Tommy Production Trailer (Captioned)
Tommy Production Trailer (Audio Described)
Tommy Production Trailer
Tommy Rehearsal Trailer
Tommy Rehearsal Trailer (Captioned)
Tommy Rehearsal Trailer (Audio Described)
Tommy Teaser Trailer
Tommy Teaser Trailer (Audio Described)
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The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich in co-production with Ramps on the Moon.
Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
Based on the iconic 1969 concept album, The Who's TOMMY is the multi-award winning epic rock musical written by Pete Townshend.
With a cast of 22 performers and musicians, this is the story of the pinball-playing boy which has entertained and intrigued audiences for more than 40 years. A one-of-a-kind theatrical event!
Tommy will feature a creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation which will enhance the experience for everyone. It is the second touring production made in association with Ramps on the Moon – a consortium of theatres across the UK that are committed to driving change in their organisations. For more information, visit www.rampsonthemoon.co.uk
Please note that this production explores some adult themes and contains loud music.
Originally Produced On Broadway by Pace Theatrical Group and Dodger Productions with Kardana Productions.
Performed By Arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited
William trained at Deafinitely Youth Theatre. Theatre credits includes: The Beauty Manifesto (2012), The Ritual (2013), The Mobile Phone Show (2014) and Blackout (2016) as part of the National Theatre Connections, A Midsummer Night's Dream: An Adaptation (2014) with Deafinitely Youth Theatre and Imogen (2016) at Shakespeare's Globe. Film credits includes: Chasing Cotton Clouds (2012), Strangers (2013) and The Quiet Ones (2015). William also won the Best Actor award for Strangers at Clin D’Oeil International Festival for Deaf Culture in 2013.
Adam is delighted to be on tour with Tommy, as part of the groundbreaking Ramps On The Moon!
He trained at the Oxford School of Drama.
Work in the theatre includes: Roll Over Beethoven (Belgrade Theatre Coventry); Jackie the Musical (U.K. tour); Sinbad, Beauty and the Beast & The Sword in the Stone (New Wolsey Theatre); Manon Lescaut (Royal Opera); Hot Stuff (Queens Theatre Hornchurch); Our House (U.K. tour); Gawain and The Green Knight (The Yard); The Flying Dutchman (English National Opera); Miss Nightingale (U.K. tour); Emperor and Galilean (National Theatre); Alice in Wonderland (Exquisite Folly); Noah's Ark (Mervyn Peake Centenary Festival, Blue Elephant Theatre)
Film includes: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Baby Cow)
Alim trained at the Italia Conti Academy.
Theatre Credits: Captain Greenbeard in Sinbad the Sailor (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Globe Theatre), Lady Ria in Rasheed/Rasheeda (BAFTA), Masala Queens (Workshop, Rifco Arts), Swing/Ensemble In Annie The Musical (UK Tour), Presenter/Ensemble in Britain's Got Bhangra (Rifco Arts, UK Tour), Harmeet in Break The Floorboards (Rifco Arts UK Tour), Jamie/ Swing in Blockbuster (UK Tour), Piggy Smalls in Red Riding Hood and The Wolf (Greenwich Theatre), Nightshade in Jack And The Beanstalk (Greenwich Theatre), Puss in Puss In Boots (Greenwich Theatre), Singer/Dancer in Royal Masonic Gala (Prince Of Wales Theatre), Harry in Wolf (Workshop), Harry in The Noise (Workshop – West Yorkshire Playhouse), Stage/ Signer in Mummyji Presents (Rifco Arts), Iggle Piggle/Puppeteer in In The Night Garden Live (UK Tour), Daniel in Confusion Of A Shadow Boxer (Rada Studios), Dancer in Basshunter Appearance (United Productions), Kumar in Deafinitely Theatre Shorts (Deafinitely Theatre) and Jack in Waiting For What (New Seasons Productions).
Film Credits: David in Kismet Diner (Ridley Scott Films), Harry in Wolf (Short Film)
Tv Credits: The Last Leg Takeover (Television), BSL Choreographer in Channel 4 Paralympic Promo 2016 (Television), Dancer in Smirnoff (Commercial), Iggle Piggle in In The Night Garden (The One Show), Singer in The Proposers Love Actually (Sky TV), Featured Brat in Bremner, Bird and Fortune (Channel 4) and commercials for iPad Apple, Cornetto, McDonalds and Pizza Hut.
For more information about Alim please visit: www.access-uk.com or follow him on twitter @A_Jayda
Training: Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts (BA) Hons
Theatre credits include: The Glass Menagerie (Nottingham Playhouse)
Television: Doctors (BBC Drama Production), Stella (Tidy Productions Limited)
Rehearsed Reading and Workshops: Stuck (Guilty Party Pictures), Teenage Dick (Bush Theatre), Heidi (Nottingham Playhouse)
Anthony is from Bradford in West Yorkshire. He graduated in the summer of 2010 from the SLP College in Leeds with a Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre having gained the 3rd year students’ Special Achievement Award. He is delighted to be performing in The Who’s Tommy with Ramps on The Moon.
Anthony is a strong commercial dancer – he has performed as a backing dancer for The Wanted in T4’s Stars of 2010 at Earl’s Court – other TV credits include Bump n’ Grind (Trouble TV) with Louis Spence and Darren Henson and Dance X (BBC TV) with Arlene Phillips and Bruno Tonioli.
In recent years he has worked as Dance Captain in Pantomime at the St Albans Arena with CBeebies’ Mr Maker – Phil Gallagher and with Larry Lamb (Eastenders) at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. He has also enjoyed two seasons working for The Headliners Theatre Company aboard P&Os Oriana and Oceana performing in their high tempo Musical Theatre based shows.
Anthony is particularly proud of his achievements with Deaf Men Dancing (DMD) with whom he has been involved since his graduation. DMD is a professional dance company which has performed at many festivals and venues all over the UK including The National Theatre and Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. Further afield, together with the group’s Artistic Director he has performed in Unlimited Access at the Zagreb Dance Week in Croatia. DMD is a unique and original dance project which has very successfully blended different styles of dance and embedded sign language within all its creative work.
Becky juggles working as an actor-musician and a BSL/English interpreter (RSLI Becky Allen).
Selected credits include: Snow in Midsummer and The Jew of Malta (RSC), A Streetcar Named Desire (The Royal Exchange), The Government Inspector (Birmingham Rep & Ramps on the Moon), King Lear, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Henry V, Love’s Labour’s Won, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (RSC Schools' Broadcasts), Jack and the Beanstalk (Cast), Gods Are Fallen (Greyscale), The Tempest, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Lysistrata (Watford Palace Theatre), The Odyssey (London Bubble), The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming (Tall Stories), The Three Wise Monkeys (Hiccup Theatre), and The Ugly Duckling (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch). Later in 2017 she will be working on Julius Caesar with The RSC.
