyes. Other theatre credits include In the Vale of Health and What Fatima Did (Hampstead Theatre), A life of Galileo and Boris Gondonuv (RSC), Carrot (Theatre503), 24 Hour Plays (The Old Vic), In Praise of Love (Theatre Royal Northampton), Ditch (HighTide), Cling to me like Ivy (Birmingham Rep) and Cyrano de Bergerac (Oxford Playhouse). For television his credits include Game of Thrones, Aquarius, ALT, Call the Midwife, Cloud Chamber, 10 Days to War and Pinochet’s Progress; and for film, First Kill, Kodachrome, We are Monster, Copenhagen, Dreck, Into the Storm, Beyond the Rave and Bus Terminal.

 Kate Fahy plays Lorraine. For theatre her credits include Handbagged (UK tour), After Electra (Tricycle Theatre), Definitely the Bahamas (Orange Tree Theatre), The Goat (Almeida Theatre and Apollo Theatre), Copenhagen (Watford Palace Theatre),Grace, Gaucho and Sparrowfall (Hampstead Theatre), Seduced (Royal Court), Old Flames (Arts Theatre), A Doll’s House (Riverside Studios), Bouncing and Sunday Morning (National Theatre) and Othello (Young Vic). For television her credits includeThe Suspicions of Mr Whicher, The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, Death in Paradise, Cherished, Pure Wickedness, The Best Man, The House of Elliott, The Jury, Trial and Retribution, The Mozart Inquest, Danton’s Death, Terra Nova, Oxbridge Blues, The Lodger and The Nearly Man; and for film, Archipelago, Defiance, Brilliance, The Show, The Living and The Dead, The Fourth Angel, Somewhere Sometime.

 Robert Lonsdale plays Mike. For theatre his credits include Plaques and Tangles, Open Court: Piigs and Brilliant Adventures (Royal Court), Another Place (Plymouth Theatre Royal), From Here to Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), A Life (Finborough Theatre), Anna Christie (Donmar Warehouse), Finding Neverland (Curve, Leicester), La Bete (Harold Pinter Theatre) and The Indian Wants the Bronx (Young Vic). For television his credits include Vera, Chewing Gum, Love Sick, The Interceptor, Lost Christmas, A Passionate Woman, Plus One and Decisions; and for film, The Glass House.

 Laura Rodgers plays Sally. For theatre her credits include Winter Solstice (Orange Tree Theatre), Private Lives (UK tour),Tipping The Velvet and Arcadia (Lyric Hammersmith), An Ideal Husband, Blue Remembered Hills, Hay Fever and Pressure (Chichester Festival Theatre), Masterpieces (Royal Court), 55 Days and Revelations (Hampstead Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (USA tour and Shakespeare’s Globe), Macbeth,  A New World – The Life of Thomas Paine, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Timon of Athens, The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III (Shakespeare’s Globe), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), See How They Run (Royal Exchange, Manchester) and The Three Musketeers and The Barber of Seville (Bristol Old Vic). For television her credits include New Tricks, The Smoke, Dates, Twelfth Night, Dark Matters, Doctor Who Christmas Special, Missing, Albert’s Memorial, Rock Face, Running Scared, Relic Hunter, Pleasure Beach and The Sins; and for film, Love Me Do, The Right Hand Man, Nylon Ghosts and In Two Minds.

 John Stahl plays Baylor. For theatre his credits include The Winter’s Tale (Lyceum Theatre), Father Comes Home From the War (Royal Court), The Crucible and Ghosts (Bristol Old Vic), Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, King John, Richard IIIand A Soldier in Every Son (RSC), Troilus & Cressida, The Frontline, We, The People, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and The Globe Mysteries (Shakespeare’s Globe), Frankenstein (National Theatre), The Whisky Taster (The Bush Theatre), The Alice Trilogy (Royal Court Theatre), Blue Eyes and Heels (Soho Theatre), The Found Man (Traverse Theatre). For television his credits include Game of Thrones, Being Human, Beehive, Murder Rooms, Glasgow Kiss, Rebus – The First Stone, Shetland 3, Dr Finlay, Resort to Murder, Crime Story, Life of Jolly; and film, Victoria and Abdul and Loch Ness.

