Up ‘n’ Under

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Presented by fingersmiths in co-production with the New Wolsey Theatre.

John Godber’s riotous rugby comedy with a fingersmiths’ spin!

Set up in a bet with his arch rival Reg, our hot-headed hero Arthur discovers he has to coach The Wheatsheaf Arms; bottom of Castleford’s Amateur Rugby League who have never won a game, don’t have 7 players and spend more time in the pub than on the pitch.

They need to beat Reg’s team The Cobblers Arms who are top of the league, superbly fit, physically enormous and terrify every team they play.

But how does Arthur train his new team? They are Deaf, he doesn't sign and he only has 5 weeks to get his team into shape or he loses his house in the bet.

This fast moving and witty re-telling of John Godber’s award winning and much loved play, Up ’n’ Under, will delight audiences, bringing together fingersmiths’ visual and physical storytelling with a cast of Deaf and hearing actors using British Sign Language and spoken English.

Every performance has live Audio Description, British Sign Language and spoken English.

Cast & Creatives

Jeni Draper — Director

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.

Ian Scott — Lighting Designer

James Cook — Sound Designer

James won 'Best Sound Design' at the Pantomime Awards 2019.

James has recently Sound Designed: Jack and the Beanstalk (New Wolsey), Into Battle (Greenwich Theatre), Never Lost at Home (New Wolsey), babies (British Youth Music Theatre), Seedtime 2021 (London Studio Centre), The Snow Queen (New Wolsey 2020), Once: the Musical (UK Tour 2020), Aladdin Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto (New Wolsey), One Man, Two Guvnors (New Wolsey, Nuffield Southampton),The Dickens Girls (British Youth Music Theatre), The Addams Family (Ipswich Operatic), Little Shop of Horrors (London Studio Centre), Grandma Saves The Day (New Wolsey), Kiss Me Quickstep (Queens Theatre, UK Tour), Jack & The Beanstalk (Derby Arena - Little Wolf Entertainment), Once: the Musical (New Wolsey, Touring), Legally Blonde (London Studio Centre), Our Blue Heaven and Never Lost at Home (New Wolsey), Up ‘n’ Under  (Fingersmiths UK Tour 2018), Beauty & the Beast (Queens Theatre Hornchurch), Oxy & The Morons (New Wolsey), Arthur Pita: The World’s Greatest Show (Touring), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (Youth Theatre Productionz), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Ipswich Operatic).

James has also worked as Sound #1 on: Anita & Me (UK Tour 2017), Made in Dagenham (New Wolsey, Hornchurch), Jackie the Musical (UK Tour 2016), and many other productions.

Find out more at www.james-cook.me.

Jean St Clair — BSL Consultant

Television credits include: Deaf Funny, Don’t Leave Me This Way, The Chronicles Of Narnia, The Iron Man, Hands Up! and Words & Pictures (BBC).
Film credits include: Signs of an Affair; Still Here (Mutt and Jeff Pictures) and September 11th and Five Needles (Neath Films). Jean wrote and appeared in Signs of An Affair. She also wrote and directed the short film If I Don’t Lose, I’ll Lose.

Theatre credits include: The Government Inspector (Birmingham Repertory Theatre) Natural Theatre Diversions (Street Theatre); Frozen (Birmingham Repertory Theatre & fingersmiths Ltd); Mine (Park Theatre/Deafinitely Theatre); Locked Room Scenario (Street Theatre, Artangel); Counting The Ways (Oval Theatre/Tour/Millfield Arts Centre); In Praise Of Fallen Women (with Fingersmiths Ltd); Cinders Sisters and The Snow Queen (The Drill Hall); Sgnarelle and Waiting for Godot (Seymour Theatre, Australia), Children Of A Lesser God (Albery
Theatre/South Africa/Ireland/Sadler’s Wells); Hearing (Birmingham Repertory Theatre).

BSL Creative Consultant credits include work for Juggle, Doctor Who, BBC, Unicorn Theatre, Forest Forge Theatre, Mutt and Jeff Pictures, National Theatre of Wales and Graeae Theatre Company. She also worked as BSL Artistic Director for CBBC’s Magic Hands series one and series two.

Stephen Collins — Steve

Stephen Collins is an actor, workshop facilitator and recently debut as a director & Associate Artist for Amplified Theatre.  His theatre credits include Summit (Fuel Theatre), Nodus Tollens (DH Ensemble), The Government Inspector (Ramps on the Moon/Birmingham Rep), Threeepenny Opera, The Iron Man (Graeae), Shakespeare Globe's Love's Labour's Lost & Red Flags (Deafinitely Theatre), Hansel & Gretel (Red Earth) & The Winter's Tale (Taking Flight).

Wayne ‘Pickles’ Norman — Arthur

Wayne ‘Pickles’ Norman has been working professionally for forty years; his first job was the Artful Dodger in the West End production of Oliver! in 1977.

Television credits include; Terry and June, Dr Who, Eastenders, Grange Hill, Inspector Morse and The Harry Enfield Show (BBC). Theatre work includes The Merry Wives of Waltham, Welcome Home, The Coming of Gowf, Afters and Counting the Ways. Pickles has been working for Graeae for 15 years as an access worker and also an audio describer appearing in their hit shows Reasons To Be Cheerful, The Iron Man and The Threepenny Opera.

Adam Bassett — Phil

Adam is from Kingston-upon-Hull and after studying Media at College for a number of years, he started producing and starring in his own short films which he shared with the world on YouTube. Films such as "Rooky" (2009) also won a grant from Remark! "24/7" (2010) for BSL Zone on Film4. He was invited to be a presenter for BBC See Hear (2011).

Adam's short films credit on his belt, are “Vanishing” (2010) directed by Giles Bowman (Neath Films), "Retreat" dir. Ted Evans( 2013), "Yorkshire Four Deaf to go Blackpool" dir. Charlie Swinbourne, Mutt & Jeff Pictures (2014). Also "Deaf Funny" dir. Charlie Swinbourne, Juggle Production (2017). His debut theatre stage at Shakespeare’s Globe, as Don Armado in "Love’s Labours Lost", Deafinitely Theatre (2012), Lysander in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Deafinitely Theatre (2014)

In 2013, He won Visual Vernacular competition in Deaffest, as a result, he performed on his debut VV at Sign Circle in Preston, Mental Health Issues Evening in Rotherham and Deaf Sports Personality of the Year event (2014). Also Doing Things Differently in Bristol (2016).

In Small World (2014-17) he appeared as role of Graham in which, the first ever, sitcom comedy drama was very successful TV in five episodes of Small World last year. He returned in Graham's appeared in series two of Small World this year.

He also works as a Stand-up comedian with fellow Love’s Labours Lost cast members Brian Duffy, David Sands and Matty Gurney, touring the UK doing an Improv Show which has been running for five years.

Matt Gurney — Frank

Theatre: Love’s Labours Lost (Deafinitely Theatre, The Globe), Light (Theatre Ad Infinitum, LIM Festival and international tour) The Window Cleaners (Deaf improv comedy UK tour in  development with Adam Bassett)

TV/Film: Coming Home (Mutt & Jeff films) Small World (Best Actor award Deaffest 2017), Various roles for: See Hear, Switch, Vee-TV and Maverick TV

A massive Oxford United Football Club fan but does follow rugby too!

Reviews of Up ‘n’ Under

What the public say

OMG it was amazing, loved it that some of the actors were deaf. FAB - U - LOUS


Great show! Really entertaining from start to finish. Fabulous actors who should be proud of their performances!

Sally and David

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