Becky was a mentor for Graeae’s Ensemble and regularly works as a rehearsal room interpreter and workshop facilitator around the UK.
Donna has been Acting for the last 13 Years, she has worked with both Deaf and integrated mainstream theatre companies, her credits include Pulse and Macbrew - Derby Theatre, Love’s Labour’s Lost which was performed at The Globe - Deafinitely Theatre, Baa Moo Yellow Dog - Half Moon Theatre, The Crane and Cinderella’s Sisters - Red Earth Theatre, Children of a Greater God, It is a small world, Vagina Monologues and Something Else - Deafinitely Theatre and Appointment with Death - London Deaf Drama Group for which she won the best actors award. She also worked volunteer with 3D – Derby Deaf Drama for Christmas Pantomime such as Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, Hansel and Gretel also real life Murder Mystery – An Unfortunate Pregnancy. She went onto a various acting workshops at the Deafinitely HUB and she did a one off Deaf Improv Comedy.
Donna has lots of experience in BSL translation, she has worked as an In-Vision Signer for programmes such as Cartoon Network, ABC, ITV, MTV, Linc’s – Black America Comedy, Disney Channel, SCI-FI Channel and Paramount. Also she has worked as a website Presenter for AC2.com.
She is also an experienced children’s fairy-tale storyteller, working for companies such as BSLBT, MyDeafLife.com, ITV Tyne Tees Television SignPost and Cbeebies – Magic Hands.
She has acted in a shot film for the first time for BSLBT called Supersonic.
Donna has performed dance with Def Motion and has performed at the Reims Clin d’Oeil Festival (France), Incloodu Festival (London) and WoW Festival (Black Country).
Donna is delighted and excited to get involved for the first time in the production of Ramps on the Moon called The Who’s Tommy, a rock musical Theatre is a dream come true!
Tweet Donna: @MissWhoopiDoopi
Garry Robson has directed over 40 professional productions both here and abroad receiving several awards including a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award and a Herald Angel.. He was Artistic Director of DaDaFest International 2008 and 2010, establishing DaDaFest as one of the key International Festival for Deaf and Disability Arts and performance worldwide. As an actor as well as numerous roles on TV and Radio he has performed in many of the major theatres in the UK in a range of classics and new works. He was Bob/Billy in Graeae’s Reasons to be Cheerful and Peachum in the New Wolsey Theatre, Graeae, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse and Birmingham Rep production of Threepenny Opera.
In 2016 he directed a Hip Hop Theatre installation for young people Café Missing, a show in Siberia for KultProject Moscow at the Skomorokh State Puppet Theatre Tomsk, a body swap comedy, Role Shift, at A Play a Pie and a Pint in Glasgow and ended the year Directing a re-imagining of The Tempest -Miranda and Caliban: The Making of a Monster - in Hong Kong as part of the Shakespeare Lives Festival. He’s hoping 2017 is gonna be a good year but a little less hectic.
Hearns Sebuado, originally from Philippines began his training at South Thames College studied National Diploma Performing Arts with Triple Distinctions and Graduated at Middlesex University with Second class honours degree. On 2014 Hearns has toured with SDC in USA Louisiana and Miami, and performed with Cuban Poetry. He even able to showcase his Choreography, on 2015 He Choreographed and performed a piece called 'Findin' My Strength' collaborated with Laura Dajao at Sadlers Wells Equations. 2016 he was asked to be involved and tour with a project called 'Let us tell you a story' choreographed and directed by Mark Smith. Hearns are passionate dancer and he love teaching and his goal is to inspires other to be confident. He taught Complete Connections Youth Dance at Newham College as part of Sardines Dance Collective and he co choreographed the piece 'Within Light and Dark' along with Esther Hurst as for ResTec 2016 & Benchmark
Amelia Cavallo is a blind performer from the USA with experience in acting, singing, dancing, aerial circus and burlesque. She is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. Recent stage performances include Into The Woods (Royal Exchange Manchester) A Winter's Tale (Taking Flight Theatre), Beauty and The Beast (Theatre Royal Stratford) and The Threepenny Opera (Graeae Theatre Company) She has also created an original work called Sailing Through The Dark (Liberty Festival) which is likely to tour this summer. Amelia was a sway pole performer in the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, and also performed at the cultural Olympiad in Rio with Graeae Theatre's production of The Garden in September, 2016. When not on stage, behind a musical instrument or dangling from a height, Amelia can be found working towards her Phd in disability politics and theatrical performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
For more information visit www.ameliacavallo.com.
Julian is a recent degree graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Born in Dublin to Italian/Irish parents, he began training at a young age with the Irish National Youth Ballet Company giving him the chance to travel Ireland performing. In 2013 Julian won The Stage Magazine Scholarship and the Award for Exceptionally Talented Youths allowing him to study abroad. During his time in Scotland Julian enjoyed working on music videos for artists such as Belle & Sebastian, Hot Since 82 and Prides as well as performing as a vocalist with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Theatre Credits Include: Sinbad- Sinbad The Sailor Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Lukus trained on three year Musical Theatre Course at Cambridge Performing Arts at Bodywork Dance Studios.
The last year has seen Lukus working as Pixel in Lazy Town Live and For what we share (BBC Christmas).
Further credits include: Pan (Warner Bros) film; Little Heroes/Pequenos Heroes film & Spike in Transformers Live. Tomtom The Cat in Dick McWhittington (SEC, Glasgow); Connection Man in Maplin sponsors Gadget Man on Channel 4, Ballot Box Man in COI Electoral Commission Commercial; Tommy The Cat in Dick Whittington (Theatre Royal, Plymouth); Timmy/Farmers Niece in Shaun The Sheep Musical (Saudi Arabia Tour); Maureen The Cat in Dick Whittington (Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham); Big Jule/Dance Captain in Guys and Dolls (Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge); 118 118 'Sing Along' Train Times Commercial (Pulse Films); Doctor Atomic (London Coliseum); Dwarf- Groovy in Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield); The Keeper of the Ring in Aladdin (Victoria Theatre, Halifax.)
Theatre credits include: Our Town (Almeida Theatre)
Max is from a small village in Kent called Hextable. While training at Rose Bruford, he landed his first TV role, appearing in Hollyoaks. Since then he has appeared in New Wolsey Theatre, Graeae Theatre Company, Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse production of The Threepenny Opera, HOME theatre's production of Simon Stephens' The Funfair, The Family Way by Bill Naughton at the Bolton Octagon, Greyscale's Gods are fallen and all safety gone, Max made his debut with The National Theatre and Complicite in A Pacifist's Guide to The War on Cancer. Max has most recently performed in Ramps on the Moon's production of The Who's Tommy.
Alongside this, Max is a very passionate musician and has been performing extensively as a solo artist and with his band throughout London over the past 4 years.
