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2009 Shakespeare shows

Directed by Robert J. Williamson


Mark Arden

Mark Arden Peter Quince & Dogberry

Mark trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His West End credits include Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Piccadilly Theatre and National Tour), Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls (Garrick), Sergeant Mitchum in The Long and The Short and The Tall (Albery) and Pop in We Will Rock You (Dominion). Other favourite roles played are: Milo Tindle in Sleuth (Bristol Old Vic), Garry LeJeune in Noises Off (Birmingham Rep), Dr Prentice in What the Butler Saw (Nottingham Playhouse), Mathew in Misconceptions (Derby and Salisbury Playhouses), Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Birmingham Rep) the Antipholus Twins in Comedy of Errors (Redgrave, Farnham), Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (New Vic, Stoke), and Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Sevenoaks Playhouse).

The first parts that Mark Played were in two-weekly rep in Basingstoke, various fringe shows, repertory seasons and pantomimes, and a national tour of Godspell. In the early 80s he formed The Oblivion Boys with Stephen Frost. Cutting their teeth at the original Comedy Store, the double act became favourites on the comedy circuit, gigging at the smallest venues to the Albert Hall. On TV they became regulars in shows such as The Young Ones, The Tube, Friday Night Live, their own cop series Lazarus and Dingwall and the fondly remembered Carling ads.

In tandem he was also co-writer/performer of the Perrier-nominated Wow Shows. These anarchic four-man fringe shows built up a cult following at the Edinburgh Festival, returning many times. They made two series for Radio 4 and had London runs at the Wyndhams Theatre, the Hackney and Albany Empires, and the Shaw, Latchmere, Hampstead, New End and King’s Head theatres.

Mark’s other TV work is extensive and diverse. It includes playing Firefighter Vaseline in London’s Burning for three years, Bryan in Teenage Kicks, Tony in The Estate Agents, Captain Skip in Space Vets, Black Adder, Comic Strip, The Brittas Empire, Happy Families, Girls on Top, Bottom, The Harry Enfield Show, Men of the World, Drop the Dead Donkey, Dani’s House, Downwardly Mobile, Heartbeat, Brothers and Sisters, City Central, New Tricks, Ultimate Force, Saxondale, EastEnders, Big Deal, Chillers, Preston Front, Berlin Break, The Bill, The Woman in Grey, and the BBC adapatation of Romeo and Juliet.

He recently co-presented a documentary series Working the Thames for the Discovery Channel. His radio work includes playing Zorro in the Radio 4 series The Mask of Zorro, and he has appeared in the films Bearskin, Charlie, and Carry on Columbus.

Steven Blakeley

Steven Blakeley Puck / Philostrate & Benedick

Steven was born in Derbyshire. He trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and at the Athanor Theater Akademie in Germany, and has also studied with the Open University. He has performed in both A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing before, having played Benedick and Flute. He also recently narrated Mendelssohn’s musical setting to Dream for Sinfonia Viva Chamber Orchestra. His other theatre credits include Selling the Sizzle, Bare Words, Peter Pan, Soap, Cold Turkey and The Hypochondriac. Steven is best known for playing PC Geoff Younger in four series of ITV’s Heartbeat, and he has also performed in several radio plays for the BBC and in several television commercials. In December, Steven will be getting married to his partner, Eliza.

Robert Crumpton

Robert Crumpton Snug & Borachio

Robert trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, following a degree in English and History at Jesus College, Oxford. Robert is an ensemble member of the British Shakespeare Company; this is his fifth year with them, having played Touchstone in As You Like It, the Dauphin in Henry V, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, and Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew. Since 2007 he has also been the Company’s literary director, and has a major role as a presenter/narrator in the film Sweet Swan of Avon. Other Shakespeare credits include the King of Navarre in Love’s Labour’s Lost at Brockwell Park, and the Dauphin at the Oxford Playhouse. He has appeared in Victory Over the Sun at Pushkin House & 176 Gallery, Mr Kolpert at the Greenwich Playhouse, General Strike 1926 at Conway Hall, Kiss Me Like You Mean It at the Soho Studio Theatre, The Six of Calais at Regent’s Park, 1905 at Brunswick House, and The Emperor Jones at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. His TV and radio work includes the ITV drama Dead Clever with Helen Baxendale, and H - A Hiroshima Story for BBC Radio 3. He has also lent his voice to the art installation Project Man at the Saatchi Gallery, and appeared in commercials for Philips and Shell. He is delighted to be working with the BSC again in such lovely venues.

