The Priory – Cast Biographies

Adam Moulder (Adam)
Adam is privileged to be involved in The Priory with a great group of people, except one. He hopes he has brought a lot of hints and essences to his part. The last time Adam worked with the directing team he was poking them both with his sword, at the same time.

 

Christopher Warren (Ben)
Christopher’s first starring role was as a cold Shephard in Chesham Preparatory Schools 1990 nativity play, although his mother missed the performance, his line ‘put another log on the fire’ won him a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He graduated in 2007 having inhabited a meerkat for sixth months, performed the part of Donalbaine and affected an impressive posh accent.
Recently he played Karenin in ‘Anna Karenina’ The Duke in ‘Measure for Measure’ with KDC and Pimp in Sink the Belgrano with Seedos. Christopher has genuinely no idea why he was cast as Ben and urges everyone to audition for Richard iii which he is directing at KDC next year and promises to be baffling.

Stephen Russell (Carl)
Having just finished an acclaimed run as Tony Blair in KDC’s lauded War of the Waleses, Stephen is looking forward to playing someone sweet, honest and who keeps their promises. Playing a failed actor who’s lost his looks and is suffering relationship crises may be his most stretching character part to date.

Neil Duggan (Daniel)
This is his first production with KDC. Neil spent the summer stalking the alleyways at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival trying to drum up business for Sedos’s ‘s ‘As You Like it’.  He would like to thank everyone for buying a ticket and coming out on such a chilly night. Lastly, Merry Christmas.

 

Fran Rafferty (Kate)
By day the Ugly Betty of the West End, by the evening all singing-ish, sometimes dancing, knitting fanatic who one day hopes to own a dog called Digby or Yogi Bear or Karenin.
Current productions: Edwin Drood in THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD at the Theatro Technis 18th – 22nd December, 2012 [dir. Ruth Sullivan Tower Theatre Company].
Previous productions include: Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT [dir. Zoe Thomas Webb, SEODS & Edinburgh Fringe], Gloria/Matti in THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT [dir. Zoe Thomas Webb, SEDOS], Anybody ‘s in WEST SIDE STORY [dir. Kim Barker, SEDOS], Betsy Boo in FEMME [dir. Ed Walsh, Von W Productions], Tribe in HAIR [dir. Matt Prince, SEDOS], Soloist in LIFE IS JUST A BOWL OF CHERRIES [dir. John Hill, Tinhatters], Whore/Physio in PIAF [dir. Ian Cray, NTP], Kate in THE MATCHGIRLS [dir. Chris Clarke, Tinhatters], Rita in BILLY [dir. Tom Goodluck, HCG], Juliet in ROMEO & JULIET [dir. Liz Crane, NTP], Navigation Officer in RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET [dir. Ian Cray, Tinhatters], and Eva in THE ACCRINGTON PALS [dir. Ian Cray, NTP].

Layla Estasy (Laura)
Layla is delighted to be acting in London again, having just returned from a stint in The Land Down Under, where performances included The House of Bernarda Alba, Yellow Moon: The Ballad of Leila and Lee, Vanity Fair and Othello. As research for the role of Laura, Layla had a lobotomy.

 

Sophie Head (Rebecca)
Having completed a Foundation Course in Acting at the Arts Educational in 2009, Sophie has enthusiastically embraced the amateur theatre circuit and played Angelika in Sedos’ Push Up (2012), Catherine in Questors’ The Winslow Boy (2012), Lady Capulet in Sedos’ Romeo and Juliet (2011) and Gilda in KDC’s Alfie (2010). Sophie’s also performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in NYMT productions (Limbo, Tin Pan Ali). A classically trained singer, Sophie is also a keen singer/songwriter, having performed her own material at gigs and festivals in and around London.

Tracie Laurinaitis (Monk)
Proud to be the ‘sister-in-the-hood’ in The Priory, Tracie couldn’t resist adding Monk 3 to her stage credits.  It’s all about the robe. Among shadowy religious figures, she has also treaded the boards most recently in Measure for Measure The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and The Blue Room in the amateur world. This spring she looks forward to ADing Enron for Sedos.

