THE COMPANY

Townsend Theatre Productions

‘A company making a name for delivering vivid, politically committed theatre’ - The Observer Townsend Theatre Productions set up as a collaboration of experienced, highly-skilled theatre practitioners in 2011.

Neil and Louise Townsend

MAIN COMPANY AIMS

  1. To create live theatre of the highest artistic standard that is relevant, innovative, challenging and ultimately entertaining.
  2. To take our theatre to non-theatre venues for audiences that find access to theatre centres a challenge or are not themselves regular attendees. As well as theatres and arts centres we perform at community centres, village halls, trades clubs, schools, pubs, conferences and festivals.
  3. To form effective links with trades unions on national and regional levels, theatre and education organisations, campaign organisations and trades councils.
  4. To promote to a wider audience stories and issues of special interest to these groups, and work with these groups to promote individual performances.
  5. To use drama and education to explore social, political and historical issues, and open up channels of participa tion through audience interaction – workshops, exhibitions, post-show discussion, etc.
  6. To work closely with associated organisations and supporters, artisitic and educational, to enhance audience development through developing appropriate marketing strategies.
  7. To challenge racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice through our performances and working methods.
  8. To maintain and develop a commitment to commission ing and creating new work.

PRODUCTIONS

We have toured productions of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, We Will Be Free!, United We Stand, Dare Devil Rides To Jarama and soon will tour, We Are The Lions Mr. Manager.

We have produced a Chartist choir and community play, On The Road To Freedom: a project that featured a commuity cast and choir, youth theatre, classical dancers, traditional folk musicians, trade unionists, academics, and professional theatre practitioners to produce a performance of song, theatre, dance, music and spoken word that centred around the recently discovered National Chatist Hymn Book.

Each one of our tours takes in about 60 venues nationwide from the Highlands to Cornwall, from West Wales to Lowestoft.

So far all the productions have had a cast of two which guarantees a purely theatrical approach to the epic social historical subjects that we undertake.

CORE TEAM

LOUISE TOWNSEND
NEIL GORE
JOHN KIRKPATRICK
Bryony Purdue
Rowan Godel
DANNIELLA BEATTIE
Elizabeth Wright
Medhavi Patel
CARL DAVIES

Townsend Theatre Productions set up as a collaboration of experienced, highly-skilled theatre practitioners in 2011...the collaboration regularly includes Louise Townsend, as Producer; Neil Gore as Writer/Actor; folk music legend John Kirkpatrick as Musical Director, and New Vic Theatre Stoke’s Lighting Designer Danniella Beattie.

LOUISE TOWNSEND
CV (Director/Producer)

For twenty-one years Louise has worked as a theatre producer, director, casting director, production, company and stage manager. She has directed all of Townsend Theatre Productions' plays: 'Dare Devil Rides To Jarama', 'United We Stand', 'On The Road To Freedom', 'We Will Be Free!', and 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists'. She has also directed community and youth theatre project. She was Casting Director for over 40 projects in the West End, commercial theatre and film which included 'The Lion King', 'We Will Rock You', 'Simply Heavenly' (NT/Young Vic). She also cast productions for Basingstoke Haymarket and Quondam Theatre Co., & was Production, Company and Stage Manager for Dublin Gate, New Vic Theatre Stoke, and Coventry Belgrade.

NEIL GORE
CV (Writer/Actor/Musician)

Neil has over 35 years experience in community theatre, TIE, reminiscence theatre, small- and middle-scale touring, regional repertory, Panto and West End. He wrote/performed comedy with Eddie Izzard with SUFTheatre and co-founded Metro Theatre Company, in Sheffield, with Stephen Daldry, a co-operative company that toured new plays throughout the 1980s. His work includes seasons at New Vic Theatre Stoke, Coventry Belgrade, Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Bloomsbury and Mayfair Theatres in London, Bolton Octagon, Chichester Festival Theatre, Northampton Royal and many more. For Townsend Theatre Productions, he adapted Stephen Lowe's 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists', and wrote 'We Will Be Free!', 'United We Stand', ‘On The Road To Freedom’, 'Dare Devil Rides To Jarama’, and toured and performed in all of them.