James Hillier is Artistic Director of Defibrillator. His directing credits include, Terry Johnson’s Insignificance at Langham Place, New York; the première production of Tennessee Williams’ The Hotel Plays at the Grange Hotel in 2012 and The Langham, London in 2014; The Armour  (also The Langham, winner of an award at Le Miami Rebels), and Hard Feelings (Finborough Theatre).  Hillier has directed a number of short films, including How To Make A Good First Impression Part 1 which went on to win awards at Tribecca Film Festival and Cannes.  As an actor, he has worked at the Royal Court, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Bush Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange and the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. He is currently shooting the second season of The Crown.

DEFIBRILLATOR is an award-winning London based company with a growing reputation for delivering inspiring and entertaining theatre in both conventional and non-theatre settings. With a history of bringing to life less commonly used material, the company is increasingly developing and discovering new works from UK and international writers for audiences around the world. Defibrillator is led by Artistic Director James Hillier and Executive Producer Trish Wadley, supported by the Stage One Bursary Scheme for New Producers.

A LIE OF THE MIND                                                                                                                                                Listings

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD

Defibrillator announces revival of Sam Shepard’s A Lie Of The Mind at Southwark Playhouse

A Lie of the Mind
A Lie of the Mind

A Lie of the Mind

With rehearsals underway for Defibrillator’s production of Stephen Karam’s Speech and Debate opening at Trafalgar Studios on 24 February, the company has announced  a revival of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind.  Defibrillator Artistic Director James Hillier directs the production opening at Southwark Playhouse on 8 May, with previews from 4 May running until 28 May.

“Love… its a disease that makes ya’ feel good. While it lasts. Then, when it’s gone, yer worse off than before you caught it.”

America. The great wide open. Two families torn apart by more than one brutal marriage. Out of this bleak landscape emerges a human spirit that burns bright in its fight for salvation.

At heart a love story, this poetic and gritty play explores the ambivalence of family relationships, of love lost and found, against the backdrop of a macho American West. Humorous, dark and mystical A Lie of the Mind was written by Sam Shepard at the height of his powers.

James Hillier said today, “In 2017, with a post-truth President in the White House, this play which charts the carnage that ensues from self-deception is as relevant now as when first performed in 1985.”

Sam Shepard (b 1942) is a playwright, actor, director and author. He has written over 45 plays (11 of which have won Obie Awards) including True LoveFool for Love and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child, recently seen at Trafalgar Studios starring Ed Harris. He also wrote the screenplay for Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

James Hillier is Artistic Director of Defibrillator. His directing credits include, most recently, Terry Johnson’s Insignificance at Langham Place, New York, the première production of Tennessee Williams’ The Hotel Plays at the Grange Hotel in 2012 and The Langham, London in 2014, The Armour (also The Langham, winner of an award at Le Miami Rebels) and Hard Feelings (Finborough Theatre).  Hillier has directed a number of short films, including How To Make A Good First Impression Part 1 which went on to win awards at Tribecca Film Festival and Cannes.  As an actor, he has worked at the National, Almeida Theatre, Bush Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange and the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. He is currently shooting the second season of The Crown.

DEFIBRILLATOR is an award-winning London based company with a growing reputation for delivering inspiring and entertaining theatre in both conventional and non-theatre settings. With a history of bringing to life material that may have been forgotten, the company is increasingly developing and discovering new works from UK and international writers for audiences around the world. Defibrillator is led by Artistic Director James Hillier and Executive Producer Trish Wadley, supported by the Stage One Bursary Scheme for New Producers.

A LIE OF THE MIND                                                                                                                                               Listings

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD

http://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/

Box office: 020 7407 0234

Performances:

7:30pm Monday – Saturday

3pm matinees on Tuesdays and Saturdays

Tickets:

Standard £20

Concessions £16

Previews £12

Twitter: @defibtheatre

Facebook: /defibrillatortheatre

 

Full casting announced for world première of Alex Mackeith’s School Play at Southwark Playhouse

School Play

antic|face today announced the full casting for the world première of School Play – a new play by Alex MacKeith. Co-Artistic Director of antic|face Charlie Parham directs Oliver Dench (Tom), Fola Evans-Akingbola (Lara), Gemma Fray (Mikaela), Kevin Howarth (David/Tony), Vida King (Mikaela) and Ann Ogbomo (Jo). 