Natasha is a professional Deaf dancer from Manchester. Previous training includes DanceZone at Ancoats Studios, Manchester and North West Theatre College in Droylsden, Manchester
Credits include dancing for The International Dance Show (Cyprus), backing dancer for The Michael Jackson Show (Crete), and a short music video for Suli Breaks called the Dormroom. Natasha has also performed with companies including Diamonettes, One Stop Entertainment, Sunset Productions and Hera Dance.
Natasha looks to one day to start her own company for D/deaf performancers, and looks to be a role model for young D/deaf children. She incorporates hip hop and contemporary dance styles with her first language, which is BSL.
She looks forward to working with everyone in this production of Tommy.
Training: PGDip – Performance (LSMT), BA (Hons) Music (Anglia University, Cambridge)
Theatre Credits Include: Cinderella (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch), Peter Pan In Scarlet (New Vic Theatre & Oxford Playhouse), Corbyn The Musical – The Motorcycle Diaries (Waterloo East Theatre, London), The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion (National Theatre Wales), The Life of Galileo, Promises & Lies & The BFG (Birmingham Rep), The Threepenny Opera (New Wolsey/Graeae/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nott Playhouse/Birmingham Rep), Our House – The Madness Musical (UK Tour), Dick Whittington & His Cat (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), Little Shop of Horrors, Rope & Dear Brutus (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), The Firework Maker's Daughter (Bloomsbury Theatre, London), The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre), The Jungle Book (UK Tour), The Vagina Monologues (Royal Festival Hall, London), Britain's Got Bhangra (Theatre Royal, Stratford East, West Yorkshire Playhouse & UK Tour), Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (UK Tour), South Pacific (UK Tour), Mark Ravenhill's Dick Whittington (Barbican), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), Charmin (Greenwich Theatre, Soho Theatre & NT Studio), HMS Pinafore (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park), 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea & Baiju Bawra (Theatre Royal, Stratford East), Cinderella (Oxford Playhouse), Emancipation Day (Soho Theatre & Theatre Royal, Stratford East), Paul – A Strange Kind Of Hero (Brighton Fringe), Britten’s Opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Hand Productions), Aladdin (Courtyard Theatre, Hereford).
TV & Film Credits: EastEnders (BBC), Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Dir. Tim Burton, Warner Bros), Deadline (Dir. Christian Wise, Brighton Film).
Recording Credits: LisGoa (Ghude Records), The Rocky Horror Show (Hammersmith Palais).
Natasha has also toured the world extensively as a Mezzo Soprano Soloist and Trombonist
Born in Jamaica, Peter first shot to fame in 1968 when he starred as Hud in the original London production of Hair. He has starred in countless West End productions since, including Pete Townshend’s original Tommy, Ken Hill’s Phantom of the Opera, Hot Stuff, Blues in the Night, The Rocky Horror Show, The Rat Pack, One Love and Holding On. His classical roles include: Cassius in Julius Caesar at Bristol Old Vic, Lucio in Measure for Measure and Capulet in Romeo & Juliet at the National Theatre, directed by Bill Bryden, for The Touring Consortium Theatre Company.
Other theatre includes: The Silver Gym (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch); Torsten, the Beautiful Libertine (Above the Stag); The Wiz (Birmingham Rep); The Wiz (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield); Cinderella (Hackney Empire) and The Glorious Ones (Landor Theatre). He performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in a concert performance of Piaf with the Matthew Jones Orchestra, and has performed cabaret at leading London venues as well as two solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival and the St James Theatre, London: Black Magic and Peter Straker’s Brel, which is now available as an album.
Peter has made several appearances in film and television and became a well-known face, playing Dev in the hit series Connie with Stephanie Beacham and Commander Sharrel in Doctor Who - Destiny of the Daleks. He has also appeared In episodes of Casualty and Horace Ove's production of The Orchid House.
His recording career includes projects for many major labels, including the Alan Parsons Project’s I Robot, Freddie Mercury’s ‘Barcelona’ with Montserrat Caballé and backing vocals on ‘The Great Pretender’. He has an extensive back catalogue of recordings and solo albums, two of which were produced by Freddie Mercury: This One’s on Me and Changeling.
Training: Brooksby Melton College and The American Musical Theatre Academy of London.
Theatre credits whilst training include: Sweet Charity (Lost Theatre) and Little Shop of Horrors (Melton Theatre), West Side Story (Curve Theatre).
Theatre credits include: Hair (Hope Mill Theatre), Parade (Hope Mill Theatre), The Lion King(Disney Theatrical, UK and International Tour); Godspell in Concert (Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue); Seussical the Musical (Arts Theatre) and Rent (Tabard Theatre).
Workshop credits include: Toys the Musical -Milton Morrissey (London)
Recording credits include: Paradise Lost (Original Cast Recording). Beautiful to You (Original Single -SAM.G project)
Stacey was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, and trained at The American Musical Theatre Academy of London (AMTA). Since living and working as an actress and vocalist in London, she has also trained with The Actors Class and The Acting Network.
Theatre credits include: Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby (UK Tour), Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas (Lyric Hammersmith); Sixth Form Romeo (Workshop; Derailed Theatre Company), Heart of Hearts (Workshop; Graeae Theatre Company), The Threepenny Opera (UK Tour); A Great Night Out (Wild Works), Reasons to be Cheerful: The Festival (UK & Germany); Passport to Pimlico (Rehearsed Reading; SouthWestFest).
Vocalist credits include: Naked Noise: Neil John Onions (Zigfried's Von Underbelly, Hoxton), Sondheim Women (St. James Theatre); Hannah Waddingham and Her Band (St. James Theatre), An Audience With: Julie Atherton for Perfect Pitch (Ormskirk), Christmas in New York (Palace Theatre, London), Julie Atherton & Laura Pitt-Pullford; Partners in Crime (St. James Theatre), and Julie Atherton: Rush of Life (Album Launch).
Television and screen credits include: Nurse Morris in Breathless (ITV), Shrink: Season 1 (Auteur Vision), and Stages of a Girls’ Night In… (BuzzFeed/McVities).
Stacey has worked as a Voice Over artist for HMRC and Accenture. Stacey is also very proud to be a member of The Daisy Chains, an all-female, 1950's rock and roll band (www.thedaisychains.co.uk).
West End: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Duchess and Chichester Festival, Jonathan Church); Mack and Mabel (Criterion, Adam Kenwright/Watermill).
Other theatre: Steve Currie/Captain Sensible, 20th Century Boy (New Wolsey Theatre/UK no. 1 tour); The Sword in the Stone, Sleeping Beauty, Angie the Ox in Guys and Dolls, Aladdin, Sugar and Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood (New Wolsey); Bosun in Return to the Forbidden Planet 25th Anniversary Tour (Bob Carlton), Lend Me a Tenor, Gunmetal Blues, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Aladdin, Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!, Twelfth Night, The Servant of Two Masters, A Slice of Saturday Night, Jack and the Beanstalk, Gaslight, Bouncers and It’s a Fine Life! (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch); From a Jack to a King (Far East tour for British Theatre Playhouse); Norman Petty, The Buddy Holly Story (Buddy Musical Productions/no. 1 tour); The Comedy of Babi Babbett, Gentle Harry’s Farm, Ikarus Inc and Noah Babel’s Ark (Rude Mechanicals); Pinafore Swing (Watermill/national tour); Prior to training, Steve played Stitch in Oliver! (London Palladium, Sam Mendes).
