Den of Thieves Biographies

Jessica Rogers – Maggie
This is Jess’s first production with KDC though she has been involved with other amateur theatre groups, including a production of Noises Off in 2015 and taking a new writing play up to Edinburgh fringe last year. When Jess isn’t being wildly competitive in rehearsal warm up games she is a Learning and Development Advisor for Christie’s where she is about the only person in the world to get really excited by the prospect of role play in the classroom.

Billy Knowles – Paul
This is Billy’s third production with KDC after appearing in Stags & Hens at the Landor and Bones, here at the Barons Court. Billy has performed in a variety of roles at a number of fringe venues including The Magnetic Lady (White Bear), Boom Bang-a-Bang (Etcetera), Bacchus In Rehab (Etcetera), Amore the Merrier (Cockpit) and Shopping & F***ing at the Edinburgh Fringe. Billy has also performed in several shows with ARC Theatre Ensemble, toured playing various characters in rep with Rainbow Theatre Company and performed as part of The Works, a choir ran by the ENO. Billy is excited to be part of Den of Thieves and would like to dedicate his performance to his Mum and Dad.

Govind Hodgson – Flaco
Having spent much of his youth in country Australia listening to Reggaeton and Latin Hip Hop and R n B, it seems only right that Govind was finally given the opportunity to live out his dream playing a deluded white guy with aspirations of being a Latin King. While this is Govind’s 8th year with KDC, this is the first chance Govind has been given to play a part that’s really him, in that it’s not at all really him.

Jade-Marie Joseph – Boochie
Jade-Marie is an actress and filmmaker. She took an interest in acting at the age of three and by the age of five she attended ‘Bubblegum’ drama school. She also attended the well known stage school ‘Sylvia Young’ aged twelve for a few years. Jade-Marie has been involved in various productions, on stage, as well as in front and behind the camera. At fifteen Jade-Marie performed at the Hampstead Theatre’s production of Snow White where she played the The Queen/Witch in which she won a Jack Petchey Best Actress Award. She was part of the Tricycle Theatre young company for three years where she performed a string of productions which included The Kilburn Passion in 2014. She took an interest in film making later in life, her first project was a documentary based on urban youth culture and it was shown on BBC three website and was also aired on television in their programme called Life through our lense. Jade-Marie’s last staged productions were The Forty Elephants at Pop up Brixton (2015) and Black lives, black words at the Bush theatre (2016). She has just recently finished starring in new short film Morning Glory which will be coming out later on this year.

Keir Mills – Sal
This is Keir’s fourth production with KDC. Having somewhat exacerbated a family feud as Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet, he then attempted to keep his head Rudyard Kipling style as Dr Cardin in The Children’s Hour and then vehemently express a vision of anti-E.U.topia as The Terrorist in There Has Possibly Been An Incident. Alongside his stage work, Keir’s on-screen credits include the feature films City Rats and Shaun Of The Dead and acclaimed shorts, Honeymoon, The Outcasts and Green Means Stop. Not forgetting TV Shows including Channel 4’s Teachers and Messiah and the usual rounds of The Bill (R.I.P.) Holby City and Casualty amongst others.

Previous to this, the most amount of times Keir had written ‘Keir’ in any singular piece of writing was once. So he is proud to have taken the opportunity to set a new record.

Jed Soakell – Little Tuna
Jed is new to acting and most recently played the role of the Drum Major in KDC’s well-received Woyzeck (April 2016). He has taken acting courses run by Dominic Grant and is currently clowning around with Free Association Improv as well as doing stand-up. He loves playing Gypsy guitar and his acting hero is Christopher Walken.

Piers Burnell – Big Tuna
Piers is very happy to be back at the Barons Court after a 4 year hiatus. Past theatre credits include The Teacher & The Producer – Seduction, Chicago USA. Einstein – See Base Of Can, Battersea Arts Centre. Mr Samsa – Metamorphosis. Captain & Drum Major – Woyzeck. Judge Turpin – Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Reverend Parris – The Crucible. Reg Kray – Bones. Bruce Delamitri – Popcorn. Nugget – Equus. Comedian, Lodger, Warden – A Clockwork Orange and too many Shakespeares to mention! Various devious characters in BBC’s Crimewatch. MTV Run Run Run and Music Video Too Much Tea for Playground Legend.