 School Play marks the company’s third production after their inaugural sell-out show – Hippolytos at the Victoria and Albert Museum and its recently acclaimed production of For Those Who Cry When They Hear The Foxes Scream. School Play opens at Southwark Playhouse on 6 February, with previews from 1 February, and runs until 25 February.

The headteacher’s office of a South London Primary School is always busy. But today is results day and the phone won’t stop ringing. Jo, the headteacher of St. Barnabas, knows that the arrival of the school’s SATs results puts her job on the line. With the future of the school and its pupils at stake, Jo struggles to maintain order as her staff and superiors demand answers. Can she protect her students and herself?

 Alex MacKeith’s debut play asks what it means to be a Primary School teacher in contemporary Britain.

Oliver Dench

Oliver Dench

 Oliver Dench plays Tom. His theatre credits include The Witch Of Edmonton (RSC), Romeo And Juliet (Permanently Bard), Hamlet (Revolve Theatre Company), Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo And Juliet (Reading Between The Lines), A Christmas Carol (Reading Repertory Theatre); and for television, Ride.

 Gemma Fray plays Mikaela. Previous theatre credits include The Sound Of Music (Regents’ Park Open Air Theatre) and Made In Dagenham (Adelphi Theatre). Her television credits include The Royals and Outlander; and for film, the forthcoming Disney film Beauty and the Beast.

Fola Evans Akingbola

Fola Evans Akingbola

Fola Evans-Akingbola plays Lara. School Play marks her professional stage debut. For television her credits include Death In Paradise and Game of Thrones; and for film, An American Exorcism. She will also be starring in the new forthcoming U.S. series The Deep.

Kevin Howarth

Kevin Howarth

 Kevin Howarth plays David/Tony. His work for theatre includes Polyeucte (Gate theatre), The Beggars Opera (Holland Park Open Air Theatre), Agamemnon (UK, US & Canadian tour), The Merchant of Venice (UK tour), King James’ Ear (Old Red Lion), Danceland (Old Red Lion) and Sunstroke (Latchmere Theatre). For television his credits includeConquerorsThe First OlympianIf…Revealed and Home Alone; and for film, Cash in HandThe Big SwapRazor Blade SmileDon’t Look BackThe Last Horror MovieCold and DarkSummer ScarsThe Magnificent Eleven and The Seasoning House.

 Vida King plays Mikaela. School Play marks her professional acting debut.

Ann Ogbomo

Ann Ogbomo

Ann Ogbomo plays Jo. Her theatre credits include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and The Tempest (National Theatre), Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse), Julius CaesarRichard IIHenry IV parts 1 & 2Richard IIIHenry VI parts 1, 2 & 3 (RSC), Tamburlaine (Barbican and Bristol Old Vic), The Gods are not to Blame (Arcola and national tour) and Much Ado About NothingThe Taming of the ShrewRichard III (Shakespeare’s Globe). For television her credits include KryptonJulius Caesar, The No.1 Ladies Detective AgencyBouquet of Barbed WireMurder in MindBabyfatherBlessed and Something to Make You Sing; and for film, Justice LeagueWonder WomanThe Honey TrapWWZ, and Wild Target. In addition to her acting roles, as a theatre practitioner, Ann has worked for leading arts learning departments as well as in numerous prisons, pupil referral units and schools.

School Play

School Play

 School Play marks Alex MacKeith’s professional theatre debut. During 2016 he has collaborated with the experimental theatre company Embolon, working on performances at Summerhall, Edinburgh and the Battersea Arts Centre. In 2015 he collaborated with C-12 Dance Theatre as scriptwriter for their immersive project, Watson, for an R&D performance at the Albany, supported by the Arts Council. In March he was awarded the theatre scholarship to Columbia University for a Playwriting MFA. As a member of the Cambridge Footlights, he wrote and performed a sell-out sketch show, Dressing Down, at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe (Gilded Balloon). He has also written and performed regularly with his sketch group, Princes of Main, in venues such as The Comedy Store, Backyard Comedy Club, Rich Mix and Camden Comedy Club. He is currently developing a new play, Off The Grid as well as a feature film script. Since leaving university, Alex has worked in a London Primary School, consolidating pupils’ reading, writing and arithmetic in after-school clubs, alongside working as a private tutor. These experiences inspired School Play.

