Meet the Cast of Rent: Dorcia Bowden-Noble

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - tickets are going fast now so go to our box office to book your seats

"I've been able to use my repressed wrath and unleash it on stage!"

Name: Dorcia Bowden-Noble (Poshest name in the world...also my middle name is Grace, soooo).

Character Name/Role: Blanket Woman. (Aka Lady Blanket Women Esq 3rd).

Dorcia in rehearsal with the other homeless characters including Craig Marshall, & Brett Walker   (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography )

Dorcia in rehearsal with the other homeless characters including Craig Marshall, & Brett Walker  (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography)

Tell us about your characters: She is brilliantly feisty! She's part of the homeless ensemble and may be down, but definitely not out.  I like to imagine that she was once a lady of riches with an antique wardrobe full of fur coats, but somehow fell onto hard times. This doesn't seem to be enough to keep her down though, as she has no qualms with standing up to the authorities or any heartless busybodies.

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your characters? Definitely years of overly British politeness has meant I've never been gutsy enough to shout and swear at people that tick me off. I guess it's helped though as I've been able to use my repressed wrath and unleash it on stage!

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? 'Tango Maureen'! Everything about the song appeals to me.  The music is just so brilliant, the lyrics have some fabulous comedy moments and the fact that it pauses for a dance interlude can only be a plus!

What other shows have you done? This is my first production with Simply Theatre,  my last musical being Best Little Whore House about 8 years ago! However I have performed in lots of plays since then, the most resent being 'Stepping Out', where I played Sylvia.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? I used to do a lot of dance competitions when I was younger. When I was about 10 I performed a national solo in front of a large audience and judges. About half way through I started to realised that most of the audience, including the judges, had started giggling. Seeing no evidence of my traditional Romanian dance being the least bit comical, and being the professional I was, I carried on my dance. By the end, the audience had given up and were failing to hide their full blown sniggering.  It wasn't until I left the stage that my dance teacher asked me why I went on with an extremely dirty pair of white tights dangling like a strange smelly tail from my bloomers. I quickly told her it was bloomer stuffing....(because all bloomers need stuffing...) and performed the walk of shame back to the changing room with them still dragging behind me. Definitely a memorable on stage moment. Oh and when my score card came back it read 'Please make sure your costume is appropriately applied'.  Still a story my mum loves to reminisce about.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I can't remember a particular moment, but I started dancing when I was 3 and got the stage bug straight away! My dad used to also take my brother and I to see musicals at the Mayflower and, even though I loved watching them, I always wanted to be on the stage with them more.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? The cast! Everyone is just so friendly and welcoming and they are all so dauntingly talented! I'm 'over the moon' to have been lucky enough to perform with them. (See what I did there).

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? Eating cake mainly. Apart from that my other passion is working with children. I absolutely love my job in my nursery and I still get to sing dance and act all day!

No Day But Today

Meet the Crew of Rent: Nicole Connell

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre - book seats at our box office.

This year she's behind the scenes.

"...Each show is better than the last..."

Name: Nicole Connell

Your Role: Co-Owner, Box Office & Props

Nicole, in a rare moment of contemplation  (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography )

Nicole, in a rare moment of contemplation (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography)

And for the uninitiated that involves? I look after all of the financial stuff, to make sure we're not overspending. For this show I am also Box Office, so that means nagging cast to sell tickets and running the selling of tickets to the general public. Props will come into play the week of the show where I'll be in charge of making sure the cast take the correct props on at the right time!

What from the rest of life helps you in your role? I'm mega organised and enthusiastic - both qualities that are a MUST when you run an am dram group.

What’s your part of this show are you most looking forward to? I love show week - seeing it all come together and how the audience react to it. It's the first time for a long time I'm not in the show, so I'm sad about that but still love being part of it!

What other shows have you done? Hot Mikado, Return to the Forbidden Planet (THE best show ever), Little Shop of Horrors, A Streetcar Named Desire, Grease, Into the Woods, The Vicar of Dibley.....it's probably easier to ask what I haven't done!

Can you recall a particularly memorable stage event that you contributed to? There are many, however, they all entail me being drunk, hungover or ill on-stage, so I try to forget them.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to get involved in theatre”? Age 5, school play - I was hooked!! At the bows I was escorted from the stage as I kept going.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? How each show is better than the last, how we push boundaries and work "outside the box".