Television: Includes Love Soup (BBC).
Training: Rose Bruford College.
Tony’s career spans over forty years. He has a variety of experience in not only guitar but also classical piano and violin. Artists that Tony has worked with include: disco superstar band Odyssey, The Drifters, Edgar Winter, ex, Three Degrees vocalist, Sheila Ferguson in the show Soultrain, Circus Of Horrors, ex Us3 drummer Cheryl Alleyne’s jazz/rock band Solar Breeze, Sam Kelly’s Station House, reggae band Fowokan, ex Direct Drive, Paul Hardcastle vocalist, Helen Rogers, Hugh Masakela keyboard player Mervyn Africa.
Tony has worked with hit theatre shows, notably Tell Me On A Sunday featuring Marti Webb, and Dancing In The Streets. In the past few years Tony has worked with original members of legendary band Cymande, New Orleans legendary funk drummer, Zigaboo Modeliste (of The Meters), and at Womad 2015 Festival with Egyptian percussion maestro Hossam Ramzy. In 2016 Tony played on Reuben James Richards’ single A.S.A.P. appearing on Radio 2, and Tony’s reformed band Factory released their prog rock album Back In The Time Machine.
Tony has recently recorded with Sam Kelly’s Station House, featuring on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, violin and vocals. The album is due for release in early 2017. Tony also has his own rock/fusion band Toneheadz.
Tony is honoured to be part of the Ramps On The Moon production of Tommy.
Kerry has been artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East for 13 years. Under him, the theatre has been nominated for numerous Olivier Awards and his production of Cinderella was the first pantomime ever nominated in the award’s history. Other nominations include: You Me Bum Bum Train and the remount of Oh What a Lovely War. TRSE has also won Oliviers for its hip-hop production of Boy Blue’s Pied Piper in association with the Barbican and for Cora Bissett’s immersive theatre experience Roadkill. Kerry has pioneered many unique and diverse projects including IFEA, an international artists exchange, where 30 countries participated in sending over to London a few of their most aspiring young artistes to work together and create new work. Kerry’s most recent directing credits include: I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, The Battle of Green Lanes, The Great Extension, The Harder They Come (Barbican/Playhouse Theatre and North America tour), Come Dancing, Takeaway, Robin Hood, Love N Stuff, Sinbad the Sailor and Tommy.
Paul has worked extensively as a dramaturg on a wide range of productions, including new plays, classics and musicals. Before becoming freelance, Paul ran the literary departments at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Soho Theatre. He is currently associate dramaturg of the Ambassador Theatre Group. Paul is also an Olivier-nominated playwright and musician. His plays and musicals include: The Big Life (Stratford East and West End); Reasons to Be Cheerful (Graeae, New Wolsey and Stratford East); Come Dancing (Stratford East) and Rat Pack Confidential (Nottingham Playhouse, Bolton Octagon and West End). Paul currently plays guitar in the band Dr Schwamp. He is an associate artist of Soho Theatre, an associate teacher of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, an associate fellow at the University of Warwick and literary associate at the Theatre by the Lake.
Neil trained in Birmingham and later at the Slade, UCL.
Neil has designed productions for Cambridge Arts Theatre, RADA, St Ann’s Warehouse, NYC; Riverside Studios, London; Watermill Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse, the Crucible, Sheffield; Hull Truck, Gate, London; Gate, Dublin; Pavilion Theatre, Dublin; Derby Theatre, Scarborough Theatres, Watford Palace, Greenwich Theatre, Liverpool Everyman, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh; and Arcola Theatre, London.
Recent projects include: Alice in Wonderland (Watermill Theatre); Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (London and Hong Kong); Il trittico (Opera Holland Park); The Taming of the Shrew and The Wind in the Willows (Guildford) and The Winter’s Tale (Guildford Shakespeare Company).
Tours include: Red Shift Theatre and Compass Theatre Co, Atak Theatre, Istanbul; BAM, New York; and St Ann’s Warehouse, New York.
Neil has designed operas for Opera Theatre Company, Eire; English Touring Opera, Almeida/ENO Festival, London; Danish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Garden Opera, BAM, New York; Opéra Comique, Paris; New Zealand Opera and W11 Children’s Opera.
Forthcoming projects include: House and Garden (Watermill); Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Frankfurt); Tommy (UK tour); Julius Caesar (Guildford); Don Giovanni (Opera Holland Park) and The Price, a new opera about the suffragettes (W11 Opera).
Neil has also worked in both set and costume departments for BBC TV.
Robert is a composer, lyricist, musical director and performer. For Theatre Royal Stratford East, he has written music and lyrics for the Olivier Award-nominated Cinderella, and also Robin Hood, Pinocchio, Aladdin, Red Riding Hood and Dick Whittington (with Trish Cooke); Red Riding Hood and Dick Whittington (with Patrick Prior); as well as songs for The Snow Queen and Hansel and Gretel, and scores for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Make Some Noise. He was also musical director for the hit musicals The Big Life (both at Stratford and in the West End) and Come Dancing, written by and starring Ray Davies of the Kinks.
As exclusive composer and musical director for Image Musical Theatre Co, he has written over 20 shows, of which Jungle Book, The Secret Garden and Beauty and the Beast are currently touring the UK, and over a million children have sung his songs in the last four years.
As a conductor, he has worked all over the world, from the Sibelius Academy, Finland, to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and the majority of West End theatres, including conducting a choir of 5000 at the O2; as well as musical director for the inaugural performance of the World Children’s Ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall, involving young people from 37 different countries.
In 2012, Robert was musical director for the Graeae Theatre Company production of the Ian Dury musical Reasons to Be Cheerful, which toured the UK and with whom he was seen performing ‘Spasticus Autisticus’ to a worldwide television audience at the Paralympics opening ceremony in 2012. He also works extensively in the training of young people as musical director of Theatretrain.
Mark Smith studied at the Royal Ballet School and Bridget Espinosa’s London Studio Centre (voted Best Soloist in 1989). He was presented East Anglia’s Young Deaf Achiever in 1989, which was awarded by Princess
Diana at the Café Royal, London. As a performer, he has appeared with dance companies throughout the UK and Europe including Firefly, La Ribot and the Aaron Williamson Dance Company.