 Charlie Parham directs. For antic|face his credits include Hippolytos (V&A) and For Those Who Cry When They Hear the Foxes Scream (Tristan Bates Theatre). Other theatre credits include Hamlet (National Theatre of Nice), Measure for Measure (America tour, Jackson’s Lane), King Lear (Europe tour, Tristan Bates), As You Like It (Edinburgh Fringe Festival/The Lion and Unicorn), Sophie Scholl (ADC, also adapted by Parham), IvanovWaiting for GodotThe Priory, ArcadiaTrue West and DNA (ADC). His upcoming directorial screen debut, Nightstand will be in UK cinemas later this year. Parham is also developing further film work and a co-adaptation of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia for stage, as a director and writer. A member of the Soho Theatre Writer’s Lab, he has written for the touring monologue series HIV Voices. Parham also recently assisted Creative Director Coky Giedroyc on The Sound of Music Live for ITV and is currently writing and performing in the Live at Zedel season with his band Denim.

 antic|face

antic|face is made up of Co-Artistic Directors Charlie Parham and Emma Hall and Executive producer Joanna Nash. The company was formed with twin aims: to redress a gender imbalance that persists in all fields of theatrical practise; and to provide a collaborative platform for young people seeking to enter the profession in any capacity. With a strong focus on the text, the company is committed both to revisiting the classics and bringing them to a young audience, and to promoting new writing. Hippolytos (for which Emma Hall received an Ian Charleson nomination) was the company’s sell-out debut production, launched and performed deep in the underbelly of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Its recent productionFor Those Who Cry When They Hear The Foxes Scream played at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden to critical acclaim. This was paired with the company’s highly popular festival of new talent, second|half, which brought queer and experimental film, music, comedy, readings and discussions to new audiences giving a platform to over 50 emerging creatives.

 Nik Holttum Productions specialises in ground breaking visual arts and theatre and most recently co-produced This Much at the Soho Theatre and is currently acting as Associate Producer on Fool For Love at Found111. Previous productions include The Dazzle and Unfaithful also at Found111. Current film projects include a feature film, Jellyfish, starring Sinead Matthews and Cyril Nri. Other film projects include Rate Me by Fyzal Boulifa (Illy Prize Best Short at Directors Fortnight Cannes 2015) and Say Nothing (First Prize Directors Choice Rhode Island).

School Play                                                                                                                                         Listings

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD

Box office: 020 7407 0234

www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

@swkplay

Website: www.anticface.com

Twitter:[email protected]

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnticFace/

 Performance times

Monday – Saturday – 8pm

Tuesday and Saturday – 3:30pm

 

Ticket prices

£12 previews

£20 standard

£16 concession

Stephen Schwartz Musical Receives European Premiere at Southwark Playhouse in 2017

Working The Musical

The European Premiere of WORKING will open at Southwark Playhouse on 7 June 2017, with previews from 2 June, for a strictly limited season ending 8 July 2017.

From the book by Studs Terkel

Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the creators of Godspell and Rags

With additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg

Songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartzand James Taylor

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd

Directed by Luke Sheppard

Choreographed by Fabian Aloise

Casting to be announced

 

Working The Musical

Working The Musical

WORKING is the extraordinary genre-defining musical from Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz(Wicked, Godspell) based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

 This highly original and universal portrait of the American workday is told from the perspective of those that the world so often overlooks – the schoolteacher, the housewife, the fireman and the waitress amongst many – whose daily grind and aspirations reflect the truths of the people that make up a nation.  WORKING employs a range of musical styles and genres from contributing composers, including five-time Grammy Award-winner James Taylor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights).

WORKING is being produced by up-and-coming theatre producers Jack Maple, Ramin Sabi & D.E.M. Productions.

CHECKOUT OUR THEATRE TICKETS – FESTIVE OFFER HERE 

Stephen Schwartz said of his new producers, “I am delighted that such a talented and distinguished theatre company will be presenting WORKING in London. I look forward to collaborating with them to ensure that the show is both entertaining and relevant to the contemporary British audience.”

Stephen Schwartz is best known for writing and composing the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning musical Wicked. Other shows for which he wrote music and lyrics include PippinThe Baker’s Wife and Children of Eden. In film, he collaborated with Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted, as well as the animated features Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and wrote the songs for the DreamWorks animated feature The Prince of Egypt.  Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.  He received the 2015 Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony Award, for his commitment to serving artists and fostering new talent.