What else to you get up to when you’re not working in theatre? Not a lot else.....I am publicity officer for the Woking Drama Association and also run a Murder Mystery troupe with a group of am dram friends...theatre is pretty much my life!

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Sabrina Hinchliffe

"I’ve always wanted to be on the stage. It’s an amazing feeling"

Rent has a vast array of characters, so many of our cast get to play multiple roles.

Name: Sabrina Hinchliffe

Character Name(s)/Role: I’m in the ensemble and play a couple of various roles.

In rehearsal , Sabrina (centre) with  Alex Kirkham ,  Jamie McNicholas ,  Elly Fenton  & Annie Imrie-Cook (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

In rehearsal, Sabrina (centre) with Alex Kirkham, Jamie McNicholas, Elly Fenton & Annie Imrie-Cook (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Tell us about your characters: I’m the Coat Vendor, who Angel believes brings her and Collins together. I’m also one of Maureen’s sassy back up singers.

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your characters? Well, I’ve never sold a coat, but I have sold a few things on Ebay…

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? I love all of them! But if I had to pick, it would definitely be 'Take Me or Leave Me'. It’s full of attitude and performed amazingly by Maria and Frankie in the show.

What other shows have you done? I grew up in Hong Kong and haven’t done anything since I used to live there 8 years ago, so it’s been a while! In the past I’ve done a few plays, pantos and musicals, which include 'Fame' and' Footloose'. I also played Aslan in 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. The hair helped.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? When I was once in a production of The Witches, the other witches and I were frozen in position whilst some action happened downstage. About 10 seconds in, a gigantic piece of the set fell from the ceiling onto our heads! Wigs knocked off, cold soup everywhere... The show must go on!

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I’ve always wanted to be on the stage. It’s an amazing feeling.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? Getting back into performing and meeting some incredibly talented people. Everyone at Simply is so good at what they do and have been so welcoming. I get serious RENT withdrawals between rehearsals!

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? Netball has always been a huge part of my life. Although I don’t get a chance to play as much as I used to, I now coach as well as play, which ultimately led me into my career as a teacher.

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - go to our box office to book seats

No Day But Today

Meet the Crew of Rent: Tim Bracher

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - go to our box office to book seats

It just can't happen without the skills of the unsung heroes... 

"The shows are “West End” quality and it’s great fun"

Name: Tim Bracher aka 'Shaky T'

Your Role:    Stage Manager / Set Builder

Tim -  we keep him out of sight of the audience

Tim -  we keep him out of sight of the audience

And for the uninitiated that involves? I take over the running of the play from 'get in'.

What from the rest of life helps you in your role? Being laid back and not getting stressed when things don’t quite go as planned.

What’s your part of this show are you most looking forward to? Creating a simple stage world for the production.

What other shows have you done? 'Grease', 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' (my fave), 'Streetcar Named Desire'.

Can you recall a particularly memorable stage event that you contributed to? The airlock doors in 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' getting stuck

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to get involved in theatre”? No, but I volunteered to be crew which ended up being an on-stage role!

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? It’s friendly, the shows are “West End” quality and it’s great fun.

What else to you get up to when you’re not working in theatre? I’m a Health product distributor, magician, motorcycle instructor, scuba instructor, engineer, software salesman, networker.

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Maria Langford

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - go to our box office to book seats

"She's the 'grown up' of the group with good intentions ..."

Name: Maria Langford

Character Name: Joanne Jefferson

Maria in rehearsal  (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Maria in rehearsal (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Tell us about your character: Joanne is a successful Harvard educated lawyer who has fallen for the spontaneous and sometimes obscene Maureen. She constantly fights with her natural 'straight-laced' background and her passionate feelings for Maureen. She's the 'grown-up' of the group with good intentions but that doesn't always work out for her! By the end of the show she finds some flexibility and figures out what's really important to her. 

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? I can definitely relate to Joanne's busy and mixed schedule and her desire to do everything at once!

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? My favourite song is 'Santa Fe'. I love the hope that it evokes and its laid back feel and harmonies are a great musical contrast to some of the more rock-based musical numbers in the show.

What other shows have you done? Theatre: Into the Woods (Witch); Personals (Woman #3); The Shakespeare Revue (Director); Film: The Other Side of The Lake (Sinead Kearns - in production)

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? I'm 13 years old playing Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof; during the wedding scene my veil starts to slide of my head! Instead of letting it go I try to hang on to it and dance through with one hand on my head! Not quite the blushing bride!