Choreography includes: Paralympic opening ceremony - London, 2012 (co-directed by Bradley Hemmings MBE and Jenny Sealey MBE); My Silent World (commissioned by Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt - artistic
directors of Ballet Boyz, which was a short film for Channel 4’s Random Acts, directed by Luke Aherne); Iolanthe (Union Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall, directed by Sasha Regan - Critics’ Choice and Time Out’s Top 10 Musicals of 2010; for this production, Mark was also nominated for Best Choreographer in the Off West End Theatre Awards and the BroadwayWorld UK Awards); Shoes (Mark was one of five choreographers along with Kate Prince, Aletta Collins and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Sadler’s Wells, directed by Stephen Mear and written by Richard Thomas); The Who’s Tommy - 30th anniversary (Greenwich Theatre, directed by Michael Strassen; for this production, Live Theatre and British Theatre picked Mark as Best Choreographer of 2015); Die Fledermaus (Den Norske Opera and Ballett - Oslo Opera House, directed by Laurence Dale); A Marvellous Year for Plums (Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Philip Franks); Blood Wedding (Graeae, Derby Theatre and Dundee Rep Ensemble, directed by Jenny Sealey MBE); As You Like It (Oxford Shakespeare Company, directed by Michael Oakley); The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Dale Rooks); Ace of Clubs (Union Theatre, directed Jack Thorpe-Baker; nominated for Best Choreographer for the Off West End Theatre and BroadwayWorld UK Awards); The Threepenny Opera (Graeae Theatre Company/New Wolsey Theatre/Nottingham Playhouse Theatre/Birmingham Repertory Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse, directed by Jenny Sealey MBE and Peter Rowe); Noah (Chichester Festival Youth Theatre 50th anniversary, directed by Dale Rooks); Reasons to Be Cheerful (Graeae’s UK tour, directed by Jenny Sealey MBE); The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, directed by Dale Rooks); Aladdin (Hammersmith Lyric, directed by Steve Marmion); Alive! (outdoor UK Festivals - Deaf Men Dancing in collaboration with visual artist Rachel Gadsden, directed by Mark Smith); TEN and Embrace (Lord Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival - Deaf Men Dancing commissioned by Greenwich + Dockland International Festival, directed by Mark Smith); Hear! Hear! and Rosa (Deaf Men Dancing and DMD+ for Sadler’s Wells, directed by Mark Smith); The SoundMan (DMD for Incloodu Festival and Sadler’s Wells, directed by Mark Smith); Let Us Tell You a Story (Deaf Men Dancing, commissioned by Exceptional & Extraordinary, directed by Mark Smith); Cabaret (Mountview, directed by Bronagh Lagan); Just So (Chichester University, directed by Sarah Redmond); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Arts Educational Schools, directed by Thom Southerland); Peter Pan (Chichester University, directed by Charlotte Conquest); The Boys From Syracuse (Union Theatre, directed by Ben DeWynter); Sequins and Snowballs and Wheels on Broadway (Graeae Theatre’s Rhinestone Rollers at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank); Carousel (Royal Academy of Music, directed by Ken Caswell); Marry Me a Little and Starting Here, Starting Now (Chichester University, directed by Ed Burnside); Money Makes the World Go Round (Carnival UK/Three Pins Productions, directed by Tim Welton) and West Side Story (Music Theatre Project, directed by Kirk Jameson).
Mark was one of the three artists selected to create new work at Integrated ChoreoLAB, co-produced by Pavilion Dance South West/GDance/South East Dance, and the work was presented at the Integrated Dance Summit. He is the founder and artistic director for his own dance companies Deaf Men Dancing and DMD+.
Mark Smith is a member of International Dance Council CID. Mark was delighted to be invited by Sadler’s Wells to be a judge for BBC Young Dancer 2016.
For more information about Mark Smith and DMD, please visit: www.marksmithproduction.com.
Arnim trained and worked as a photographer and audio-visual media designer in his native Germany, before moving to the UK to study scenography, receiving an MA at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. He is the founder member of Pixelbox Ltd, which specialises in designing dynamic performance environments, blending lighting, motion graphics and video projection, animation and film-making. His lighting and projections have been seen not only in theatres around the world, but also in a zoo, a monastery, an abandoned pub, St Paul’s Cathedral and deep down in a cave in the Forest of Dean. Performances in the UK, China, Canada, the USA, Ireland, India, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Denmark have spanned diverse arts forms, from theatre to opera and ballet via puppetry, Indian dance, experimental music and children’s shows.
Recent designs include: The Bloody Irish (Dublin, broadcasting on US television and Broadway, NY, in 2016); The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Lamentations (Vocalconsort Berlin); Best Man (Everyman, Cork); Alice in Wonderland (Polka Theatre); Leviathan (Matadero Madrid); Cougar - the Musical, Stars in the Morning Sky and One Night in November (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); Piaf, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Gypsy and Hello, Dolly! (Curve, Leicester); Ghosts in the Walls (RSC); BBC’s Grandpa in My Pocket (Nottingham Playhouse and touring); The Awkward Squad (Arts Theatre, London); The Rememberers (Birmingham Rep with Apples and Snakes); Wander (Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, Hong Kong); Take (Washington DC); Lucky Seven (Hampstead Theatre); The Death of Harry Leon (Ouroboros Theatre, Dublin) and the National Holocaust Memorial Day in Coventry.
Past designs have been science-fiction opera The Pitchshifter for leading Dutch contemporary music ensemble Insomnia; award-winning Rumblefish, Looking for J J, Road and Lord of the Flies (Pilot Theatre); bricks-in-space spectacle Life on Mars (Legoland worldwide); the appearance of hundreds of angels inside St Paul’s Cathedral for the City of London Festival; Joe Guy (Soho Theatre); The White Album (Nottingham Playhouse); The Long Road (Curve, Leicester); The Saint of Bleecker Street (Peacock Theatre, West End); Amour (Ovalhouse, London, and the Dance Centre, Toronto); Mine, Moll Flanders, Metropolis and The Importance of Being Earnest (KAOS Theatre); Paradise (Birmingham Rep); Angels in America (Sheffield Crucible); Oliver! (Liverpool Playhouse); Mozart’s Mass in C minor (Birmingham Royal Ballet); Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Laundrette (Snap Theatre); The Wall, King and Philip Glass’s Satyagraha (Midlands Arts Centre); Bryony Lavery’s Shot Through the Heart (Pentabus Theatre); A Hard Day’s Night (Hull Truck Theatre Company) and The Suicide and An Inspector Calls (Theatr Clwyd).
Arnim also works as a photographer and graphic designer and lives in Warwickshire with his family, an overly dramatic cat and Lottie the dog. He enjoys playing drums and experimental cooking for fearless friends.
for Creative Technology
Andrew has spent the last 17 years working in sound and the last nine years working in professional theatre as production sound engineer, operator, assistant sound designer, associate sound designer and sound designer.
Andrew was shortlisted for Best Sound Design for Mack & Mabel at the Off West End Awards and for Titanic at the Broadway World UK Awards.
