Tiger at the Gates Cast & Crew Biographies

Charlie BaileyAbneos / Ajax – Charlie Bailey
Charlie has been training as an Undergrad for the past few months at the Pauline Quirke Academy. He feels very lucky to have had great training from Nancy Sullivan and David Thaxton from W1 Workshops and the professionals at the Pauline Quirke Academy who are responsible for the progress that he has made in the last few months.  Charlie is very grateful to have been able to work with Nick for his first stage production and has enjoyed the rehearsal and performing process with him and the rest of the cast.

Jessica ClementsAndromache – Jessica Clements
After nearly a 10-year hiatus, Jessica is excited to return to the stage in her first ever role with KDC. Originally from Canada, Jessica trained as an Actor at the University of British Columbia but, like most young artists, got a bit side tracked and ended up in a career having nothing to do with the fine arts. Although she has had to sew the zipper into the back of her dress for this performance (which she is not to be held responsible for in the event of a costume malfunction!), she is happy she isn’t required to eat an entire pumpkin pie on stage each night or do a strip tease while wearing lady bug granny pants. Her favourite roles to date include Emile (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), Geraldine (What the Butler Saw), Shirley (Criminal Genius) and Denise (Bonjour La! Bonjour!).

Kwesi DaviesBusiris / Minos / Topman – Kwesi Davies
Well, thank you for taking the time to come to the show if you have. I hope you really enjoy it. We all really enjoyed making it. For me, personally, this is my first involvement in such as organized amateur production and it has been great. Nick the ddirector has always been relaxed and friendly, but always asked more of us. He has created a really fun environment for us all t work in, and has always supported us to enjoy our work. This has made, as I mentioned earlier, for a really enjoyable rehearsal period. As for my other cast members, the word that springs to mind is ‘cool’. We just got along and got on with it. No prima donna’s, just nice people having a laugh and getting on with a show. So people, I hope you enjoy and God Bless.

Harriet BradleyCassandra – Harriet Bradley
This is Harriet’s first play with KDC, after a rather risqué London acting debut in Network Theatre’s ‘Love and Deceit’ simulating sex onstage, followed by a performance as the 13 year old Thomasina in an extract from ‘Arcadia’ for SEDOS. She is rather relieved to be playing a relatively less terrifying role in ‘Tiger at the Gates’! Previously Harriet directed and produced theatre while studying History at Oxford University; plays included ‘The Lion in Winter’ and her own adaptation of ‘The Canterbury Tales’ which ran at Magdalen College and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009. She is currently writing her first full-length play, and hoping to return to Edinburgh with her theatre company in 2014.

Simon HillDemokos – Simon Hill
This is Simon’s second show with KDC, having appeared in War of the Wales’s, as part of the RSC Open Stages project and in the Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year.  He has also has appeared at the Bridewell as Sepulchrave (Gormenghast) and Capulet (Romeo & Juliet). Outside London, he has appeared regularly at the Pendley Shakespeare Festival, the Aylesbury Limelight, and the Court Theatre, Tring.  Roles have included Macbeth, Macduff and Duncan (Macbeth), Oswald and Edmund (King Lear), Polonius (Hamlet, twice), Baptista (Taming of the Shrew, twice), Vincentio (Measure for Measure), Montague (Romeo & Juliet), Doctor Miranda (Death & the Maiden), the Ratcatcher (Kindertransport), Ludwig (Cabaret), Lord Illingworth (Woman of No Importance), Serebryakov (Uncle Vanya), both name parts in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and last year as Jeff in Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. A mystery to his employer whom he rarely visits, this City Gent and erstwhile blues singer finds pensions “exciting”.

Ric RentonHector – Ric Renton
In Ric’s first play with KDC he portrayed a Geordie cockalorum. His second KDC production sees him play a legendary, charming, handsome and perfectly proportioned moral warrior, which is a relief as, professionally speaking, the first play really took some acting.