Director – Duncan Moore
Assistant Director – Stephanie Urquhart
Stage Manager – Sarah Beebe
Lighting and Sound Design – Martin E. Rosso
Set – Stewart Moore
Props and Costume – Kate Moore and Liz Kelsch
Producer – Sarah Edwards

Ghost Train Biographies

Kinga Kliss – Assistant Stage Manager
Ben Hussey – Lighting Designer
Rose Pickles – Sound
Neil Ballinger – Poster
Jim Yip & Marcella Toth – Photography

Meet The Ghost Train Cast – Gabriella Guymer-Davies

What’s your previous theatre experience?
I was a member of a youth theatre company for many years where I was lucky enough to play characters ranging from Elaine in Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses, to Blazerbird in Feathers in the Snow, and a Jewish Hedgehog in Wind in the Willows – A Musical which I was strictly not allowed to sing in. It was an amazing company, and we had a lot of fun both in rehearsals and in the pub after. Actually a very good foundation for KDC…

Tell us about your character in The Ghost Train
Peggy is a new bride who always tries to remain positive through adversity, and ensure her new husband doesn’t ‘grouse’. Out of all of the people stranded at the station, she is the one who tries to connect with everyone and is always thoughtful towards the other characters, sometimes at her peril…

How have you found the rehearsal process?
I am loving the rehearsal process. It’s intense, but Nick (the director) has unlimited patience and enthusiasm, which really helps the cast. The cast is made up of a fantastic group of people, which adds to the fun, tenfold. We sometimes rehearse in the function rooms of the Hoop & Grapes, which is great. Guinness, the pub’s cat, has much less enthusiasm for the play.

Describe the show in three words.
Hand-wringing, heart-warming and horribly scary.

What are you looking forward to about show week?
I always love how close you get as a cast, so I’m certainly looking forward to the backstage and after show fun. It will be really interesting to hear the audiences’ reaction as well, to see if we have done our jobs properly and that they come on the journey with us. It’s just such a great play to be a part of and we are so lucky to be performing in Barons Court Theatre as it really fits the mood of the play.

What is your favourite spooky film or TV show?
Possibly Young Frankenstein as it is everything good about British humour, and really takes the fun out of the spooky genre.

Den of Thieves – Director Interview

Duncan Moore – Den of Thieves director

How did you hear about KDC?
It was back in January 2000, when I first heard about KDC. I had moved to London four months earlier. Having celebrated New Year’s Eve alongside the Thames as the year 2000 was welcomed in, I felt ready to embrace London fully and get back into acting and directing (having not done any theatre since moving to the capital). I mentioned this plan to an old uni friend, and she told me that she was going to an audition that very evening for KDC’s production of Our Country’s Good. I went, got cast and have stayed ever since.

What have you done with us so far?
KDC has given me the opportunity to get involved in many different roles, both on and off stage. I’ve acted in a number of plays, playing roles ranging from a shorts-wearing, recorder-playing 7-year-old boy in The Physicists, to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Offstage, I have designed lighting and sound for a number of plays, and I have directed over 10 shows for KDC, including Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Ben Elton’s Popcorn, Dracula (adapted by Liz Lochhead), Miller’s The Crucible, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet, and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the writer of Den of Thieves.

Why Den of Thieves?
The last play I directed for KDC was Romeo and Juliet in November 2015. My brief for that show from KDC was to put on a big extravaganza to end the year. I loved directing that play, and I loved playing with the comedy that Shakespeare had written into one of his most famous tragedies. Once that play was over, I knew for my next show I wanted to do something on a totally different scale, that was filled with more comedy. Den of Thieves is the result.

In addition, Den of Thieves is an early play by one of my favourite writers, Stephen Adly Guirgis. Adly Guirgis writes deep, interesting, conflicted, troubled characters and puts them into hilarious situations and lets the fireworks and laughs explode. He writes plays that are a director’s dream, an actor’s dream and an audience’s dream.

What should we expect from the play itself?
A play that is filled with comedy, heart and drama. Den of Thieves is one of Adly Guirgis’s earliest plays. Since writing it, his subsequent shows have been played all round the world, including at the National Theatre in London, and his most recent play won the Pulitzer in 2015. Den of Thieves captures that moment when a writer is learning their craft but, at the same time, when they have no fear. The play is fast-paced, full-on and a lot of fun as recovering thieves (who are in a 12-Step Program to stop them stealing) get talked into one last job.

Anything else that would like to add? Embarrassing fact about yourself, or a KDC experience you’d like to share.
Through KDC, I got to play a getaway driver on Crimewatch Daily. I spent the morning speeding away from the curb in four different cars. I also had to explain myself to the actual police, who hadn’t seen the tv cameras, and thought they had ‘caught me in the act’ speeding.

The Ghost Train – Director Interview

Nick Mouton – Director of The Ghost Train

How did you hear about KDC?
I got a text message from a friend telling me about auditions, so I went along.  This was back in 2003 when texting was cutting-edge “social media”.

What have you done with KDC so far (as an actor or otherwise)?
So far I’ve directed five shows, acted in 15 and KDC has produced three of my one-act plays. I was also Chair of KDC from 2004 – 2008. I’ve been able to work with amazingly talented people who all love doing what they do and I’ve made some brilliant friendships along the way.