Theatre includes: The Play That Goes Wrong (Lyceum, Broadway); Death Takes a Holiday (Charing Cross); Promises, Promises, Allegro, The Toxic Avenger, Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel, Dogfight, The A- Z Of Mrs P, Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel and Company (Southwark Playhouse); Christina Bianco - Oh Come All Ye Divas! and Ragtime (Charing Cross); Lee Mead - Some Enchanted Evening (UK tour 2016); Girlfriends (Mountview); Sinbad the Sailor (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess and UK tour 2016); The Secret Garden (New Ambassadors/British Theatre Academy); The Stripper (St James); Les Misérables (Surrey Youth Music Theatre); GSA Foundation Showcase (GSA/University Of Surrey); Titanic (Charing Cross and Southwark Playhouse); An Inspector Calls (UK tour 2016); The Witches (Curve, Leicester and UK tour 2016); Robin Hood, Shalom Baby and A Clockwork Orange (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); Bells Are Ringing, Catch Me If You Can, The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, The Concrete Jungle and Bat Boy (ArtsEd); The Smallest Show On Earth (Mercury, Colchester and UK tour); West End Men (UK tour 2015, Vaudeville, winter UK tour 2012 and Singapore); Bruce Forsyth Entertains (Palladium 2015 and UK tour 2014); Sleeping Beauty (Millfield); Calamity Jane (UK tour 2014/2015); Let It Be (UK tour 2014, Moscow, Japan tour and Monaco; head of sound, Savoy 2013); Rent (UK concert tour 2013/2014); Hormonal Housewives (UK tour 2013); The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (UK tour 2012 and 2013); Beauty and the Beast (SYP, High Wycombe 2012); High School Musical 2 (SYP, Hastings 2012); Search for a Twitter Star Live Finals (Lyric); West End Eurovision 2012 (Dominion); Midnight Tango (Aldwych and UK tour 2011); Snow White and Cinderella (Qdos, Hastings); Top Hat and Britain’s Got Bhangra (UK tours 2011); West Side Story (HQ, High Wycombe); The Last Five Years (Tabard); Legacy Falls (New Players); Buddy - the Buddy Holly Story and Cats (Channel Islands); Departure Lounge (Waterloo East); An Evening With Blake, Matt Monro Jnr, Our House, Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray and Jus’ Like That (UK tours 2010); End of the Rainbow (Northampton); Cats (international arena tour); Les Misérables Concerts, Cacophony, Noise Ensemble, High School Musical 2, Rent and Fame (UK tours 2009); Shout (UK tour 2008 and Arts); The Wedding Singer (UK tour 2008); Little Shop of Horrors (West End 2007 and UK tour 2009); Footloose (UK tour 2006, 2007, 2008 and West End 2006, 2007); Rent Remixed (Duke Of York’s); Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy); An Epitaph for George Dillon (Comedy) and Loveshack the Musical (UK tour 2005).
One day events include: Hastings Beer and Music Festival 2016; Follies (London Palladium 2007); Side By Side By Sondheim (Novello 2007); Flying with the Stars (London Palladium 2008); Boogie For Stu (New Ambassadors); West End Live (2013/2014) and Proms in the Park (2012/2013). Andrew was also arena sound operator for the London 2012 Olympics at Horse Guards Parade.
Forthcoming: The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal, Stratford East); The Play That Goes Wrong (Lyceum, Broadway) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Wilton’s Music Hall).
Andrew is a project manager for Dimension Audio, part of Creative Technology.
Jeni is the artistic director of fingersmiths (www.fingersmiths.org.uk), a visual physical theatre company working with Deaf and hearing actors in BSL and spoken English. She is also a qualified sign language interpreter, specialising in theatre.
Recent work includes: research and development Up ‘n’ Under by John Godber (fingersmiths/New Wolsey Theatre); consultant/interpreter for Jumble Soul (Jackie Hagan research and development Unlimited); Silence by Nicky Werenowska (research and development - Mercury Theatre); Frozen (fingersmiths and Birmingham Rep co-production) and War Crimes for the Home, Don’t Leave Me Now, Counting the Ways and The Merry Wives of Waltham.
Upcoming work includes: Invisible by Nicky Werenowska (Pulse Festival, Ipswich - research and development); dramaturg/consultant for Blocks (Toby Hulse/Oxford Playhouse) and development of a tri-lingual production for young people and the Swindon communities with Prime Theatre, Swindon, where Jeni is associate artist.
Since gaining 2.1 BA (hons) in Deaf Studies with Interpreting English/BSL and Linguistics, Daryl has long since freelanced as a sign language consultant, translator, advisor, script supervisor, television presenter/reporter and actor. He frequently does in-vision translating for numerous television channels and websites. He is a sign language monitor for actors in theatre, actors in TV drama/film, and presenters in programmes and websites. He was a lecturer at Wolverhampton University, teaching interpreting, and is a sign theatre lecturer for Reading University and a visiting lecturer for seminars and teaching interpreting and sign language. He is a one-to-one tutor for interpreters who want to improve their translation skills and does various workshops.
Theatre credits include: The Government Inspector (Birmingham Repertory Theatre/Ramps on the Moon); Motherland, Dysfunction and Children of a Greater God (Deafinitely Theatre) and The Exception and the Rule (Young Vic Theatre). He has also worked often coaching actors, deaf and hearing signers at Graeae, Unicorn, Sadler’s Wells, Gate Theatre, Green Candle, Almeida, Jacksons Lane and Drill Hall. He has also given translation assistance for BBC children’s programme My Almost Famous Family. He sign-coached a specialist actor as a lifelike gorilla for the Hollywood film Vanilla Gorilla (2009); assisted a deaf actor for another feature film, Goya’s Ghost (2009); supported two actors in Japanese feature film Choyua 5 (2008); gave BSL translation support for the Royal Court Theatre’s Constellations (2013 and 2015) and acted in the BBC drama Switch and several other films for BSLBT (a community channel). He has also performed for many outdoor musical festivals.
He achieved a BAFTA Award nomination for directing a Film4 children’s drama; directed three different plays titled 4Play (2012–2015); performed for the 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony with Circus Space and Strange Fruit on sway pole.
Directing credits include: Bingo Lingo (co-directed/created with Daryl Beeton); Two Can Toucan (TwoCan Theatre Company) and Nana’s Jumble (Kazzum).
Assistant director credits include: The House of Bernarda Alba (Graeae/Manchester Royal Exchange); Lost & Found (GDance); Blood Wedding (Graeae/Dundee Rep/Derby Theatre); Waiting Game (Kazzum); Wheels on Broadway (Graeae) and Addressed to a Friend (Kazzum).
Nicola is an associate artist for Graeae Theatre Company, Kazzum and GDance. She is chair of Theatre Gloucestershire.
In 2014, Nicola co-founded TwoCan, Gloucestershire’s first professional disabled-led theatre company.
Nicola is extremely excited to be part of the creative team for Tommy and the ‘amazing journey’ to get here.