 

Michelle-Louise WrightHecuba – Michelle-Louise Wright
Michelle-Louise trained as an actress through LAMDA, gaining her Gold Medal in 1995, and was a founder member of Basingstoke Youth Theatre. Notable appearances have included Rizzo in ‘Grease’, Alison in ‘Look Back in Anger’ and Ouisa in ‘Steel Magnolias’ at Oxford University. She works as a teacher of English and Drama, shamelessly indoctrinating her students into a love of Shakespeare. She hopes to found a South London Youth Shakespearean Society in 2014. Her passions include very loud rock music, real ale and visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, where she dreams of one day acting with Jamie Parker, David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. This is Michelle-Louise’s first production with KDC.

Katy TrebleHelen – Katy Treble
Katy is delighted to be losing her KDC virginity to the role of Helen. Being in London nearly two years now she decided it’s time to get her theatre boots back on. Between drinking wine in the bath and working in the city Katy enjoys a good read – namely, Vogue. Previous credits include: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Juliet), ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ (Adela), ‘A View from a Bridge’ (Catherine), ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Hermia) and ‘Of Mice and Men’ (Curley’s Wife).

Neil BallingerParis – Neil Ballinger
Neil Ballinger has been a member of KDC for three years, with previous credits including ‘Summers Gone’, ‘Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Ups and Downs’.

 

 

Simone MumfordPolyxene / Olpides – Simone Mumford
This is Simone’s first time acting with KDC, and she is very amused by the fact that most people in the production believe she is eighteen, when really she is thirteen! (Awkward) A man once thought that she worked in Superdrug! People tell her that she is rather odd (Some people never go crazy, what truly horrible lives they must live.) and is known to be quite the party animal. Literally. Apart from typical school plays, Simone has appeared in ‘Four Rooms of Refuge’ and would have been featured in a Toyota advert had she been wearing the dress with the slightly larger squares on them. Oh well, at least she still got paid for her time and in addition got free snacks…

Gordon FoggoPriam – Gordon Foggo
Since coming to London last year, I have been doing Shakespeare (no royalties) in South London and Shakespeare (no royalties) in Earls Court Square Garden. I first stepped onto a stage a long time ago in a bejewelled city far away (Glasgow) and its been a fairytale ever since. I keep telling myself. We have a really good assembly of people for this production and I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks. Having a great laugh at some of the rehearsal goings-on, what with slaps, spits, punches, tickles and time traveling Trojan telephones. I don’t get involved in all that, of course. I just walk about with a stick.

Steve MaherUlysses / Mathematician – Stephen Maher
Stephen Maher has recently moved to London from Dublin. He is eager to built on his theatre experiences which he has built from cities around the world as far away as Melbourne! Past theatre productions include:
An Inspector Calls, J.B. Priestly, (Gerald)
The Illusion, Pierre Corneille , (Pleribo/Theognees)
Hamlet, Shakespeare, (Hamlet)
The Lonesome West, Martin McDonagh, (Father Welsh)
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare, (Proteus)
A Mid-Summer Nights Dream, Shakespeare, (Oberon)
Sexual Perversity in Chicago, David Mamet, (Bernie)
Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams, (Stanley)
Closer, Patrick Marber, (Larry)

Nick MoutonDirector – Nick Mouton
This production not only marks Nick’s tenth year with KDC and is his fourth directorial effort with the company, following ‘Junk’ (The Courtyard), ‘Noir’ (Hen & Chickens) and ‘Female Transport’ (The Landor), but it also completes his ‘Trojan Trilogy’ with KDC having played Ajax in ‘Troilus & Cressida’ and Odysseus in ‘Penelopiad’. Will there be a Quadrilogy? Watch this space. Other directing feats include his well-received first professional gig (three 4 star reviews!) ‘One Night Hire’ for So It Goes Theatre at Barons Court Theatre, and other pieces spanning Newcastle, Edinburgh and Crowthorne (it’s in Berkshire). Nick has also written a number of plays and comedy sketches that have been performed across London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Feel free to follow his ramblings @nickmouton

Simon ParisAssistant Director – Simon Paris
Simon Paris has been alive for 19 years now, successfully juggling his full time university course of Theatre Directing, assistant directing ‘Tiger at the Gates’, and working on other plays. When he is not spinning the plates of his career life, he is usually to be found out and about in the streets of London or visiting his family in Leicester. Simon didn’t always want to direct theatre, back in his youth his dream was to own an ice cream van and live between two hills so the ice cream van would not need petrol. Slowly, common sense clawed its way in and the ice cream dream bled out, but he hopes one day the dream will re surface and there will be free ice cream for all!