Luke Sheppard directed the Olivier Award-winning production of In the Heights (King’s Cross Theatre and Southwark Playhouse), for which he was nominated for Best Director at the Whatsonstage Awards, Night Must Fall (UK Tour) Stig of the Dump (UK Tour), Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (Curve, Leicester) and the forthcoming European premiere of Peter and the Starcatcher (Royal & Derngate, Northampton).  Luke is the Associate Director of Matilda (Stratford-Upon-Avon, West End, Broadway).

WORKING first opened on Broadway in 1978, under the direction of Stephen Schwartz, with a cast including Patti LuPone, Bob Gunton, Joe Mantegna, David Patrick Kelly and Rex Everhart. The show has since undergone several revisions, with additional songs by Lin Manuel Miranda being introduced in 2009. WORKING was last performed off-Broadway in December 2012, under the direction of Gordon Greenberg (Holiday InnGuys and Dolls, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris).

The new production at Southwark Playhouse will have choreography by Fabian Aloise. Fabian was most recently resident choreographer on Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, and Associate Choreographer on the Australian production. Prior to this, Fabian was Associate Choreographer to Arlene Phillips on We Will Rock You in Belgium, and Associate Choreographer to Ann Reinking for US and International tours of Fosse. He choreographed The 24 Hour Musical At The Old Vic for Kevin Spacey and Jamie Lloyd, and Off-West End productions of Bright Lights Big City and The Drowsy Chaperone. Fabian will be choreographing the upcoming UK National Tour of Our House.  Casting will be by Will Burton CDG. It is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

2 June – 8 July

Southwark Playhouse

77-85 Newington Causeway

London SE1 6BD

Performance Times:

Monday – Friday 7.30pm

Saturday 3.00pm & 7.30pm

N.B Tuesday 4 July – Additional matinee at 3pm

Tickets: £25 and £20 concessions (from £14 during previews)

Box Office:  020 7407 0234

Website:  southwarkplayhouse.co.uk  / www.workingthemusical.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthwarkPlayhouse

Twitter: @swkplay

 

Company of Angels relaunches under new name Boundless Theatre

Rob Drummer, Artistic Director Boundless Theatre.

New Artistic Director Rob Drummer today announces the relaunch of Company of Angels as Boundless Theatre along with his first production as Artistic Director – Natives by Glenn Waldron which opens at Southwark Playhouse in March 2017

Rob Drummer, Artistic Director Boundless Theatre.

Rob Drummer, Artistic Director Boundless Theatre. © Christian Sinibaldi

On announcing the relaunch Rob Drummer said, “It’s with huge excitement that we today relaunch Company of Angels under its new name Boundless Theatre.  We feel the word Boundless perfectly reflects our ambition to present bold, fearless and enterprising theatre without limits and to break down barriers to engagement and access.  It also seems appropriate that as an international company, based in a post-Brexit UK, we choose a name that reflects our commitment to working with partners from all around the world.  In light of this, I am delighted that my first production as Artistic Director – Natives by Glenn Waldron – is a global story which follows three teenagers in three different continents.”

For fifteen years, Boundless Theatre has produced and toured new plays, nationally and internationally and created projects and experiences that young adult audiences share in. It nurtures and empowers the next generation of artists, brings plays, diverse perspectives and ideas from Europe and engages with a range of artistic forms beyond theatre-making.

Its award-winning productions have included Hannah and Hanna (which toured to India, Malaysia and Phillipines), TruckstopApples and in 2015, with the Young Vic and New Wolsey Theatre, it co-produced the critically acclaimed World Factory, developed by METIS.

Current Boundless Theatre programmes include a partnership with Théâtre National de Toulouse and ThéâtreNational de Belgique introducing 14-16 year olds to contemporary plays in translation, and a collaboration with Drama Centre London providing guidance to its MA Dramatic Writing students on how to write for young audiences.  Over the course of the next year, Boundless Theatre will also work with an advisory group of 15-25 year olds who reflect the audience and artists it works with.  This group will be engaged in every aspect of the company’s work and will be a vital influence on decisions that are made relating to programming, artistic development and the wider work of the company.