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I was 11. I went to see a school show production of Antigone at my older sister's school. I didn't have a clue what the story was, but I was hooked!

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? Definitely the crazy, talented people! They make the whole process so enjoyable.

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? My kids and my family. However, both my daughters are involved in this production! I'm also a Head of Performing Arts, so I guess the real answer is 'No'! My life is pretty full of all things performance!

Rent runs from Friday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Khuda Bee

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

"When I watched Rent (which was the first ever musical I watched live) I knew I had to be in theatre"

Rent has a vast array of characters, so many of our cast get to play multiple roles.

Name: Kudakwashe Bere

Character Name/Role: Pastor and Ensemble

Tell us about your characters: As The Pastor my role is pretty simple, as you might have guessed, I am in charge of the church. In the ensemble I have multiple roles. As one of the police who, for some reason, have something against the homeless - and I love it (obviously not the concept, but the action on stage). I am also a student when I am not the above two.

Khuda in rehearsal, with  Matt Hough ,  Frankie McKean  &  A    khil Gowrinath   (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Khuda in rehearsal, with Matt Hough, Frankie McKean & Akhil Gowrinath (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your characters? As a student, I guess it is easy to portray the character.

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? ‘Goodbye Love’ because it challenged me to think about who I am as, in life today, everyone know about what’s going on around them, especially social media, but the truth is that most people do not know or realise who they are as a person.

What other shows have you done? Beauty and the Beast as Gaston, In The Heights as Benny, Little Shop of Horrors as The Plant ‘Audrey ll’, Genesis as Solly.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? The moment I was revealed as the plant in Little Shop of Horrors and listening and looking at the audience’s reaction was priceless.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I was inspired by the way my uncle played his drums on stage and when he passed on and left me his drum kit, I knew one day I had to be on stage, and when I watched Rent (which was the first ever musical I watched live) I knew I had to be in theatre.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? I guess the cast and crew aren’t as scary as I thought. In fact they are all wonderful and full of jokes, so as this is the first time with them I feel welcomed and humbled to be part of it.

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? I guess there is always room for a cheeky Nandos :)

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Akhil Gowrinath

"the opening night managed to crack my kneecap without realising"

Name: Akhil Gowrinath

Character Name: Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III

Tell us about your character: He used to live with Mark, Collins and Maureen in squalor as a Bohemian but has since sold out, marrying Alison “Muffy” Grey, heiress to the Grey fortune. As a result, he becomes landlord to Mark and Roger. I think deep down he is a decent guy who wants to be the same person he was before getting married, but gets caught up in his current lifestyle. He makes some questionable choices during the course of the show, which make him quite unlikeable on the face of it. 

Akhil   in rehearsal, with  Freddie Cox ,  Frankie McKean  &  Maria Langford   (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Akhil in rehearsal, with Freddie Cox, Frankie McKean & Maria Langford (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? Haha – well two things: As the show suggests Benny likes money and I’m also partial. Also, like Benny, I do like my car (although I don’t drive a Range Rover).

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? Out Tonight - I love the fact that it sounds like a wolf howling “Ouwoooot Tonight”!

What other shows have you done? Far too many to say all here but highlights include, Hairspray, The Last 5 Years, Footloose, Company, Sweeney Todd, Parade, A Christmas Carol, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? The one that comes to mind instantly (for the wrong reasons) is when I was playing Smee in Peter Pan, had to do a comic fall and on the opening night managed to crack my kneecap without realising! I carried on with the rest of the run and discovered it had cracked (and healed) 5 months later!

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? Probably when I was in year 5. I had just been cast as a Wise Man in the nativity and had so much fun doing it.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? The cast are really friendly – it’s a great vibe in rehearsals. Also, Alison is a great director, she really knows what she wants, which makes it so much easier for us as the performers.

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? By day, I’m a tax advisor at a global accountancy firm!

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Freddie Cox

"Mark is a budding film director desperately trying to finish his movie"

Freddie with attitude & altitude! - in rehearsal  (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Freddie with attitude & altitude! - in rehearsal (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Name: Freddie Cox

Character Name: Mark Cohen

Tell us about your character: The partial narrator of Rent, Mark is a budding film director desperately trying to finish his movie, whilst trying to be a friend to everybody.

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? Awkwardness is one, as is my passion. In fairness I’d say Mark is by all means 1980’s a version of me!

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? 'La Vie Boheme'. It’s a great feel good number and you can’t help but party down and feel happy!