Dracula – Director’s Note

Many of the best horror stories are about more than horror. Dracula is one example. When Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897, the gothic horror novel tapped into the contemporary fears of English society; fears about the coming end of Empire and fears that women in Victorian England were becoming more than (male) society said they should be. Stoker, being Irish and so an outsider to England, was perfectly placed to write a horror story that so directly tapped into the fears that he had observed in the English psyche. After all, one of the main thrusts of the story of Dracula is the idea of a swarthy foreigner coming in and ‘corrupting’ British women, enticing them to live out their forbidden desires and temptations.

In her adaptation, Liz Lochhead explores and expands on many of Stoker’s ideas, and introduces ones of her own which work for a modern audience, specifically expanding the story revolving around Renfield. In particular, she chooses to expand on the role of women in Victorian England and the barriers they faced in a male-dominated society. And so we see Mina and Lucy battle their emotions and desires – torn between what is right and proper, and what they really want to do…

Surrounding all these sociological explorations is a great chilling horror story, and one iconic character whose icy-cold fingers touch everything we see (or read): Dracula. Dracula is not the world’s original vampire but he is the most famous, and his impact has been felt throughout the past century right up to today. Vampires hold a fascination – they’re immortal and so is their popularity. Vampires are resurrected for every generation in guises that befit the needs of the time. Vampires in 2012 are misguided lost souls who are in need of understanding and rescue. Bram Stoker’s Dracula at the time was something totally different.

What was great about directing this production was that we created our own version, vision and impact of a vampire. I will be in trouble for saying this, but vampires are evil – no matter what the Twilight generation may believe, they are not quietly brooding misunderstood people who just have bad moods and can be changed by the love of a good woman. For all vampires, ‘the blood is the life’. Vampires are eternally complex creatures, however, as they are not just fathomless evil. As Van Helsing says of Dracula: ‘Whose victim was he?’

Duncan Moore

Dracula – Cast Biographies

Alan Maddrell (Dracula)

Alan’s last acting stint with KDC was in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, playing another bad egg. Since then he’s been exercising his despotic tendencies by directing Ubu Rex and co-writing The War of the Waleses. Only with other companies do they let him play nice people, like St Peter in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot with Sedos and loads of other stuff. Who cares what I’ve done, really? Here’s a recipe for salad dressing instead: ground nut oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, lemon juice. Not suitable for vampires.

Jimi Odell (Jonathan Harker)

Jimi spent his innocent years performing with The St Albans Youth Music Theatre where he learnt to crack his knuckles, knit a scarf, and hide behind synchronised dancers. Now in his wild years, he can be found singing and playing guitar in rock ‘n’ roll band The Red Zoids and acoustic covers collective The Ja Danketies. A scriptwriter and occasional online columnist, he has written articles as diverse as “The Top Twelve Non-Existent Sequels” and “How To Get Rid of a Badger”. Dracula is his first outing with KDC.

William Baltyn (Dr Arthur Seward)

This is William’s sixth show in London since moving here what seems like only a month ago.  When not defying time and space, he has recently played Prince Charles in The War of the Waleses and Konstantin Levin in Anna Karenina.  He is also working on a short film about Doctor Who.

Chris Stooke (Professor Van Helsing)

Chris was a stage regular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Acting roles included Dad in Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations , Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, Rev Parris in The Crucible and Palamede in Marriage à la Mode (all Durham Unversity Theatre), various productions with Crates improvised theatre group, Harold in Spring and Port Wine (South London Theatre), The Tree in The Singing Ringing Tree (Various London Parks) and Buttons in Cinderella (Zurich Comedy Club). He also directed two productions, Dear Brutus and British Backs Against The Wall, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and ran the musical programme at the inaugural London International Festival of Theatre. After taking a break for around 25 years to pursue other interests, he returned as Frederick in Enchanted April and Governor Philip/John Wisehammer in Our Country’s Good, both at South London Theatre. This is his KDC debut.

Marcus Mollan (Renfield)

Although Dracula is his first show for a couple of years, Marcus first trod the KDC boards way back in 2000.  His debut was as the title character in Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, and as a man who grew up a few miles (and a few years) away from Bram Stoker in Dublin it is nice to be doing something  Irish(ish) again.  Sadly, Marcus’s years in England have taken their toll on his Rs and he regularly has to remind himself that Dracula was written by Bram Stoker, not Bram Stokah.   As well as acting, Marcus was also KDC Treasurah for a number of years, retiring from this role (coincidentally) shortly before the global financial system blew up.

