2015 TOUR
Twelfth Night
Much Ado About Nothing
Cast & Company (2015)

2014 TOUR
2013 TOUR
2012 TOUR
2011 TOUR
2010 TOUR

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2015 Cast & Director biographies

ACTORS (surnames in alphabetical order)

Joseph Black

Joseph Black
Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing) & Duke Orsino (Twelfth Night)

Joseph Black joined the National Youth Theatre in 2006, and was involved with ten of their shows, including Whose Shoes at The Lowry, Orpheus & Eurydice in the Old Vic Tunnels and Living the Dream at The World Expo in Shanghai, China.

During his time at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, he performed in plays such as Serious Money, Innocent Mistress and Blue Stockings.

Outside of his final year shows, Joseph performed a stage fight demo with Claymores for Peter O'Toole's Memorial at The Old Vic, The Dutchman as Clay at the Brewery Theatre in Bristol and featured in Alex Clare's music video War Rages On.

Alex Gartshore

Alex Gartshore
Don John (Much Ado About Nothing) & Feste (Twelfth Night)

Before training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School Alex went to GSA where he gained a First in Theatre and Musical Theatre.

Theatre include Cinderella (Evolution Pantomimes), Sweet Charity (Yvonne Arnaud), Aladdin (Evolution Pantomimes), Stig of the Dump (Image Musical Theatre), Eating Raoul (Guildford), Snow Queen (Image Musical Theatre), Side Show (Yvonne Arnaud), The Comedy of Errors (Peter Quince Theatre Company), The Eight Reindeer Monologues (Lunatics and the Poor), Wind in the Willows (Brewhouse Theatre), Murder Most Fowl (Quay Arts), Alice in Wonderland (Brewhouse Theatre).

Short films include: Gag (BOVTV), To Make Much of Time (MET Films), Freeman Cole (MET film).

Jennifer Higham

Jennifer Higham
Ursula / Conrade / Friar Francis (Much Ado About Nothing) & Viola (Twelfth Night)

Theatre credits include Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic), The Pillowman (National Theatre), Clever Dick (Hampstead Theatre), Evening Primrose (Sadlers Wells), The Internationalist, Woman In Love (Gate Theatre), The Man Who Pays the Piper, The Stepmother, Winter, Three Farces, Alison's House, The Women Hater and The Linden Tree (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond), Lovely and Misfit (Trafalgar Studios), Rope (The Watermill), Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre Kingston), As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night (AFTLS)

Television credits includes The Lost Honour (Carnival), Persuasion (ITV); Crooked House, Gideon’s Daughter, Doctors, Casualty, Born and Bred ( all for BBC Television), Star (ITV), Soldiers in the Snow (Channel Four), The Bill (Thames Television), No Sweat (LWT) and Back Home (ITV).

Film credits include Alice Through The Looking Glass (Disney), Cassandra's Dream (WASP Productions), Metamorphosis (Cinepartners), Ella Enchanted (Miramax). 

Radio includes Doctor Who - Immortal Beloved (Big Finish Productions).

Philippa Howard

Philippa Howard
Margaret / Borachio (Much Ado About Nothing) & Maria (Twelfth Night)

Philippa Howard trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (BOVTS), where her graduate shows included Rose - The American Clock, Mrs Peachum - The Threepenny Opera, Flipotte – Tartuffe and Crackers & Spice - Christmas Revue. She was a finalist for the prestigious Carleton Hobbs

Radio Bursary. Previous to that she trained at Arts Ed in Musical Theatre.

Philippa joined GB Theatre Company last year playing Adrianna in The Comedy of Errors, 1st Witch & Donalbain in Macbeth. She then appeared as Maria & Antonio in Twelfth Night at The Rondo Theatre, Mayday at BrassWorks Theatre. Filmed alongside Helen McCrory in the feature Flying Blind as MI5 agent Nina Simons, short film Eris for award winning artist Clare Hooper and Rabbits Footwith UWE. Other film & TV credits include: House of ElliotWycliffePride and PrejudiceChinese Box and Casualty. Her recent theatre credits have included Very Hard Times with Publick Transport, The Elves and the Shoemakers for Pins and Needles, and Off the Block for Reading Between the Lines. She also has many credits in radio and voiceover.