David Davis

David Davies Theseus/Oberon & Don Pedro

David is an ensemble member of the British Shakespeare Company, having played Oberon and Theseus at Arundel Castle last year. Since then he has toured for the Young Shakespeare Company and played Maximillian in the film Leaving, which was recently shown at the Cannes Film Festival. He played Chorus/Exeter in Henry V and Dukes Frederick and Senior in As You Like It for the BSC in 2007, and then finished that year with an extensive tour of Germany and Switzerland for New Triad Theatre in Alan Ayckbourn’s Time and Time Again. Other work for the BSC includes Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet in 2006. He reprised Capulet under RJ Williamson’s direction in Saffron Waldon. A continuing good run with the company sees him in the film Sweet Swan of Avon where the BSC provided its troupe of players. David returned to England with the Bell Shakespeare Company’s production of The Comedy of Errors to open the Bath Shakespeare Festival 2006, and to play Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. He studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney and has been an ensemble member of Bell Shakespeare for 6 years playing the Sydney Opera House and touring Australia. His theatrical highlight has been playing Hamlet for The Hole in the Wall Theatre Company. Other companies he has worked for include the Perth Theatre Company and Deckchair Theatre’s 1999 tour of Croatia and Bosnia with Nevesinska 17. He has also played roles on television, including Stingers, The Sleepover Club, and Bush Patrol, as well as writing several plays including The Karismatic Effekt and his one man show Finchie about the legendary Australian actor Peter Finch, based on Trader Faulkner’s biography, which he hopes to perform soon.

Luciano Dodero

Luciano Dodero Demetrius & Don John / Sexton

Luciano trained at Guildhall and is an ensemble member of the British Shakespeare Company, having played Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet and Demetrius in Dream in their 2006 tour, a role he also took at Arundel Castle last year. He is delighted to be back for more open-air Shakespeare. His theatre credits include Error of their Ways (Cockpit Theatre), The Tempest (Sheffield Crucible and Riverside Studios), Frankenstein (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Measure for Measure (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Twelfth Night (Riverside Studios) and Wuthering Heights (National tour). His TV work has included Twentieth Century Battlefields (BBC2), and he has appeared in the films Eric and Emma Forever (Silvertip Productions), and Inbetween (La Toyson D'or Films), which was nominated for the Best Foreign Film award at the Rose of England Film Festival 2009. He is absolutely delighted to be exploring more dreams and adventures this summer.

John Ioannou

John Ioannou Egeus/ Flute & Leonato

John was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, but he has been living in England since he was four. He trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He was Bartholomew in Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth. In 1984, whilst working on the film Eleni in Spain, he contracted typhoid fever, but made a full recovery thanks to the National Health Service back in the UK. John appeared in the film Akamas, a Greek Cypriot production promoting reconciliation with Turkish Cypriots, which gave him a chance to reconnect with his roots in Cyprus, and he also recently played Prospero in the AS Videomaker/BSC film Sweet Swan of Avon. Recent theatre credits include Kolbe’s Gift for Ten Ten Theatre Company, Dionysos Unbound for SplitMoon Theatre, and extensive television work includes Little Miss Jocelyn for BBC3 and Crisis Control: Nuclear Meltdown for CBBC. An ensemble member of the British Shakespeare Company, he has worked with them many times since 1998, playing such parts as Claudius in Hamlet and Capulet in Romeo and Juliet.

Rebecca Allin Jayns

Rebecca Allin Jayns Peaseblossom & Ursula

After finishing A-levels last year Rebecca has spent the last six months in Greece teaching music and drama. This is not her first experience with the British Shakespeare Company as she played Juliet in their Saffron Walden production of Romeo and Juliet. Rebecca is also a member of the National Youth Theatre and has been in several productions with them including Pageant, performed at the Tower of London. She loves to perform in life and on stage and would like to thank the British Shakespeare Company for her first professional role.


Daniela Lavender

Daniela Lavender Hippolyta / Titania

Daniela Lavender was born in Bahia, Brazil, the daughter of a professor of English. She studied journalism at PUC University and Drama at Dirceu de Mattos College in Rio. She went on to train at London International School of Acting and studied Flamenco under Roberto Amaral and Yolanda Arroyo in Los Angeles. Her work in theatre includes Elmire in Tartuffe and Joan in Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and she played Titania and Hippolyta for the BSC at Arundel Castle last year. TV includes EastEnders, Casualty and Manchild, and her film credits include Longitude, Ali G In Da House, Emotional Backgammon (Best Acting Award at Denver World Film Festival), and most recently Push for Lee Daniels and The Scientist for Zach LeBeau. She lives in Oxfordshire and has a cat called Busta.