What other shows have you done? Too many! Recently with Simply Theatre I was Doody in Grease, but I have also done an adult panto (oh my!), Hairspray, Copacabana, Guys & Dolls, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat (the UK tour).

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? My standing ovation at the end of Hairspray where I played Wilbur! This was despite me getting my mic stuck in Edna’s wig and ripping my trousers … very Wilbureque if you ask me!

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? Year 5. I don’t know why, but it kinda just happened.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? Well I’m entering my eighth year with them in September, so they must be doing something right!

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? Ah! Nope! I do a drama degree, work at Legoland (which involves singing and dancing) and other Am-Dram. Nope, no room!

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Grace Mouat

"She is a junkie and HIV positive"

Grace in rehearsal with  Freddie Cox  and the company  (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Grace in rehearsal with Freddie Cox and the company (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Name: Grace Mouat

Character Name: Mimi Marquez

Tell us about your character: Mimi is a 19 year old erotic dancer at the cat scratch club. She is a junkie and HIV positive. She falls in love with Roger but life ends up being on the line by the end of the show.

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? Firstly, we’re the same age! I also think our traits are similar in optimism and making the most of every day as she earnestly expresses in the song ‘No Day But Today’.

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? My favourite song is 'Seasons of Love'. Before I started rehearsals for this production I just saw the same as one of those good old iconic musical theatre songs that you always do in choirs, etc, etc. But then I realised there is so much more than that and it is actually asking what the proper way is to quantify the value of a year in human life and the most effective way is to ‘measure in love’. It’s ridiculously heart-breaking and beautifully written.

What other shows have you done? Over the summer I played Susan in Terry Pratchetts ‘Soul Music’ at the Rose Kingston Theatre in Kingston which was the best experience of my life. The show was such good fun and the creative team were super inspiring. Then I also did Pantomime over Christmas with my wonderful bezzie Mrs Francessca Mckean who is playing Maureen so we are back together for more backstage antics... watch out.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? I love curtain calls, they are always the part I remember the most.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I’ve always been interested in singing, etc. but I don’t think I was completely certain until I was about 13/14 and started seeing shows in London. I think the first was Wicked and I don’t understand how that can make any audience member not want to be painted green belting F’s at the Apollo!

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? I love everyone at Simply Theatre. It’s my first show with them and I just feel so welcome and humbled to be in with a group of such a wonderful, warm cast and creative team.

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? I am very into fitness, occasional meditation and down time and I have a job in a restaurant as a waitress and in the kitchen. All of which, I believe, keep me grounded when I need a break from the ‘stagey world’.

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

No Day But Today

Meet the Cast of Rent: Alex Kirkham

So let's meet some of the actors in the show...

"He’s a big softy who definitely wears his heart firmly on his sleeve."

Alex Kirkham in rehearsal  (Photo courtesy of  Front of House Photography  )

Alex Kirkham in rehearsal (Photo courtesy of Front of House Photography )

Name: Alex Kirkham

Character Name: Tom Collins

Tell us about your character: Collins is a HIV+ computer genius and philosophy professor who was recently expelled from New York University, possibly because of his passion for bohemian culture, rebellion and anarchy. He’s a big softy who definitely wears his heart firmly on his sleeve. Collins adores his friends and isn’t afraid to fall in love. 

Is there anything in your own life that helps you connect with your character? I feel that I have a few things in common with Collins. I have definitely enjoyed a healthy dose of rebellion in the past and I’m also (sadly) a hopeless romantic.

What’s your favourite song in the show and why? My favourite tune in the show is ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ because it’s sassy, funky and incredibly cheeky. It’s completely character driven and will definitely raise the roof in our production!

What other shows have you done? Oliver! (Mr. Bumble), Into the Woods (Baker), Oklahoma! (Jud), Sweeney Todd (Beadle), Anything Goes (Mr. Whitney) to name a few.

Can you recall a particularly memorable on-stage moment? A memorable on-stage moment for me would probably be back at sixth form, happily receiving a ‘pie to the face’ in an Anything Goes dress rehearsal, whist wearing an expensive costume hired from the National Theatre’s costume store. Whoops.

Can you remember the first time you thought “I want to be in theatre”? I knew I wanted to tread the boards after being taken to see Christmas Panto at Theatre Royal Windsor as a child. I think it was Cinderella.

What are you enjoying most about being part of Simply Theatre? Every person at Simply has been incredibly welcoming and friendly since day one. The banter is also infinite and extremely entertaining. It’s lovely to be working with a group of like-minded, ridiculously talented and hilarious people!