Philippa was the winner of the Peter Akerman Comedy Award and also the 2011/12 Actors’ Guild Bursary. When not performing she works as a drama and musical theatre tutor in Bristol and is on the audition panel for BOVTS.

Philippa is thrilled to be returning to GB Theatre Company this year.

Jenny Johns

Jenny Johns
Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing) & Antonio / Curia (Twelfth Night)

Trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School where she won the Newton Blick Award 2011 for outstanding versatility. Theatre: Fertility Objects (Rondo Theatre, Bath), Bike (Butterfly Psyche), The Lover (OFS Studio, Oxford), The Persistence of Memory (Butterfly Psyche), Contractions (OFS Studio, Oxford), Comedy of Errors and Macbeth (GB Theatre), Twelfth Night (Rondo Theatre, Bath), While They're Away (Under Construction Theatre), Mayday (Brassworks Theatre, Bristol). Radio: nominee for the Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award 2011, Undertaker's receptionist in Ambridge Extra (BBC), Grace Morgan in The Archers (BBC).

Film and television: Reverend Jennifer Green in Derren Brown’s The Experiments for Channel 4, Jade in Breach of Trust (Joseph Oppenheimer), Julie in After the Bombs (Mad Tramp Productions), Dr Jessica Bell in Appendix 2 (Broken Antler).

Madeleine Leslay

Madeleine Leslay
Hero (Much Ado About Nothing) & Sebastian (Twelfth Night)

Madeleine trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Theatre: Ophelia in Hamlet (TIE Tour), Sophia Western in Tom Jones (Tour), Louisa Gradgrind in Hard Times (Tobacco Factory), Hazel Conway in Time & the Conways (Circomedia), Chris Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa (Tobacco Factory), Bel in Honest and Kelly in Nets (Alma Tavern Theatre). Aladdin in Aladdin and Beauty in Beauty and the Beast (Roses Theatre Tewkesbury), Pamina in The Night Queen (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry) Cinderella in Into The Woods, and Princess Tamara in Jack and The Beanstalk, (Sheffield Lyceum). For GB Theatre Company 2014, Luciana in The Comedy Of Errors and a Witch in Macbeth.

Film and television: BBC’s Production of The Best of Men, and the lead role of Alice in feature film She Moved Through the Fair. And most recently filmed a
lead in music video for FONO's Real Joy.

Madeleine also records audiobooks amongst which she can be heard reading the
most recent Jacqueline Wilson Books.

Barrie Palmer

Barrie Palmer
Leonato (Much Ado About Nothing) & Sir Toby Belch(Twelfth Night)

Barrie is the Artistic Director of the Company.

Before training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2003 Barrie was a Police Officer for 32 years, 22 of those years spent as a Scenes of Crime Officer (now called CSI).

Since graduating from Bristol, his love for Shakespeare was greatly enhanced when he was cast in the 2005/06 Comedy Season of The Royal Shakespeare Company appearing in Twelfth Night directed by Michael Boyd and As You Like It directed by Dominic Cooke and performing in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Newcastle and the West End.

He also toured in Henry V, As You Like it and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the British Shakespeare Company. 2012 saw him perform for his own company playing Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gobbo, Prince of Arragon and the Duke in The Merchant of Venice and last year he played Duncan in Macbeth and Egeus in The Comedy of Errors. Barrie has played Stan in four National tours of Victoria Wood’s dinnerladies and dinnerladies 2nd helpings. Barrie has recently completed a tour of Chin Chin with Felicity Kendal and Simon Callow, directed by Michael Rudman and a one man play, A Different Way Home at the Cumbernauld Theatre, Scotland in which he played the two only characters, Leslie and his sister Maureen.