Louisa Lytton

Louisa Lytton Cobweb & Hero *Norwich/Kentwell/Leeds/Sheffield/Prague/Sterts/Arundel

Louisa Lytton attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and as a child appeared in The Bill, Let Them Eat Cake, French & Saunders, Hearts & Bones, Popworld, When Tennis Ruled The World and Aliens Amongst Us.

Louisa made her debut as Ruby in EastEnders in 2005 and quickly became one of the most popular characters in the series. She went on to win the Sexiest Female Award at the British Soap Awards in 2006. After leaving EastEnders Louisa was asked to appear in Strictly Come Dancing where she became a much loved participant with thousands voting for her each week. Almost immediately she consolidated her popularity with getting the role of P.C Beth Green in The Bill and in which she is once again received much acclaim. Last year she took a break from her role in The Bill to repeat her success from Strictly Come Dancing in the national tour, repeatedly winning and then went onto compete for Great Britain in the Eurovision Dance Contest.

Louisa has also appeared in the films Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Ali G Indahouse and recently starred in the film Book of Love which she filmed for 2 months in Canada.

Last year Louisa made her pantomime debut in Peter Pan, playing the iconic title role opposite Henry Winkler at Milton Keynes.

Claire McGarahan

Claire McGarahan Cobweb & Hero *Norway & Gawsworth shows

Claire McGarahan trained at London Studio Centre. Theatre credits include Emily in Outside The Cradle (Westminster Arts Library), Dunyasha in The Cherry Orchard (Lion and Unicorn Theatre) Emily in Tourist (Cockpit Theatre and Prague International Festival), Billy/Ensemble in Assassins (The Landor Theatre) and Verity in Find Me (Devalois Theatre). Film credits include Julie in the short feature The Beach At Etienne, Lila in Lies and Betrayal, Rachel in No Turning Back, Psycho in Castration Complex, Claire in Let's Get Lost and Laya in Avital's Choice. Television credits include X Factor (ITV), This Morning (ITV), Faking It (Channel 4) and Bust-a-Move (MTV) as a supporting artist. Claire took part as the lead in the musical workshop of The Phil Collins Analysis Club.

Hannah Summers

Hannah Summers Helena *Gawsworth shows

Hannah trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre credits include: Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Creation Theatre Co. Sister/Cook in Cinderella The Glass Slipper, The Brewhouse Theatre. Red Queen, Tweedledum and Sister in Alice through the Looking Glass (Tobacco Factory), Beverly in Abigail’s Party, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Ripley Castle and The Bridewell, London) Sweet Charity (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Shelia-Shelia in One Hit Wonder (Rosemary Branch). Rita: Sisterly Feelings, Moll Cutpurse; The Roaring Girl, The White Witch: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Rachel Wardle: The Pickwick Papers, Mrs Grainger: Peace in our Time (Bristol Old Vic).

Other credits include: Lane/Carol: Road, Grusha: Caucasion Chalk Circle, Young Edward: Cloud 9, The Young Wife: La Ronde. Schools tours: Olivia in Twelfth Night, Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Portia in The Merchant of Venice for the Brighton Festival.

Television credits include: Beverly in All About Abigail’s Party for BBC4 and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Channel 4’s media bus.

Film credits include: A Still Life, You Never Know, A Day.

Martha Swann

Martha Swann Helena & Beatrice

Martha trained at RADA, having been a member of the National Youth Theatre, with whom she played Jocasta in Oedipus. Her theatre credits include Don Juan Comes Back from the War at the Belgrade Theatre (directed by Gadi Roll), Suzy in Inside Job and Jacqueline in Don't Dress For Dinner at the Sheringham Little Theatre, Hermione in The Winter's Tale Retold for Theatre Alive, Lucy in Up on the Roof at the Arcola Theatre, and The Girl in Sarah Kane's Psychosis 4.48 at Studio Three. Martha's screen experience has included playing Lilly in the feature film Private Moments, and the short film Pitch Perfect, which was nominated for the Best Short Film prize at the British Independent Film Awards. This is the fourth season that Martha has performed with the British Shakespeare Company, with whom she has played Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Kate in The Taming of the Shrew for the Leeds Festival, as well as Rosalind in As You Like It for the 2003 tour, and Rosalind and Princess Katherine in Henry V for the 2007 season.