Tiger at the Gates Cast

Abneos/Ajax: Charlie Bailey
Andromache: Jessica Clements
Busiris/Topman/Minos: Kwesi Davies
Cassandra: Harriet Bradley
Demokos: Simon Hill
Helen: Katy Treble
Hector: Ric Renton
Hecuba: Michelle-Louise Wright
Paris: Neil Ballinger
Polyxene/Olpides: Simone Mumford
Priam: Gordon Foggo
Ulysses/Mathematician: Steve Maher

Winter 2013 – Tiger at the Gates auditions

Tiger at the Gates by Jean Giraudoux, translated by Christopher Fry

Directed by Nick Mouton

Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 November

The Lion & Unicorn Theatre

1. Newcomers Meeting

Each season we hold a Newcomers Meeting where the directors will tell you more about their plays and the audition process. Its a great way to find out more about the season and of course you can quiz the directors and committee too.

Date: Thursday 12th September
Time: Join us from 7pm for a drink. The meeting will start at 7.30pm
Venue: The White Swan, 20 Farringdon Street, Farringdon, EC4A 4AB

2. Auditions

You do not need to register for auditions or prepare anything in advance.

Date: 17th, 18th & 19th September. Please come on whichever day suits you
Time: 6.30pm for a 7pm start
Venue: Clean Break Studios, 2 Patshull Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2LB

Recalls will be on Saturday 21st September from 10am to 2pm. You will be called on Friday 20th if we’d like to see you again.

3. Show Dates

We’ll be performing from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd November at The Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town. The shows will start at 7.30pm and you’ll need to be at the theatre at least an hour beforehand. The dress rehearsal will be on Monday 18th November. You will need to be free from midday onwards, possibly all day.

4. Rehearsals

Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons/evenings. All rehearsals will be in central London.

5. Synopsis

‘Tiger at the Gates’ is a brilliant and bitter comedy set within Troy, a city doomed to betrayal and destruction. The story is of Hector, a military man who knows the horror and degradation of war, struggling to preserve peace in the face of jingoistic sentiment and mob hysteria. Along with his worldly-wise mother Hecuba, Hector leads the anti-war argument and tries to persuade his brother Paris to return Helen to Greece. Hector sees Helen as the definition of war and destruction, but for the other Trojan men, through her beauty, believe that she represents an opportunity for glory, and they are eager to have others fight a war in her name. This is the re-telling of a classic story looking at the brutality of war and the futility of trying to avoid it while others around you are so hell-bent on it. The script was written as a criticism against the lack of diplomacy and irresponsible behaviour of the national leaders and intellectuals who brought about the First World War and the lead up to World War II. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as there are a number of comical moments went the Trojan pomp and ceremony prone diplomats are mocked for their blinkered points of view.

I want to look at the clashes of cultures, ideologies and sexes, portraying the Trojans as those who live the simple life, while in contrast there are the more cocksure Greeks who are used to getting their own way at the expense of others.

The play will last for up to 2 hours and will be set on Hector and Andromache’s sunny terrace that looks over Troy.

6. Cast Breakdown

This is a nice big cast with everyone getting a decent amount to say. There will be some doubling up so I’ve listed all of the main characters that the cast will play. The ages are recommended, but they’re not set in stone. I’m open to all sorts of accents and might ask people to try some out – like Irish, American, Northern English & Scottish. Don’t worry as it’s just me experimenting with ideas.

The Trojans

Hector (M, 27 – 40)

Charismatic, but battle fatigued. A leader of men through battles, but not seen as such of a diplomat by the senate. He’s just back from a long string of battles and is looking forward to spending the rest of his life relaxing with his wife. He’s a family man so will support his relatives to the bitter end. He has a lot to say in the play.