Is there room in your life for anything else apart from singing, dancing & acting? I’ve just finished my music degree at Chichester, so I now (scarily) find myself in the ‘real world’. I’m really into writing and directing, and I’d love to go travelling at some point soon.

Rent runs from Thursday 17th September until Saturday 19th at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - You can book here.

No Day But Today

Coming to a stage near you - RENT!

As New Yorker’s would say - Rent is a musical with balls!  (Photo:  Elly Fenton ,  Jamie McNicholas  &  Matt Hough  give it some attitude in early rehearsals, courtesy of  Front of House Photography )

As New Yorker’s would say - Rent is a musical with balls!
(Photo: Elly Fenton, Jamie McNicholas & Matt Hough give it some attitude in early rehearsals, courtesy of Front of House Photography)

Simply Theatre’s production of the Pulitzer, Olivier & Tony awarding musical RENT, at Woking's Rhoda McGaw Theatre, is now just six weeks away, with tickets already selling briskly.

Rehearsals started a month ago and already everyone knows what to say, what to sing, where to be and when! That’s just as well, as our director Alison Lawrence has just taken time off to take another of her productions to the Edinburgh Fringe and musical director Paul Ooi currently on professional tour. It’s another indication that with Simply Theatre you get amateur theatre at its most professional But the cast still have work to do - now it’s down to memorising lines, working on characterisation, tuning interactions and polishing performance.

There are over 30 in the performers as well as a skilled team of musicians, technicians & backstage support. We will be introducing you to some of them here over the next few weeks.

We are hoping for a sell-out so book early - You can book here.

No Day But Today

RENT is CAST and Tickets are ON SALE

After two long audition sessions and callbacks we are very excited to have a bumper cast for Rent! With lots of new faces and some longer standing members too. Tickets are now available on www.ticketsource.co.uk/simplytheatre or via the tickets page of this website. We are aiming for a sellout - so put 17th to 19th September in your diaries and book the best seats today !

23000 minutes to go until Auditions

We are all set to go for the Auditions for RENT, in 16 days time. We are very excited about the number and quality of the people auditioning. There is lots of information on our facebook events. Initial workshop auditions are on Wednesday 1st April at 7pm at WINSTON CHURCHILL SCHOOL. Please remember to bring your £40 show fee, arrive promptly and be prepared to work hard! If you do have any questions do get in touch with Alison at thehoughfamily@hotmail.com 

RENT - MUSICAL DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER CONFIRMED

Simply Theatre are delighted to announce that Paul Ooi will be our musical director again for RENT. Having successfully taken on both Into the Woods in 2013 and Grease in 2014 after his initial outing as our Jazz Pianist in Streetcar Named Desire - Paul is with us again for auditions and to MD the Show.  We are also excited to announce Emma Hough as choreographer this time. Emma can't take part on stage this time due to University commitments during the show but will be putting her talents into the 'physical theatre' style choreography we plan to use.  She will be part of the Audition Panel as well on April 1st and 6th. 

If you would like to get involved in any off-stage capacity please do get in touch as we are starting to put the wider production team in place too. Just email Alison on thehoughfamily@hotmail.com

RENT - Meet the Director

Alison Hough who is directing our next show RENT in 2015, has been directing choreographing and acting in Hampshire and Surrey for over 25 years. She has directed most of the Simply Theatre shows starting with our first Hot Mikado in 2008. She always tries to put on personal interpretations in an inventive and innovative style with lots of technical creativity, visually stunning and artistically believable. She is known for her clear vision and attention to detail and making the production and rehearsal process both challenging and fun.

When not directing she's been known to be on stage on odd occasions, as well as stage manage, wardrobe or even controlling projections as part of the technical team, so is well versed in all aspects of production.  Equally experienced in directing both musicals and plays, comedy and more serious drama, she's tackled everything from Return to the Forbidden Planet and Abigail's Party through to A Streetcar Named Desire and most recently Into The Woods. She's really excited to be directing RENT and looking forward to welcoming old and new faces alike into the cast and crew.

Next Show: Rent

We are very excited to announce our 2015 production of RENT directed by Alison Hough.

Auditions are being held in April with performances in September 2015.

This award winning musical with a fabulous rock score has a huge range of parts for all ages with plenty of cameo and featured roles as well as some cracking principal parts - so something for everyone.