Gabriel Thomson

Gabriel Thomson Lysander & Claudio

Gabriel Thomson is making his Shakespearean debut, and although only 22 years old, he is already a household name after his 10 year continuing role as Michael Harper in the BAFTA-winning British sitcom My Family. He has also appeared in the major feature film Enemy at the Gates and the BBC’s Great Expectations. He is excited and (scared!) to be performing in open-air Shakespeare this summer.



David Vale

David Vale Snout & Verges

When David left school, his English and Drama teacher suggested he should work as an actor and David took his advice - only thirty-seven years later! He is therefore a late and fairly recent entrant to the profession after a previous life developing software. He trained on the Actors’ Company course at The London Centre for Theatre Studies.

Stage work includes ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (as Signor Florio) at Jermyn Street Theatre, Lady Windermere’s Fan (Dumby) and Death of an Elephant (Art), both at The Landor Theatre, The Broken Heart (Crotolon) at The White Bear, The Living and The Dead (Griffin) at The Pinter Studio, Bethnal Green and Las Meniñas (Pedro Briones & King Philip IV) at The National Gallery.

He has also worked as an understudy in West End productions of In Celebration (covering Shaw and Reardon) at The Duke of York’s and this year, in Entertaining Mr Sloane (Kemp) at The Trafalgar Studio 1.

David is also a veteran of many outdoor Shakespeare productions for various companies in his native Kent – these include The Winter’s Tale (as Leontes), The Merchant of Venice (Antonio), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Frank Ford) and The Tempest (Antonio).

Jacqueline Wilder

Jacqueline Wilder Hermia & Margaret

Since graduating from Webber Douglas, Jacqueline has worked in both film and theatre, and is an ensemble member of the British Shakespeare Company, having played Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Arundel Castle last year. Theatre roles include Luciana in The Comedy of Errors at the Cliveden Shakespeare Festival, Clara and Sarah in Trelawny of the ‘Wells’, Mary in The London Nativity, Steph in Never Saw The Day and Katherine in Love's Labour's Lost. Having worked on several shorts, she made her feature film début as Scarlett in All Bar Love, a British rom-com. Among her other interests, Jacqueline also plays the harp and hopes one day to be playing it in a costume drama!

Robert J. Williamson

Robert J Williamson Director; Bottom & Friar (Leeds - Benedick)

Robert was born in Yorkshire, and trained at RADA, where he played Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost. He is the founder of the British Shakespeare Company, as well as the Edinburgh, Brighton, Holland Park, Birmingham, Leicester, Kew Gardens, Nottingham, Oxford and Leeds Shakespeare Festivals. After establishing his Company and becoming the most successful open-air producer of Shakespeare in the country, in 2003 he played both Touchstone in As You Like It and the title role in Hamlet, directing both shows. Both productions transferred to the West End at the Holland Park Theatre, making Robert one of the only actor-managers in history to take a self-directed Hamlet into London’s West End. His other Shakespearean actor-director credits include: title roles in Henry V and Macbeth, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Feste in Twelfth Night, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Orlando and Jacques in As You Like It, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For three successful years, Robert created and produced the Holland Park Shakespeare Festival in London's West End, and in 2006 the BSC became an international force in Shakespeare performance, as Robert took the Company to Norway to begin an annual festival at the billionaire philanthropist Petter Olsen's theatre on his estate in Ramme Gaard. In 2007, Robert moved into film, beginning work on Sweet Swan of Avon, a major feature drama-documentary, in which he has directed and acted in a series of extracts from Shakespeare’s works. The film will receive a major international cinema release in 2010. In 2006 Robert's campaign for a National Shakespeare Day received huge press and cross-party support, and his idea for educational Shakespeare Packs has recently become government policy. Robert has dedicated his entire working life to both his Company and to the works of William Shakespeare. While he has lived in London for 18 years, he is now relocating himself and the BSC to his native Yorkshire, in order to dedicate his time to the construction of a replica of Shakespeare's Rose Theatre. He is delighted his Company is performing in so many wonderful venues this summer.


Fairies Mustardseed and Moth, and Indian Changeling Child - will be played by various artistes at each venue.




Artistic Director
Robert J Williamson

Costume Supervisor
Elizabeth Evans

BSC Literary Director
Robert Crumpton

Head of Costume Construction
Anna Harper

Company Manager
David Davies

Costume Assistants
Emma Seychell & Natasha Freeman

Fight Director
Robert J Williamson

Marketing & Website
Chris Hopkins at Design Forte

Choreography (fairy dance in A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Lee Crowley

Publicity Co-ordinator
Helen Maleed

Production Assistant
Rebecca Allin Jayns

Administration & Accounting
Jill Roca


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