Television credits include EastEnders, Derren Brown: The Experiments, Abolition Silent Witness and Harbour Lights. In 2012 he stood in as Paul O’Grady in a dvd to advertise the new musical Street of Dreams based on Coronation Street. On radio he recently played 3 different characters in Ambridge Extra, the digital offshoot of the world famous Archers. In contrast to Shakespeare he revels in the various challenges presented by pantomime.

Vincenzo Pellegrino

Vincenzo Pellegrino
Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing) & Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Twelfth Night)

Vincenzo’s theatre credits include: Arcadia and As You Like It (Shakespeare At The Tobacco Factory), The Spire (Salisbury Playhouse), The BFG (Derby Live), The Pretenda Agenda (West End), Framed (Churchill Theatre Bromley and Tour), The Turn of the Screw (Bristol Old Vic), Closer (English Speaking Theatre, Frankfurt), Solitary Confinement (Kings Head Theatre), Macbeth (Wimbledon Theatre) and Scouse (Liverpool Everyman).

 As well as regular roles in Where the Heart Is (ITV), Casualty (BBC), Holby City (BBC), MIT: Murder Investigation Team (Talkback Thames) and Tracey Beaker (BBC), Vincenzo’s TV and film credits include: Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box (Cinema One), Mistresses (BBC), Heartbeat (ITV), What If… (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Merseybeat (BBC), Facing Demons (BBC Wales), Wild West (BBC), In Deep (BBC), The Famous Five (Zenith), Fifth Element (Zaltman Films), Dalziel and Pascoe (BBC), Peggy Su (Deco Films), The Lenny Henry Show (BBC), Out of the Blue (BBC), The Bill – Lost and Found (Thames Television) and Crocodile Shoes (BBC).

Rebecca Wingate

Rebecca Wingate
Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) & Olivia (Twelfth Night)

Rebecca is delighted to be working with GB Theatre Company. She trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and her theatre credits include: Dinner Ladies Second Helpings (The Comedy Theatre Company); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe); Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company); Dead Funny (Torch Theatre); The Merchant of Venice (Tight Fit Theatre Co); Fool For Love, Just the Three of Us (Reardon Group); Cheap Flights (a one woman show for the Grahamstown Festival in South Africa); The Cherry Orchard, Amy’s View and Matchmaker (Questors Theatre). Television Credits include: Lost (Sky TV short film) and Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures). You can hear Rebecca’s voice on many City Sightseeing tours and Arriva buses both around the UK and abroad, so please make sure you’re sitting comfortably and keep your belongings with you at all times!

Chris Yapp

Chris Yapp
Don Pedro / Verges (Much Ado About Nothing) & Malvolio/Captain (Twelfth Night)

Chris trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Theatre credits include: Ghost Train (Angelhair /JDJB Productions), We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Kenny Wax Productions, UK Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Egg Theatre, Bath), On The Razzle / Three Sisters / A Life In The Theatre, (Chichester Festival Theatre), Macbeth (Young Shakespeare Company) The Merchant of Venice (Everyman Theatre Company), The Magic Tree (Lawrence Batley Theatre), Sing A Song Of Sixpence (BBC Playdays UK Tour), Trading Local (Show of Strength Theatre Company), DARE (Made In Wales Theatre Company).

Radio and voice-over credits include: Invitation to the Waltz, Windsor Jewels, Cast In Stone and Positive (BBC Radio), Looking for the Sun (BBC Education), Wesley Stories (Pastporte).

Film and television credits include: The Golden Hour (BBC1) Red Funnel Ferry (Promotional Video)



Ed Viney

Ed Viney

Ed studied at Royal Holloway and Queen Mary University of London. He trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the National Theatre where he was Director in Residence at the National Theatre Studio. He has been Assistant Director at Chichester Festival Theatre and the Almeida Theatre, and Creative Associate at the Bush Theatre.

His productions for GB Theatre include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors. Other productions include: Rum & Vodka, Stalin's Daughter, An Audience with Horace Batchelor, Danger: Memory! and The Dolphin Crossing. He is Artistic Director of Blue Brook Productions.

Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie

Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie
Assistant Director

Siobhán trained at the BAFTA-award winning Television Workshop for 14 years, and holds an MA in English from the University of St Andrews, where she founded a theatre company that toured Shakespeare to rural Scotland. She has directed a range of diverse productions, from new writing performed in a cellar, to Macbeth on Inchcolm Island for Edinburgh Festival Fringe, under the patronage of Richard Demarco, founder of The Traverse Theatre. She is an associate artist of East Midlands based theatre company Sheep Soup and a passionate feminist.

Recent theatre includes: Mrs Green: The Musical (Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Curve), The Tempest (Hopetoun Estate in the Firth of Forth, Fingask Estate Dundee, Belladrum Estate in the Highlands), Love Song (C Venues), Macbeth (St Andrews’ Castle, and Inchcolm Island), Airswimming, Unsuspecting Suasan, Zoo Story (The Television Workshop Studio) King Lear, Translations (The Byre Theatre), Creditors (Summerhall), Love and Money, In Flame, Bodies (Barron Theatre), A Doll’s House (BOVTS).

As assistant director: War Game assisting Toby Hulse (Bristol Old Vic), Merchant of Venice assisting RSC’s Bill Alexander (Redgrave Theatre), Grand Gesture assisting Gwenda Hughes (Tobacco Factory).

Benedict Jones

Benedict Jones
Stage Manager

Guy Benedict Jones trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Stage Management, graduating in 2013. He is a prolific Stage Manager, working in theatres across the country and is also Production Manager for the physical theatre company Blue Crate Theatre.

Theatre credits include: Company Stage Manager for Faust (National Tour). Stage and Technical Manager for Close to You (Southwark Playhouse and Brighton Fringe), and Three Witches (Belgrade Theatre).

Stage Manager for Animals (Theatre503), the theatre/circus spectacular Walking The Chains (The Passenger Shed, Bristol), Stardust (South West Tour), Spokesong (Finborough Theatre), Oedipus Retold (Tristan Bates Theatre), Starry Night - A Nativity Play (Bristol Schools Tour), Moonfleet (West Country Tour), Surrealissimo (Alma Tavern Theatre), Mr Kolpert (Alma Tavern Theatre).

Stage Manager for the GB Theatre Company Tour 2014, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors.




James Helps
Costume Designer

Trained at Wimbledon School of Art graduating in 1974 to take up an Arts Council Bursary at Stratford East with Theatre Workshop, and the Connaught Theatre Worthing. Since then James has designed over 400 productions in Theatre, Film and Television, including Ballet and Opera. He was Head of Design at Ipswich Arts Theatre before their move to the Wolsey and at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton as well as seasons at Theatre Clwyd, and for the Marlowe in Canterbury. He designed A Midsummer Night’s Dream and King Lear for Andrew Hilton as the premier productions for Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, and for Ed Viney last year’s Comedy of Errors and Macbeth for GB Theatre. He designed the critically-acclaimed production of Stalin’s Daughter with Kirsty Cox for Blue Brook Productions and An Audience with Horace Batchelor, both of which toured.

Recent films include The Hatching soon to be released having been awarded the audience award at the Bath Film Festival and The Happylands, telling the story of the 1926 Miners Lockout with the descendants of the community whose story it told. The Happylands was nominated for two BAFTAs. At Brunel’s Passenger Shed, Bristol, James created a 500 seat theatre to tell the story of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Walking the Chains, with a cast of actors, singers and circus performers. James designs regularly for BGSOS, Show of Strength, Backwell Playhouse and is Technical Manager for Iford Opera as well as designing the costumes for Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures, the most popular programme on CBeebies.




Company Directors
Gill Roca
Barrie Palmer

Tour Manager
Barrie Palmer

Stage Manager
Benedict Jones

Musical Directors
Alex Gartshore
Madeleine Leslay

Fight Director
Jonathan Howell

Fight Captain
Joseph Black

Set & Costumes
James Helps at
Bristol Costume Services

Administration & accounting
Gill Roca

Marketing literature & website
Design Forte