The audition event is up on our Facebook group - or you can contact us to get more details.

A gritty, inventive and creative version is planned supported with our usual live band and fantastic all round technical and artistic production values.

Take part - why not - we would love to hear from you !

Meet The Cast: David Few-Cooper

Meet another of our Chorus - David Few-Cooper

"I ran across the stage in an animal print thong"

Name: David Few-Cooper

Character Name: Brad Ford

Tell us a bit about him: Brad Ford is a jock, he is arrogant and obnoxious and flirts with any woman in sight.

What’s your favourite song in the show and why?: Grease Lightning, it’s the song I grew up with and I used to sing it endlessly; it’s just a great song with a simple dance move and makes you want to get your groove on! (plus, I sang it at a talent show when I was 11 and WON! I was the only one who entered the competition though..)

What other shows have you been in?: I have been involved with 22 Musicals in the last 10 years, namely Les Miserables, Oliver and The Wizard of Oz (where I played the wizard)

Best or worst moment on stage: Too many bad moments on stage to mention, but the one that stands out was my only time on the Rhoda Mcgaw, where I ran across the stage in nothing but the tightest animal thong known to man. (Great image no?!)

Interesting Grease Fact #22: In the scene where the cast are near the bridge after the car race, the water on the ground was stagnant and dangerous. Some cast members became ill from filming as the setting was a derelict place full of dirt and rubbish.

Grease: Cast Changes

Over at Simply Theatre HQ it’s all go I can tell you! 

As any of you who are involved in amdram might know, there are times when, due to unforeseen circumstances, the cast may go through a bit of a re-jig. We recently lost a couple of people who had other commitments pop up which couldn’t be avoided, so we’ve managed to bag ourself some new (well new-ish) cast members.

Simply Theatre regular Emma Hough, who was playing the part of Patty Simcox, is now going to be starring at Pink Lady “Marty” and the part of Patty has been taken on by Darea Ellis. Darea was involved in our 2013 production of “Spring Awakening” and we’re so happy she’s back!

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We’ve also bumped-up Chorus Member Daniel Owen to play Eugene

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and last but by no means least, the delectable David Oliver is playing our angelic Teen Angel!!

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If you want to see these guys in action (and the rest of the cast of course) then book your tickets now!! 4th-6th September - Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking - Tickets are £15 & £12.50 and you can book via our website www.simplytheatre.net

Meet the Cast: Amanda Vaughan

Stand by your beds - today we meet the Head Teacher of Rydell High, Miss Lynch, played by Amanda Vaughan!

"I've been acting since before the rest of the cast were born"

Name: Amanda Vaughan

Character Name: Miss lynch

Tell us a bit about Miss Lynch: She is the High School Principal of Rydell High, she rules her pupils with a rod of iron but secretly is very fond of them.

What’s your favourite song in the show and why?: It has to be the Hand Jive, obviously, because I’m so good at it and it doesn’t actually involve me singing.

What other shows have you been in?: As I’ve been acting since before the rest of the cast were born, too numerous parts to mention but I do love a bit of panto and directing too.

Best or Worst moment on stage: Invariably it always involves costume malfunctions!!!!

Interesting Grease Fact #21: The final musical scene, “You’re the One That I Want” was filmed with the help of a travelling carnival. However, director Randal Kleiser decided the next day that additional scenes were needed for close-ups. Unfortunately the carnival had left town, so set decorators were called in to build replica backgrounds that matched the carnival ride’s construction for the close-ups.

Meet the Cast: Matt Hough

Meet Johnny Casino, singer a the High School Hop, played my Matt Hough.

"He is a lively slightly cocky character who loves to have the spotlight"

Name: Matthew Hough

Character Name: Jonny Casino

Tell us a bit about him: He is a lively slightly cocky character who loves to have the spotlight

What’s your favourite song in the show and why?: Born to hand jive - such a catchy song and is full of energy and the choreography in it is extremely eye catching for the audience

What other shows have you done: Fame, Footloose, Little shop of Horrors & Spring Awakening.

Best or Worst moment on stage: Kissing David Oliver in Spring awakening #dreamcometrue (Matt didn’t disclose whether this was the Best or Worst moment)

Interesting Grease Fact #20: Director Randal Kleiser shot a scene portraying a gritty and heated fight between Rizzo & Kenicke. It would have given the audience some background knowledge to their milkshake incident in the diner. He only cut it because he felt it wasn’t in-keeping with the rest of the film!