Recent theatre credits include: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Pinter Theatre); An American in Paris (Dominion Theatre); The Miser (Theatre Royal Bath/Garrick Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Young Vic); The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Experience (Hampstead Theatre Studio); Raising Martha and LUV (Park Theatre); The Children, X and Linda (Royal Court Downstairs); The Exorcist (Birmingham Rep); Lazarus (King’s Cross Theatre); One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse); The Mountaintop (Young Vic); King Lear (RSC); They Drink It in the Congo (Almeida); Strife (Minerva, Chichester); La bohème (Opera Holland Park); Don Carlo (Grange Park Opera); Romeo and Juliet, The Painkiller, Red Velvet and The Winter’s Tale/Harlequinade (Garrick Theatre/Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company); Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Headlong); Only the Brave (Millennium Centre, Cardiff); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre); The Caretaker, The Master Builder and The Hairy Ape (Old Vic); Bad Jews (Theatre Royal Haymarket); Cyprus Avenue (Abbey Theatre, Dublin/Royal Court Upstairs); Primetime, Human Animals, I See You and Violence and Son (Royal Court Upstairs); Private Lives (ATG tour); Waiting for Godot, Romeo and Juliet and The Effect (Sheffield Crucible); The Winter’s Tale (Cheek by Jowl); The Wasp (Trafalgar Studios); First Love Is the Revolution (Soho Theatre); Hamlet (Barbican); Richard II (Globe Theatre); Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith) and Medea (Gate Theatre).
For five years Polly was casting associate at the Royal Exchange theatre. She continues to work with the company and has recently cast Sweet Charity, Wit, The Ghost Train (Told by an Idiot) and Little Shop of Horrors.
She has cast numerous productions for the Birmingham Repertory theatre including Chris Hannan’s What Shadows, Of Mice and Men, Anita and Me, A Christmas Carol and Folk, a new play by Tom Wells.
She works closely with the Ramps on the Moon consortium and cast their first two productions, The Government Inspector and Tommy.
Other recent credits include: feature film We Can Be Heroes; The Island Nation (Ice & Fire/Arcola); Peter and the Starcatcher (Paul Taylor-Mills/Royal & Derngate); Roy Williams’ Soul (Hackney Empire/Royal & Derngate); The Hound of the Baskervilles (York Theatre Royal); Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Brideshead Revisited (ETT and York); Peter Pan (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Beyond the Fence, a new musical for Sky Arts, Wingspan and Neil Laidlaw Productions in the West End.
Polly is currently working on Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the regional premiere of Tribes for Sheffield Theatres.
Oliver is a composer, musical director and drummer. He has worked as composer for Graeae on Stepping Stones by Mike Kenny, Act of Memory and Hackney Youth Project. He has composed music for LipService Theatre - Inspector Norse and Mr Darcy Loses the Plot. Other work includes music for Edward II (Cambridge Arts Theatre) and Rumpelstiltskin, the Cambridge Footlights panto. He was a creative assistant on The Threepenny Opera, and worked as a drummer on The Blues Brothers and The Rat Pack (Theatre 21 at Edinburgh Fringe). He studies music at Cambridge University.
Kevin has always enjoyed dance, and took up ballet at the age of six. He studied sport science at the University of Brighton (after completing GCSE and A level dance), before completing his PGCE in dance (secondary). He has always been interested in dance and wanted to teach or perform. He has worked in state education for over 10 years, culminating in a head of expressive arts faculty position. He works as an examiner and Keynote Education course leader for dance teacher inset days. Kevin has performed and/or assisted outreach work with Signdance Collective, FRONTLINEdance and Magpie Dance, and is currently a member of Deaf Men Dancing. Kevin currently also works for Juka Dance, encouraging literacy through dance in primary schools. Kevin’s barriers are with those who are ignorant to disability or need educating about patience, tolerance and accessibility. He has completed mentoring schemes provided by One Dance UK and New Adventures (Overture) to help shape his practice and consider the future. Kevin is hoping to lead change and create new work for the inclusive sector as a teacher, manager or performer. It has been important for him to develop his professional knowledge by being involved as a RAD education committee member, completing his stage one and two British Sign Language courses, undertaking circus classes and volunteering where possible with dance companies. Kevin believes to make the most of new and different opportunities and research into the sector to make contacts and gain knowledge about it.
David has been involved in performance arts since he was 12, when he joined Remix, an inclusive arts company. The Remix performed on Weymouth beach for the opening of the Olympic Games sailing events. David was also given the opportunity to perform his poetry for the celebrations of the Paralympic Games with the Seen but Seldom Heard voices project.
Merging his passion for performance and poetry, David joined Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists in 2013. Dave co-wrote and performed in Touched for the Unlimited Festival on the South Bank, London, in 2014.
David became a poet activist and associate artist for Diverse City and worked with the Complete Freedom of Truth International Arts Project, which he continues to do.
In 2015, David joined Graeae’s Ensemble, a professional training opportunity for emerging disabled artists.
David performed an improvisation to Terry Riley’s In C with Extraordinary Bodies at Colston Hall alongside the British Paraorchestra in 2016, and the Doing Things Differently Festival saw David leading integrated performance workshops for theatre practitioners and performing in the State of the Nation.
He is very much looking forward to working with Ramps on the Moon and the New Wolsey Theatre in this new production of Tommy.
Nikki is very excited to work as Creative Design Assistant on Tommy. Having previously worked in creating accessible theatre on a more intimate scale, she is thrilled to now be creating accessible theatre on a larger scale. Studying art and drama at school, she soon realised she could combine both and started designing for youth companies, and later went on to study theatre design at Nottingham Trent University. Through experiencing access barriers in attitudes in her early performance work, Nikki developed a want for accessibility in mainstream theatre, believing there are great opportunities when access is thought of artistically, as well as functionally, and not as a compromise or a hindrance. Nikki hopes to learn from her experience on Tommy and to further advocate for access in design after Tommy.
Pete Townshend was a member of the Who from 1962–82; the group’s first recording was in 1964. He has written hundreds of songs, many of which have been chart hits. He has written and composed several major collections that have won international recognition; Tommy is the best known. He was awarded the Ivor Novello Award by his songwriter peers in 1981 and the British Phonograph Industry Award in 1983 for service to the British music industry. In 1990, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He has been nominated for two Grammys and an Academy Award (for the Tommy film score). He has, most recently, been honoured with the 1993 Tony Award for Best Original Score for Tommy on Broadway. Recordings with the Who (1965–82): My Generation, Who’s Next, Tommy and Quadrophenia (rock operas). Solo (1980–89): Empty Glass, All the Best Boys Have Chinese Eyes, White City: a Novel (with long-form video) and Iron Man (songs for a musical based on Ted Hughes’ original story. Publications: The Story of Tommy (with Richard Barnes) and Horse’s Neck. Active as a songwriter, performer and producer, he continues to work as an editor at Faber and Faber, which he joined in 1983. Married, with three children, he lives in Twickenham, England.
