Shirley Jones

Being able to display an impressive silver trophy in the downstairs loo because her one-act play “Present Day” won an award was a great accolade. Sadly the cup had to go back after one year and while she is still writing she hasn't, as yet, submitted anything else for judgement.

Since the 1990s Shirley has appeared in and directed numerous plays for both amateur and professional groups, written commercially and contributed to backstage activities and to managing front of house.  She directed “Much Ado About Nothing” for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre's Openstages programme which invited amateur groups to demonstrate what they could do with the work of The Bard of Avon.  As a consequence they were invited to perform a sample in Stratford upon Avon.

She has appeared in touring West End productions of Evita and Witness for the Prosecution and a number of training videos. For the Open University's 40th birthday celebrations Shirley scripted, produced and directed a courtroom drama to illustrate the workings of English law.

Claim to fame: Read the 9 o’clock news on Omani TV.

 

Janthea Brigden

Janthea worked as a professional actress for many years in Repertory Theatre and the West End.  She was Nurse Edwards in the second series of the BBC Series "Angels " in the 80's and also appeared in old favourites such as "The Professionals" and "Tales of the Unexpected".  She worked at The Kingshead Theatre over a period of several years both as an actress and as casting director for Dan Crawford.  Janthea has been running drama workshops for professionals and amateurs for several years and coaches students in audition technique for entry into drama school.
She has directed several productions and was delighted that "Merry Wives of Windsor" was picked to appear in the Openstages programme for the RSC. 

Claims to Fame: 
- Entertaining Colin Firth at a bonfire night party when husband Steve was working with him for the BBC.
- Spending all day in a Gondola in Malta talking to Pierce Brosnan whilst in a episode of Remington Steele.

Jan Hull

Although Jan had no experience in the Dramatics, she joined a local group in November 2003 to assist in all areas other than acting !!

She rapidly rose through the ranks to become Stage Manager and has also supported Front of House.

Other interests include ensuring that she doesn't get dragged on stage and keeping fit.

Claim to Fame: “Appeared on TV with Mr Motivator””

Steve Brigden

Steve's passion for acting, a genetic discrepancy, was germinated in re-enactments of Saturday Morning Picture heroics. Well meaning but misguided teachers, throughout successive schools, encouraged his skill development toward a singular purpose; further performance opportunities and acting experiences all culminated in a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama.  Fortunate times in Repertory, Touring Theatre, TV and Film have left him irreparably a Thespian.

A 17 year abstinence was broken a few years ago with “Ripping Yarns” for MKTOC. Unfortunately, you may not have seen the last of him.

Claim to Fame: “I had my hand on Julie Walter's bottom for six weeks, then she won an Oscar.”

Sara Wheeler

Sara’s background was in musicals and she has been in such shows as "Little Shop of Horrors", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Hello Dolly", "Blondel" and "Pirates of Penzance".  Since deciding to focus on plays Sara has been attached to over 30 productions in her career.  Sara has directed a number of plays ranging from 4 hander’s to large cast farces.  Her directorial credits include "Noises Off", "Things We Do For Love", and "Not Now Darling". 

Recently Sara appeared at the Courtyard Theatre for the R.S.C. in a excerpt from Merry Wives of Windsor as Mistress Page. Also at Jimmy's Farm as Helena in an open-air production of Midsummer Night's Dream.

Claim to Fame: She had a close up on Songs of Praise when she was a teenager.

John Drinkwater

John was first exposed to drama at school, then in amateur productions. Work intervened until an early retirement gave him the chance to return to the boards.  Therefore he believes he must be a born Thespian, even if he’s not sure of where Thespia is.
Recently John appeared at the Courtyard Theatre for the R.S.C. in a excerpt from "The Merry Wives of Windsor" as Dr Cauis. Also at Jimmy's Farm as Oberon in an open-air production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Before this he appeared in various shows, including "Not Now Darling", "Beyond Reasonable Doubt", Twelfth Night and "A Bedful of Foreigners" amongst others.

John reflects that  only good thing about getting older, is that parts are more full of character. The bad thing is you rarely get to ride off into the sunset with the girl!


Claim to Fame: Whilst much younger he was once found at Joanna Lumley's  feet on his hands and knees.  Yes, she  had nice legs and a lovely smile!.

Paul Wheeler

Paul tends to regard himself as a jack of all trades.  You’ll find him either making strange noises to create sound effects,  banging in the odd nail or two or hanging the wallpaper on set, or taking photos, or designing the posters or programmes or, last but not least, acting on the stage.  He has had the acting bug since he can remember and taken roles in many musicals and plays over the years.  These include "Hello Dolly", "Little Shop of Horrors", "Pirates of Penzance", "Sugar", "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", "Chess", "West Side Story", and "Jesus Christ Superstar". 

In addition to the above Paul has directed a number of plays  and musicals - including the world premiere of a new musical "Raising Hell" by Ann Skelly.

Claim to Fame: Paul once hosted a reception for a Royal Princess who managed to drink half a bottle of Gin  during the interval of the ballet !!.

Annette Probert