Since 2001, over 50 organisations, embassies, cultural institutes, trusts and foundation have funded Boundless Theatres’ work and between 2015 and 2016 it attracted over 5,000 audience members and participants, of which more than 10% were outside of the UK.  All of this takes place with a core team of just two full-time and three part-time staff.

www.boundlesstheatre.org.uk 

Twitter: @ boundlessabound

Instagram: @boundlessabound

Facebook: /boundlessabound

 

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Ray Rackham: ‘I won’t read a bad review twice; I’ve not come that far!’

Ray Rackham
Ray Rackham

Ray Rackham

As he brings Judy Garland to Southwark Playhouse the director of the glorious Through The Mill talks about casting, the circumstances of his own death – and social injustices.

Hello Ray! Through The Mill is about to open at Southwark Playhouse. How is it looking?
We’ve just had our press night and, to coin a Judy phrase, things are going marvellously. I don’t think any of us, cast, creative and production, have ever worked so hard, but when you get a full standing ovation on your opening previews, and then in each performance in our opening week, it’s strangely re-energising. That being said, I feel like I could sleep for a fortnight!

Do you read reviews of your work?
I never did as an actor or director, I felt that it was unnecessary. I came to realise it was actually because I don’t take criticism particularly well. My career evolving of late into writing, I find reviews more interesting than terrifying now. What do people get from the work? What points am I making that aren’t translating? As a writer, I think you innately become more self-critical because your responsibility is to provide clarity and simplicity in the form, however beautiful you wish your dialogue to be. That being said, I won’t read a bad review twice; I’ve not come that far!

How did you start out in this business?
I tried collecting art, and that didn’t work. I tried collecting antiques, and that didn’t work. I tried acting, and that didn’t work. In fact, a rather well known, but now late, casting director told me, at the age of twenty, to come back in twenty years time when there will be plenty of roles for me. When I had more than a few years to go until that time, I thought I would give directing a crack. And it worked. Writing came as a natural successor. I’ve got four years to really nail it, or you may see me playing “affable, dumpy towns person 4” in a musical near you!

What’s your favourite Quality Street?
The eponymous Green triangle! Anyone who says otherwise is not to be entirely trusted.

Where were you – and what was your reaction – when you discovered you’d been nominated for a Broadway World and Off-West-End Theatre Award?
Well, there have been a few, but alas I’m always the bridesmaid and never the bride. I don’t recall them all, but I do remember the first. I was congratulating everyone else and had started voting online when I saw my name for Ordinary Days. I won’t say if I voted for myself, but I’d like to thank that one person who did. I have a feeling he’d be tall, handsome and exceptionally witty. A regular Noel Coward!

How did you celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in June?
Like our glorious Majesty, I celebrate my own birthday twice, so I had a few friends around for a slice of cake and a spot of narcissism. I met the Queen once, she complimented me on my hat. I replied it was from Moss Bros, and wasn’t bad for a hire job. I was to learn she was actually talking to Esther Rantzen, who was stood beside me.

If you could eliminate one social injustice a year, each year for three years, which would you choose and in what order?
I think love will always be the answer to injustice. If we all just loved each other more, and celebrated, supported, accepted; well all types of social injustice would lessen overnight, and we’d all be a tonne happier. But, sadly, that seems less likely each and every passing day. So my plan would be Poverty, Discrimination (in ALL its forms) and Classism. It’s so sad that, all these years after the introduction of incredible social reform under a post Second World War government, that there’s still a establishment snobbishness throughout the political elite. I often think the world would be better run if the world leaders had spent some time down the Upper Street launderette with my Great Nana Ada, my Nan, and my Aunt Yuni.

Who’s the best Theatre Director?
I’m not answering that question. No, don’t make me!

Do you spend a lot of your time thinking about how much of your life you have left?
All the time. If my horoscope were ever to tell me I was going to meet a tall dark stranger, I’d withdraw all of my money from my bank account, stock up on gin, fly myself to the Bahamas and await the Grim Reaper. I’ve never written a bucket list for that reason; in doing so you’re more or less contracting to shuffle off at some point. So, whatever time I have remaining, I want to fill it with being good at doing what I want to do. And maybe getting paid for it!

What do you look for when you are casting a show?
Talent and Timeliness.

Who are the last four people that you called on the telephone?
I am renowned for never answering my phone. Because I spend so much time in the theatre, my phone is usually always on silent mode. So I’ve just looked at the last four calls I’ve missed. The answer? Mother, mother, mother and mother.