Des received Tony Awards for his Broadway stagings of Big River (1985) and The Who’s Tommy (1993). He directed Lee Blessings’s A Walk in the Woods on Broadway in 1988 and in Moscow and Lithuania in 1989–90. He is director-in-residence of the La Jolla Playhouse, where he was artistic director from its 1983 revival until 1994, during which time the theatre won more than 200 awards for excellence. For the Playhouse, he directed Romeo and Juliet, A Mad World My Masters, Big River, As You Like It, The Seagull, The Matchmaker, A Walk in the Woods, Two Rooms, 80 Days, Macbeth, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, Elmer Gantry, Much Ado About Nothing, The Who’s Tommy and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. McAnuff’s play Leave It to Beaver Is Dead was produced in Toronto and NY City, where it received the SoHo Arts Award. A co-founder of the Dodgers, he directed its first production, Gimme Shelter (SoHo Arts Award), as well as Mary Stuart and How It All Began, when the theatre moved to the NYSF. McAnuff staged Henry IV Part One for Joseph Papp in Central Park and was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant for his play The Death of Von Richthofen As Witnessed From Earth, which he directed at the Public Theater (SoHo Villager Award). He has directed for the American Rep Theatre at Harvard, Yale Rep and Stratford Festival of Canada, and is a former faculty member of the Juilliard School. McAnuff is married to actress Susan Berman and they are the proud parents of Julia Violet.
John Alec Entwistle (9 October 1944–27 June 2002) was the bass guitar player for the Who. He was born in Chiswick, a London suburb, in 1944 and joined Roger Daltrey in a pre-Who band, the Detours, in the early 1960s.
Sometimes known as ‘Ox’, he was generally regarded as the quiet person in the Who. Bill Wyman described him as “the quietest man in private but the loudest man onstage”. He was a talented songwriter and artist.
He wrote several well-known Who songs including ‘Cousin Kevin’, ‘My Wife’, ‘Boris the Spider’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’. Entwistle also contributed many backing vocals and horn performances to the group.
In addition to his work with the Who, Entwistle was an accomplished solo artist, releasing a number of solo albums beginning in the 1970s. Entwistle’s contribution to rock bass playing was to create a driving lead role for the instrument. Rarely captured well in the studio, his style and sound was fully developed by the time of the Who’s ‘A Quick One, While He’s Away’ performance for the Rolling Stones’ 1968 Rock and Roll Circus, as well as the seminal 1970 Live at Leeds concert recording. In concert, Entwistle and guitarist Pete Townshend frequently exchanged roles, with Entwistle providing rapid melodic lines and Townsend anchoring the song with rhythmic chord work. Entwistle also pioneered the use of roundwound steel bass strings, developed for him by the Rotosound company.
Entwistle helped develop the percussive potential of the bass sound, creating an unusual right-hand ‘typewriter’ technique several years before slapping was introduced by funk pioneer Larry Graham. This percussive sound is evident in the bass solo from 1965’s crudely recorded Who single ‘My Generation’ (available on the My Generation album).
Entwistle identified his influences as a combination of twangy rock ‘n’ roll guitarists such as Duane Eddy and Gene Vincent, American soul and R&B bassists such as James Jamerson, and his school training on French horn, trumpet and piano.
John Entwistle died in 2002 in Las Vegas, on the eve of the first show in a US tour by the Who. Italian-born bassist Pino Palladino replaced him onstage.
Keith John Moon (23 August 1946–7 September 7 1978) was the drummer of the rock group the Who. He was born in London in 1946, although he would later claim to have been born a year later.
He is considered one of the most unusual and original drummers in rock and roll. His unorthodox and highly flamboyant style was only surpassed by his innate rhythmic sense. Moon had a style all his own and laid down some of the tightest drum tracks in rock and roll. Contemporary drummers such as Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker and John Bonham could all point to him as a major influence, and Moon’s anarchic, out-of-control style remains an influence on popular music today.
Early in the Who’s career, the band acquired a reputation for destroying their equipment at the end of each show. Moon showed a particular zeal for this activity, wildly kicking and smashing his drums. During an appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour television show, he overloaded a drum with explosive charges which were detonated during the finale of ‘My Generation’, which according to legend resulted in permanent hearing damage for bandmate Pete Townshend and caused Bette Davis to faint. His antics earned him the nickname ‘Moon the Loon’.
Moon quickly gained a reputation as being highly destructive. He was known to lay waste to hotel rooms, the homes of friends, and even his own domicile, often throwing furniture out of high windows and destroying the plumbing with firecrackers. While he never actually drove a car into a swimming pool, it’s not hard to imagine how such a story originated.
Although his work with the Who dominated Moon’s career, he participated in a few minor side projects. In 1966, he teamed up with Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck and future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to record an instrumental, ‘Beck’s Bolero’, released as a single later that year. Moon is also said to have named Led Zeppelin, remarking that the supergroup would “go down like a lead zeppelin”. In 1974, he released his first and only solo album, a collection of pop covers entitled Two Sides of the Moon. In 1971, he had a cameo-role appearance in Frank Zappa’s film 200 Motels. He acted in drag as a nun fearful of death from overdosing on pills. He also appeared as ‘Uncle Ernie’ in the film adaptation of Tommy. In 1976, he covered the Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ for the soundtrack of the documentary All This and World War II.
Keith Moon’s final night out was as a guest of Paul McCartney at the preview of the film The Buddy Holly Story. After dining with his girlfriend and Paul and Linda McCartney, Moon returned with his girlfriend to his flat in Curzon Place, Soho. He died in his sleep at the age of 32, having overdosed on anti-seizure medication (taken as part of a programme to wean him off alcohol). He was replaced by the Faces’ drummer, Kenney Jones, and in recent tours by Zak Starkey.
***** “An exuberant, inclusive and revelatory staging of Pete Townshend's classic rock opera”
***** “A wonderful production”
**** “The musical’s dated excesses are made fresh, meaningful and moving and its killer tunes are delivered with blazing rock’n’roll attitude”
Everything about this fully inclusive performance was amazing! The energy and comittment of the performers was a joy and it was easy to become fully involved; I had tears in my eyes more than once! The apparent simplicity of the set masked how complicated it must have been to design but its flexibility allowed for superb visual and lighting effects and scene changes were timed to perfection. Congratulations to actors, musicians and crew. It is impossible to single out anyone for special praise as each played their part to the full. We thoroughly enjoyed the show!
This highly-anticipated spectacle certainly delivered the most amazing experience. Incredible acting, music, set, lighting and special effects, all taking us on Tommy's journey to the fabulous "Listening to You" finale - which was one of those theatre moments that makes you smile inside and out! Thank you to everyone involved for a very memorable and touching evening.
What a fantastic show. Top marks for all involved - brilliant cast, brilliant band, brilliant production. The Acid Queen rules !
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