Why The Ghost Train?
A few years back The Ghost Train was on at my local theatre, The Brockley Jack Studio, and I liked the sound of it. Unfortunately, tickets sold out quickly so I bought a copy of the play to find out why a 1920s play was still popular with modern day audiences. When I read it, I absolutely loved it! It’s a fun ghostly yarn with strong examples of what life was like in the 1920s. The characters are intriguing, the plot is engrossing and it’s full of energy. It also had the right number of cast members for a KDC show, but at the time I was already lining up plays to direct so it went on my ‘maybe’ pile. That was until I saw that KDC were going to be at Barons Court Theatre for their Spring 2017 season as the theatre is a perfect setting for the play, with its stone walls and dark corners, so I proposed it and here we are!

What we should expect from you as a director and the play itself?
Both as a director and actor, I really enjoy doing character work. I believe strongly that you can only give a convincing performance once you know everything there is to know about your character. You need to live in their shoes and understand why do they do what they do, how they think and know their story.

Now that we’re through the blocking stage of working out how to have ten actors on the Barons Court Stage, we’re getting stuck into character work. It’s not just about learning lines and knowing where to stand, it’s about being comfortable as that character and it eventually becoming second nature to the actor. This will bring confidence to their performance, a better understanding of the script and as a result more enjoyable for the audience.

Anything else that would like to add? Embarrassing fact about yourself, or a KDC experience you’d like to share.
I’m very excited about returning to Barons Court Theatre, as it is home to my London stage debut – I played Brodin in the KDC production of Red Noses in 2003. There were 23 in the cast and because there were so many people involved we legally couldn’t have full houses as it would exceed the number of people allowed in the space at one time. It was also performed in late June so the space got really hot. Out of sympathy, during the weekend shows, the pub opened their large walk-in fridge so we could sit in it between scenes to cool off. It was rough, especially during the Saturday matinee when we were all hungover and just wanted to sleep. We also used a number of realistic-looking metal swords that the Stage Manager had to guard in the pub during the run as there wasn’t enough space backstage. These caused a few issues, including an altercation with a local resident who took exception to when he was told he couldn’t hold one. In response, him and his inebriated friends threatened to go home and get their own swords so that they could duel with us. We didn’t stick around to see what type of blades they owned!


Meet The Ghost Train Cast – James Cross

James Cross

What’s your previous theatre experience?
This is my return to the stage after a 10 year hiatus and I’m currently questioning why it took me so long. A member of various youth theatres (in my youth, obviously) I played a wide cross section of roles from Mack the Knife to Banquo in Macbeth. I have also been known to try my hand at musical theatre, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t come back as easily as acting after a long break.

Tell us about your character in ‘The Ghost Train’
I play Teddie Deakin. He’s a bit of a buffoon, likes to entertain people, but often misjudges the mood.. much to the annoyance of the other characters in the play. He means well though, and I like to think that his pluck gets them through some of the tougher times.
Think Bertie Wooster, but with a bit more about him, and you’re in the right ballpark.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
I’ve really enjoyed the rehearsal process. Nick has introduced me to lots of new techniques, and some which I’d forgotten, that have been really helpful, particularly in developing the character. It has also been great to get to know the rest of the cast and crew. A real pleasure to meet new people and make some new friends.

Describe the show in three words.
Spooky. Suspenseful. Surprising.

What are you looking forward to about show week?
The camaraderie of the cast and crew, that knackered feeling in the run up to the last show before the adrenaline kicks back in. The costumes, the lights, the different reaction of the audience every night. The party. So pretty much everything actually.

What is your favourite spooky film or TV show?
For spooky, I’d have to go with some of the Black Mirror episodes. For outright scary though, nothing comes close to The Omen.

Meet The Ghost Train Cast – Elizabeth Stevens

Elizabeth Stevens

What’s your previous KDC experience?
I was in a production of The Children’s Hour at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in March 2016, directed by Chris Davis. I really enjoyed performing in a more intimate space again and made some incredible friends along the way.

Tell us about your character in ‘The Ghost Train’
Julia Price is, in a word, troubled. She suffers from “delusions” and manic episodes that all started several years earlier when she claims she saw the ghost train one night. Even though she believes that to set eyes upon the ghost train would be death to her, she still feels compelled to see it again.

How have you found the rehearsal process?
So far rehearsals have been really fascinating. Nick is really good at giving his actors space to explore their characters and really develop a deeper understanding of their background and the environment in which they live. I’ve already picked up a few good tips that I will definitely be using again!

Describe the show in three words.
Intriguing, surprising and… SPOOKY!

What are you looking forward to about show week?
That moment when the house lights dim and the audience falls into a hushed silence. In those seconds the relaxed chatter ceases and the whole room fills with anticipation as you feel the eyes of every single audience member turn to the stage. The silence becomes deafening, the stage lights come up, your stomach lurches, you take a deep breath and you launch yourself into the show!

What is your favourite spooky film or TV show?
Stranger Things. I remember thinking one Friday night that I’d give it a go and watch the first episode. Fast forward to 5am and I had binged watch the entire series in one sitting! Hands down some of the most compulsive viewing I’ve experienced in a long time!