Andromache (F, 25 – 40)

Naturally beautiful woman. Passionate about her family and Troy. Like Hector, she prefers to stay out of politics and spend the rest of her life having her own family with Hector.

Cassandra (F, 23 -40)

Hector’s sister – can be older or younger. She believes that she’s a clairvoyant and can tell what will happen to Troy. No one pays much attention to her so she’s treated as the black sheep of the family.

Paris (M, 20 – 25)

Hector’s younger brother. He’s good looking, suave and charismatic. He thinks he has Hector’s strong presence, but he doesn’t. He’s selfish with his actions and refuses to back down, but still seeks for Hector and father’s approval.

Priam (M, 45+)

King of Troy and Hector’s father. He’s a proud man who stands by his beliefs. He’s head strong and wishes to support his sons but waivers when they have opposing opinions so he goes with the senate’s thoughts.

Hecuba (F, 40+)

Queen of Troy and Hector’s mother. She dislikes war and wants to have a peaceful existence. Hector gets his softer and more reasonable traits from Hecuba. She has a rebellious streak which annoys the senate but Priam likes her fighting spirit.

Polyxene (F, 17 – 20)

Hector’s younger sister. She’s very naïve & easily led.

Troilus (M or F, 14 – 17 or to be played by a girl)

Hector’s youngest brother. Young and naïve but stands by his belief. He has Priam’s strength in character.

Demokos (M, 30+)

He’s a celebrated poet and Priam’s main advisor. He sees himself as the ultimate intellectual but others see him as the fool that he is. He has never experienced warfare but he’s more than happy to send people to their death and then write about it, using feelings as if he was there. He’s the comedy relief and subject of ridicule in the play.

Abenos (M, 30+)

He’s another protected intellectual of Troy who is more interested in the pomp and ceremony than the deadly consequences of their actions. He’s a strong supporter of Demokos.

Busiris (F, 30+)

She is a traveller who has convinced the senate that she knows exactly what the Greeks want to do, which is to destroy Troy. Her thoughts conveniently support what the senate want to believe until her views are challenged by Hector.

Olpides (F, 20 – 25)

She is a young member of Paris’s crew who witnesses his apprehension of Helen. She is the shortest member of his crew so is always the one to go up to the crow’s nest.

Mathematician (M, 27+) 

He’s another wise man of Troy who claims to talk true facts most, either scaremongering or praising Helen. He’s another Demokos supporter who is against Hector’s ideas.

The Greeks

Helen (F, 22 – 30)

She is a strikingly beautiful woman and she knows it! She’s very intelligent and can manipulate people to her advantage and make them believe that it’s through their own free will. She knows that the women aren’t fond of her but she doesn’t really care as she has all of the men wrapped around her finger, until she meets Hector. As AC/DC once sang, ‘Lady’s got balls’!

Ulysses (M, 35 – 50)

He is the Greek ambassador and is seen as the wisest of the Greeks. He doesn’t want war with Troy and understands Hector’s point of view and predicament. Though he’s reasonable he still has a penchant of reminding people about the power of the Greek army. He has some great big speeches but only appears for the final third of the play.

Ajax (M, 24 – 35)

This guy is a brute! He’s the really battering ram of Greece and is totally opposite to Ulysses. He strikes then talks later and is hungry for blood and battle. With his fondness for war he also strongly admires people who he sees as his equals and shows them a lot of respect, but shows total disdain to weaklings.

Other parts to be covered by actors playing some of the above characters: Top Man, Sailor, Servant & Messenger. Even though like the Mathematician they haven’t been given names, they all have quite a lot to say and do during the play.

7. Crew

I want to recreate a sunny terrace with some extra-level decking. It will be a sunny day throughout so it will be a really basic lighting design. So the crew I need:

– Set designer

– Set builder

– Lighting designer

– Lighting & sound operator

– Stage Manager

– Assistant Stage Manager

If you’re interested in being in the crew please e-mail tech@kdctheare.com