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Belinda Wollaston talks about her role as Judy Garland in Through the Mill, what made her the woman she is today and more

Belinda Wollaston
Belinda Wollaston

Belinda Wollaston

10 years after working with Sondheim on Broadway, the musical theatre chanteuse is preparing to take on Judy Garland at Southwark Playhouse.  She considers the circumstances of her own death  – and wants  us to never stop trying to save the world.

Hello! You are an Australian Musical theatre actor. How do the UK and AUS Theatre scenes vary and which is the best? 

The best bit is that they both have an incredibly strong community, just as vibrant as one another. The scene is obviously much bigger in London, which creates more opportunities week to week than in Australia, but that doesn’t make it either one any better or worse, they’re just different.

In early 2006 you travelled to New York where you worked with some of the theatre world’s biggest names, including Stephen Sondheim. What does Stephen Sondheim smell like?

Rainbows!

What are you up to these days? 

I am currently rehearsing for Through the Mill, which is due to open at the Southwark Playhouse on the 8th of July. I will be playing Judy Garland during her Palace Years, from 1951-1952.

Belinda Wollaston as Judy Garland and Harry Anton as Sidney Luft

Belinda Wollaston as Judy Garland and Harry Anton as Sidney Luft in Through the Mill. Click the image to book your tickets now!

Do you think current musical theatre artists would benefit from a short spell in the marines? 

That’s an interesting question… A few years ago I was in South Korea doing Jekyl and Hyde, and I was told that a lot of the local performing artists have previous military experience. Needless to say, it was the slickest show I have ever worked on!

Do you ever consider the circumstances of your own death?

Sure, I think we all do from time to time. All I can hope is that when the time does come, I fall asleep after drinking a lot of expensive champagne, surrounded by my loved ones.

What’s the best song in MAMMA MIA

The Winner Takes It All for sure!

Which one event in your life made you the woman you are today?

It’s hard to pinpoint one event, but I certainly remember a time when I felt 100% certain that I wanted to go into musical theatre. I was 11 years old, living in a small town in rural Australia, when I went to see a performance of Les Mis. I sat in the second row and I remember never wanting to leave the theatre again; I was completely mesmerised.

Do you think actors should stop trying to save the world and get on with their jobs?

I don’t think anyone should ever stop trying to save the world.

Have you ever set fire to anything you shouldn’t have?

The only things I ever set fire to are the coals on my barbecue, or some candles for a bit of mood lighting.

Is there anything else we need to discuss?

Aside from your choice in questions? 😉 Only to ask when you are going to come and see Through the Mill??

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THROUGH THE MILL

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Mark Anderson talks about his role in The Toxic Avenger “It’s been great for me to step out of my comfort zone.”

Mark Anderson

 

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is an  immensely talented actor and musician based out of London. His theatre credits include  The Book of Mormon – Original West End Cast (Prince of Wales Theatre), Once Upon A Mattress (Union Theatre), Legally Blonde (National tour), Love me tender (The Churchill Theatre Bromley) and more. Currently he is starring as Toxie in The Toxic Avenger at Southwark Playhouse.

During the course of what follows you will hear Mark talking about various things. Enjoy!

Hello Mark! How the devil are you?
I’m really good ta.

You’re currently starring in Toxic Avenger at Southwark Playhouse. What’s that all about?
It’s a musical based a cult, 80s, B movie, horror film. It’s essentially your typical comic book superhero story; Nerdy guy Melvin Ferd, The Third is an aspiring earth scientist who gets dropped in a vat of toxic waste by some local thugs and evolves into The Toxic Avenger. The villain is the corrupt town Mayor who is importing toxic waste into Tromaville for large sums of cash. It’s written by Joe DiPietro who wrote I L ove You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Love Me Tender, which toured the UK last year, and David Bryan who is most famous for being in Bon Jovi. They also wrote Memphis together which was hugely successful in it’s West End run. Toxic Avenger is much smaller though, there are only five of us in the cast and three of those play multiple roles. The love interest is a blind librarian called Sarah and the Mayor also doubles as Melvin’s mother which culminates in her having a scene with herself. The other two guys literally play everyone else and quick change like there’s no tomorrow. I think what makes the piece is that it’s very aware of what it is. It self references and all of the fun and drama comes from whether or not people will make their changes and who they will come out as next. The material is SO strong and it’s just really good fun.