JOHN KIRKPATRICK
(Musical Director)

JOHN KIRKPATRICK

(Musical Director)

He has directed and scored Townsend Theatre Productions' previous productions - "Dare Devil Rides To Jarama" "Ragged Trousered Philanthropists", "United We Stand", "We Will Be Free!" and "On The Road To Freedom". He is one of folk music's most prolific performers for over 50 years and a revered squeeze-box player who has performed solo and with Steeleye Span, Albion Band, Richard Thompson, Brass Monkey, Roy Bailey, Leon Rosselson, Home Service. Directed music of National Theatre and New Vic Stoke.

Bryony Purdue
Singer/Actress for the new folk opera 'Rouse Ye Women'

Bryony Purdue

Singer/Actress for the new folk opera 'Rouse Ye Women'

Bryony grew up on the East Coast of Scotland where she was regularly involved in the folk music scene through family friends who were members of the band Ceolbeg. From her Scottish roots, she then moved down to Dorset which also has  a strong folk tradition and sang all kinds of music whilst going through school. She began formal singing lessons at fifteen alongside piano and oboe training and through the grades was encouraged by her teacher to pursue a classical singing career. After completing one year of university studying French & Music, Bryony decided that studying music and singing was in fact the right path and spent four years training in Opera at Trinity laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Since her 3rd year at Trinity, Bryony has been involved in Opera productions singing leads, covers and chorus parts (as well as producing a Madame Butterfly at Cadogan Hall) with OperaGlass Works, Longborough Festival Opera and Blackheath Halls. 

Rowan Godel
Singer/ Musician

Rowan Godel

Singer/ Musician

Singer and songwriter Rowan Godel spent her early years absorbing a rich musical tapestry. Her father, a choir master and classical organist and her Mother, a classical singer who also enjoyed folk music and sang in folk clubs. 

She developed a love of singing and vocal harmony from an early age and went on to study a music and performing arts degree in Brighton, where she met composer and choreographer, Billy Cowie. As her music tutor at the time, Billy recognised her keen musicality and skill as a singer and invited her to work with him on music for his critically acclaimed contemporary dance show, Bird in a Ribcage ( songs in Turkish ) which toured world wide. They have worked together on many subsequent projects including music for Billy’s recent shows, “Under Flat Sky” ( world tour ) and “Attraverso i muri di bruma” ( Through Walls of Mist ) at Fondazione Prada, Milan - for which she also worked on vocal arrangements of songs ( sung in German ).

It was in Brighton that she also found the creative freedom to explore her own musical aspirations and make collaborative work with other musicians and in 1997, having just finished university, Rowan was introduced to music producer, Al Scott ( Oysterband, Levellers ). They worked on a project of her own songs together ( Kolida ) and during this time, she also met and began working with folk rock legends, Oysterband - a relationship which was to develop long into the future and would see Rowan becoming a core member of John Jones’s band “The Reluctant Ramblers”. Among other notable credits at this time are her contributions on Levellers album, “Green Blade Rising” - including featured vocals on hit single “Wild As Angels”.

A versatile and dynamic singer and writer with an original style and a love of vocal harmony and musical arrangement, Rowan has worked with many different artists and genres of music and performance , ranging from folk to jazz to choral and even electronic dance music - writing and recording with music collective “Urban Myth Club” for their album “Helium”. She also leads voice workshops. 

Throughout her career, Rowan has always remained connected to her roots and her love of folk music and in 2015, she released her debut solo e.p “September Skies” - which, along with three of her own songs, features refreshing and delightful takes on two traditional songs. She has recently been appearing live on the UK folk scene with her trio, featuring multi instrumentalists, Benji Kirkpatrick ( Bellowhead, Faustus, The Transports ) and Tim Cotterell ( Martha Tilston, Nick Burbridge ). You can find out more and listen to Rowan’s debut e.p here.

Credits include: 

Music: Oysterband, Levellers, Billy Cowie ( Divas Arts ), Boff Whalley/ The Commoners Choir album ( additional vocals/vocal arrangement ), EMI ( writing/ recording ), Man In A Room ( vocals/ vocal harmony arrangement ), John Jones, Ray cooper ( aka Chopper ), Police Dog Hogan, Urban Myth Club ( vocals/ writing/ arranging ), Kolida (writer/ singer/ performer ), Asian Dub Foundation, Twice finalist and semi finalist - UK songwriting contest. 

Theatre: National theatre. Same Sky ( community arts ) Brighton. Coral Community Arts.

TV: BBC 2, SC4. 

Radio: Radio 4 - Womans Hour, Radio 2 - Cambridge Festival live.