Mark Ewins (Drinkwater)

Mark has been in several KDC shows and is excited to be playing this diverse range of roles. Well known within the industry for his characterisation of accents, Mark has been working tirelessly to extend his repertoire. No rock has been left unturned but some questions still remain; what does Qwerty prefer… breast or leg, and what is Drinkwater really thinking? Enjoy.

Anna Marx (Mina Westerman)

Anna is batty about amdram and has been dying to sink her teeth into this dark play for centuries. She’s really stuck her neck out to get some vampire puns into this but she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Which sucks. But that’s no reflection on her acting skills. She hopes you enjoy the show as her reputation is at stake. No coffin’, please.

Catherine Kolubayev (Lucy Westerman)

This is Catherine’s first production with KDC. A graduate of LAMDA, she has performed in numerous stage and screen productions, including a short film that was nominated and screened at The Raindance Film Festival. She makes her television debut later this year in Downton Abbey’s Christmas special on ITV and will soon start rehearsals for the Fourth Monkey Theatre Company’s Edinburgh Fringe and London seasons. As a writer, Catherine’s play Snapshot was performed at the Soho Theatre after winning a young writers’ competition.

Kate Moore (Florrie)

Kate has actually now lost count of how many productions she’s been involved with with KDC, but suffice to say she’s into double figures. Previous roles include Beatrice Joanna in The Changeling, Natalie in Disappeared, Dr Brodsky in A Clockwork Orange, Paulina in The Winter’s Tale and Bartley McCormick in The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Su Vigus (Nurse Grice/Nurse Nisbett)

Su came to acting a few years ago through singing in amateur opera productions, and later studied acting at the London Centre for Theatre Studies and City Lit. Previous roles include Lucetta in The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the Cheltenham Rococo Players, Puck in Sedos’s office-based setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a priest in Murder in the Cathedral with CP Theatre Productions. Playing five different roles in Dracula has been an entertaining challenge.

Fiona Thomas (Nurse Doyle)

Fiona joined KDC Theatre as an ASM for Duncan’s production of Much Ado About Nothing in 2008 and happily joins his team again. She has directed, designed and operated lighting and sound, stage managed and occasionally acted for several theatre companies in London. She has worked on shows for the Edinburgh Fringe and Camden Fringe. She is currently Technical Director for KDC Theatre.

What the Dickens! Part Two

This Thursday, 25 October, at Ocean House, between Little Trinity Lane and Huggin Hill, City of London, sees the second of this season’s special Ghost Stories, written and read by KDC, and adapted from the great Charles Dickens. Dickens was fascinated with the ghostly and the spiritual, and to celebrate that, and our FIRST EVER Halloween season, we would like to invite you to enjoy some ghoulish tales.

As the evenings draw in and Hallow’een approaches, what better way to celebrate the season and the coming of KDC’s Dracula than by pulling up a chair in a disused building and listening to spooky takes of spectral visitations newly-penned by the ink-stained fingers of our shivering scribes and read by some of KDC’s most sinister voices.

This week’s brand new plays are:

The Goblins Who Stole a Sexton, by Mary Groom
The Lawyer and the Ghost, by Amy Bird
The Signalman, by Julia Collier
Sir Simon of Beverly Hills, by Kathy Petrakis
The Chimes, by Sarah Heenan

The readings will be from 7pm at Ocean House. We will be haunting the 1st floor. Please feel free to bring food and drink to add to your enjoyment of the occasion, plastic cups and some Victorian vittles will be provided!

Come and enjoy an evening with friends and come to enjoy the first ever readings of some new work.

What the Dickens! Part One

“It has an awful voice, that wind at Midnight…Heaven preserve us, sitting snugly round the fire!”

What the Dickens New-Writing Project

This Thursday, 18 October, at the Hoop and Grapes sees the FIRST of this season’s special Ghost Stories, written and read by KDC, and adapted from the great Charles Dickens.

Dickens was fascinated with the ghostly and the spiritual, and to celebrate that, and our FIRST EVER Halloween season, we would like to invite you to enjoy some ghoulish tales.

As the evenings draw in and Hallow’een approaches, what better way to celebrate the season and the coming of KDC’s Dracula than by pulling up a chair in a City of London hostelry and listening to spooky takes of spectral visitations newly-penned by the ink-stained fingers of our shivering scribes and read by some of KDC’s most sinister voices.

The readings will be from 7pm at The Hoop & Grapes. Come and enjoy an evening with a drink and friends and come to enjoy the first ever readings of some new work!