Mark Anderson as Toxie

Mark Anderson as Toxie

Pretty standard musical fare. You know the trendy people. Let’s call them tastemakers, the media etc. They don’t like to feel that something is too likely to be a hit; they play it cool. How anxious were you about taking on the lead role in the European Premier?
To be honest, I never considered that the response would be so fantastic. You hope but when you’re dealing with something new, you have no idea what the reaction will be like. When I got sent the script I just knew it was right up my street. Like I said, the songs are ace and when I read the script I was lol’ing every other line and I knew I wanted to do it. All you can ever hope to do is do the piece justice and to the best of your ability. I think that’s why we have something so special – there was never any pressure from anywhere but we all threw ourselves in so hard and all wanted to do well, for each other. It’s incredible to be acting with people and working for a creative team who inspire you so much, who you want to impress and work hard for and keep finding new things with every day. That’s why it works.
I never think of myself as the lead. There are only five actors in the entire thing and we all have as much to do as each other, yes, the story is about Toxie, but we’re all essential to creating the world we’re all living in, its more of an ensemble piece.
I was majorly anxious though. Ha! It was big deal for me to take on such a large role, I usually do the sidekick/geeky part and in my audition I told the director, Benji, that I was nervous about playing Toxie. Playing the nerd in the start comes more natural to me and I was worried about playing the character after he had transformed. Toxie is a 7 foot, big, green freak and has some serious songs to sing. This probably isn’t normal for a musical theatre performer but I don’t really like singing, it terrifies me. But, like anything, when you’re in context and wearing a load of prosthetics, covered in green makeup and are in character, telling a story the inhibitions seem to go away. It’s been great for me to step out of my comfort zone. When you’re used to playing certain roles you start to pigeon hole yourself and can doubt your abilities. But then that’s just part of being an actor I guess.

Toxic Avenger Team

Toxic Avenger Team with composer David Bryan

You’ve performed in some pretty big shows.(The Book of Mormon, Legally Blonde etc) Do you feel any pressure to look a certain way?
Ummm…yes, kind of. I gym a bit and always watch what I eat. This is a tricky one because it’s different for everyone. I’ve done some shows with some very physically fit people and when you’re sharing a dressing room with a group of boys who are all very in-shape, there is a certain pressure to keep up. Now, I’m quite happy knowing that I’m the best I can be and want to be. For me, the jobs I’m up for don’t require me to have a 48 inch chest but I think when you do what we do, your body is your toolkit or your office computer. You need to look after yourself because what we’re asked to do sometimes as actors is nuts and even a little cold can take you out for weeks.

What’s your favourite musical note and why?
Ha! My favourite musical note? Any one that comes out of Cynthia Erivo’s mouth probably.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
An anchovy. Dis-gus-ting! Why people eat those things is beyond me. I’m heaving.

Yuck! Who or what was your biggest influence as a performer?
Good question. I’ve never been so in awe of someone than Gavin Creel. I loved him before I met him and when we worked together I was so pleased he was nice. Ha! When we did Mormon, he was such genius onstage but that wasn’t even half of it. He was the beating heart of the building we all worked in. He included everyone and was a leading man in every sense of the word in every aspect of the job. We became great friends, he is so generous and kind and makes you feel so special. He did an ‘In Conversation With’ type thing one Sunday at the Charing Cross theatre with Ed Seckerson and he asked me to sing one of his original songs with him doing backing vocals and playing piano. I was so scared. He coached me and gave me confidence and some amazing advice I still practise now. He’s kind of incredible.

What’s your favourite dinosaur?
Is this because you know I’m obsessed with dinosaurs? They’re all so awesome. My twitter says that I’m a Triceratops so I’ll go with that. Though I always wanted to be able to fly when I was little so maybe a Pterodactyl. No, a Triceratops, final answer.

How good out of 10 was GYPSY?
10. I loved it. I love everything. I even saw the Light Princess five times (mainly because I love Tori Amos, but still).

Christ alive. Do you have anything exciting planned for the second half of 2016?
Not yet. Back to the drawing board. Wanna give me job?

If you were to take me out in West London for the evening where would we go? (Not as a date. It was never described as a date)
West London is very specific, ha! We’d go to the Southbank, it’s my absolute favourite place in London, especially when it’s sunny. From the London Eye right down to Tower Bridge. Then, we’d obviously go to the theatre.

Thanks Mark!
Thank YOU!