DANNIELLA BEATTIE
(Lighting Designer)

DANNIELLA BEATTIE

(Lighting Designer)

Trained at Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire, and is the resident lighting designer at the New Vic Stoke, where she has designed the lighting for over 60 productions. She won Best Lighting Design at the TMA Awards in 2009 for "The Wicked Lady". She has also designed lighting for Oldham Coliseum, St. James Theatre (London), Northern Broadsides, Orange Tree (Richmond). For Townsend Productions Lighting Designer for 'Dare Devil Rides To Jarama' and 'We Are The Lions Mr Manager'

Elizabeth Wright

Designer

Liz has worked extensively at Theatre by the Lake, Cumbria, where some of her favourite designs have included Wallflowering, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, The Birthday Party, The Glass Menagerie, Vincent in Brixton, Suddenly Last Summer, The Lady of the Lake, The Vertical Hour and the critically-acclaimed Elektra.

Liz’s other designs include Herding Cats (Hope Mill Theatre for Play With Fire), The Blue Room, Blithe Spirit, Picnic and Barnbow Canaries (HOME for Manchester School of Theatre), Master of the Macabre (The Vaults, Waterloo), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Octagon Theatre, Bolton and Hull Truck Theatre), Queen of the North and Peter Pan (Octagon Theatre, Bolton) and When The Waters Recede, a site-specific production on Derwent Island, Keswick.

She studied at Leeds University, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has a PhD in Theatre Design from Wimbledon College of Art.

 

Medhavi Patel
(Actress)

Medhavi Patel

(Actress)

Medhavi Patel 
Trained at The Brit School of Performing Arts and Technology
Theatre includes Tales of Birbal (UK Tour) Trident Moon (The Finborough Theatre) Fragile Land (Hampstead Theatre)
Television includes Doctors, Holby City, Channel 4 Dogma 3: Only Girls, Channel 4 Dogma 3: Snowman
Film includes Kidulthood
Radio includes Together, Bombay Talky and Romeo and Juliet In Southwark

CARL DAVIES
(Designer)

CARL DAVIES

(Designer)

Carl Davies trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating in 2004.

Credits include:

Looking through Glass, Alix In Wondergarthen (Difficult Stage) The trials of Oscar Wilde, Still Life, Stage Beauty, Much Ado About Nothing, Dangerous Liaisons, She Stoops to Conquer, Moll Flanders, The Importance of Being Earnest, Canterbury Tales, (Mappa Mundi) The Falcon’s Malteser, Crimes Against Christmas (New and Old Friends) Outlaw, Sleeping Beauty, Alice Adventures, Road to Glory, Treasure Island, The Wind in the Willows, The Little Match Girl, The Snow Queen, A Christmas carol, Midsummer nights Dream (The Point, Eastleigh) Oliver Twist, Oh no not Snow, Immune, Honk, Sweeney Todd (Royal & Derngate) The Magic Toy Shop (Invisible Ink / Theatr Iolo) Resurrection, Robin Hood (Theatre Royal Bath) The Best Thing, Sharing Joy, Finding Joy, nursing Lives, Projectionist (Vamos) Hansel and Gretel, The Mikado, Madam Butterfly (Co Opera Co) Nansi, Blodeuwedd, (Theatr Genedlaethol) Lord of the Flies, The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel, James and The Giant Peach, The Jungle Book, Kes, The Borrowers (The Courtyard Theatre, Hereford) The Phoenix and the Carpet (forest Forge) The Laramie Project, The Bacchae, Caucasian Chalk Circle (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton) Sleeping Beauty, Robin Hood, The Jungle Book, Midsummer Nights Dream (The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough) Candide, The Calling of Maisy Day (Welsh National Youth Opera) It Will All be Over by Christmas, Cyrano De Bergerac, Bankrupt Bride, Big Bad Wolf, Me a Giant (Theater na-nOg) To and Fro (Oxford Playhouse) Exams are Getting Easier (Birmingham Repertory Theatre) A Casa di Anne Frank, IL Viaggio, La Casa Sull’ Aqua di Flora Mariani, Bebele, Pedro Paramo is Dead, Il Desegno Del Mondo, Lago senza Lacrime (Elan, Italy) 

Company members have included: FineTime Fontayne, Rhiannon Meades, William ‘Paul’ Fox, Charlotte Powell, David Heywood, Richard Stone, Liz Eves, Jonathan Markwood, Rodney Matthew, Stephen Lowe, Amy Yardley, Jo Barber, Lianne Bruce