53 minutes | Nov 13, 2022
Ep92: Ria Jones, West End leading lady and international musical theatre star.
Ria was born and raised in Swansea and was brought up surrounded by the rich heritage of Welsh music. Her mother was an Opera Singer and her father a successful cabaret entertainer, so it was inevitable at an early age that Ria Jones was destined for stardom. At 19 she became the youngest actress ever to play the role of Eva Peron in 'Evita', followed shortly by her West End debut in the musical 'Chess' in which she played both Svetlana and Florence. She went on to perform famed roles such as Grizabella in 'CATS', Fantine in 'Les Miserables, The Narrator in 'Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' Liz Imbrie in 'High Society' Reno Sweeney in 'Anything Goes', alongside Marti Pellow in 'The Witches of Eastwick' among many other notable roles and more recently in Victoria Wood's most iconic role as Mrs Overall in 'Acorn Antiques' which she recently reprised when requested by Victoria Wood to appear in the 'Angina Monologues' at The Haymarket Theatre, London.Ria has performed as a soloist on three Royal Variety Shows and has also sung by royal request at Buckingham Palace. She has performed as a soloist to audiences in many of the worlds' finest venues, including in numerous West End Theatres, The Millennium Centre, The Palladium, The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, The Jubilee Theatre at Raffles Hotel Singapore and regularly at The Royal Albert Hall. Ria was also honoured to be picked to perform alongside Bryn Terfel, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey for the opening of the Welsh Assembly at Cardiff Bay.Ria's TV appearances include her own one-off special for BBC Wales entitled 'One Night Only with Ria Jones', Three televised Royal Variety Performances for the BBC, 'Wales in the West End' for HTV, a recently televised drama written by Victoria Wood, 'When Eric Met Ernie' and most recently an episode for the new series of Torchwood.She has performed frequently with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Royal Albert Hall, and has personal accolades from Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. She has shared the stage with Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, Montserrat Caballe, Philip Schofield, Catherine Zeta-Jones Take That, Lulu, Ronnie Corbett, Angela Rippon, Aled Jones, Brian Adams, Jason Donovan, Elaine Paige, Joe Pasquale, Marti Pellow, Michael Ball....to name but a few.Ria has also released an album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 'Abbaphonic' and her first solo album 'Have You Met Miss Jones?'
43 minutes | Sep 18, 2022
Ep91: Luke Holman, Assistant Musical Director.
Luke is a musical director, pianist and conductor based in London and has just completed the summer season at the Chichester Festival Theatre as the assistant musical director for the hugely successful, five star reviewed musical, Crazy For You.He was assistant musical director of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical UK Tour and previously was music assistant to Alex Lacamoire, Ben Cohn, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul for the premiere production of Dear Evan Hansen at the Noël Coward Theatre. He is a proud alumnus of the esteemed musical direction and coaching course at the Royal Academy of Music and is also a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music.Luke can be followed on Twitter @lukebholman and on Instagram @luke.bholman
55 minutes | Sep 11, 2022
Ep 90: Behind the scenes at Chichester Festival Theatre
When Chichester Festival Theatre opened in 1962, it was Britain’s first modern thrust stage theatre. The brainchild of a local optician, Leslie Evershed-Martin, it was effectively ‘crowdfunded’ by local individuals and businesses: a theatre built by the community for the community, an ethos which still stands today. Between 1962-65, under its first artistic director Laurence Olivier, CFT provided the nucleus for the newly established National Theatre company.This year, 2022, CFT celebrates its 60th anniversary and over the past six decades, myriad productions originated at Chichester have transferred to the West End or toured nationally and internationally, from musicals to significant new plays and classic revivals. The latest which has just finished was the 5 star reviewed, Crazy For You which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022 as well. Craig talks to three members of the management team about their roles at the theatre and what life is like working for such a prestigious establishment. For more information about the Theatre visit their website cft.org.uk/about-us/our-story
45 minutes | Sep 4, 2022
Ep 89: Graham Michael, Company Stage Manager and photographer
Since graduating from Guildhall, Graham has worked on a wide range of shows both in the UK and on tour overseas. He recently worked on Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre in 2021 and has just completed his position as company stage manager for Crazy for You at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer 2022.Graham is also an accomplished photographer turning his hand at photographing performances and people in the theatre both for publicity purposes and also for fun. His photography website is www.grahammichael.co.uk
51 minutes | Aug 28, 2022
Ep 88: Matthew Malthouse, Westend performer
Matthew was brought up in the west coast of Scotland and trained at the Dance School of Scotland before starting his professional trading at Arts Ed in London.He left after one year as he was offered a part in a musical in Germany and from there his career took off.Matthew's theatre credits include: Singin’ in the Rain, 42nd Street (Chichester Festival); Chicago (Cambridge); The Car Man (London/UK tour); Edward Scissorhands (London/UK/US/Japan/Korea); Jack and the Beanstalk (Barbican); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward); Anything Goes (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); On Your Toes (Royal Festival Hall/Leicester Haymarket); Beauty and the Beast (UK tour); A Night of 1000 Voices (Royal Albert Hall); Tabaluga and Lili (Germany); Jazz Art UK’s Messin’ Round Midnight (Edinburgh Festival); Matilda (Cambridge Theatre) Guys and Dolls (Sheffield Crucible) and he played Skimbleshanks in the Kilworth House production of Cats .He was also part of the 'Bonnie & Clyde in concert' staring Jeremy Jordan and Frances Mayi McCann which was filmed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane during its performances on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 January 2022.
38 minutes | Aug 21, 2022
Ep 87: Kate Parr, actor, personal trainer and general workaholic
This recording was done at Chichester Festival Theatre where Kate is currently playing the role of Patsy and is also understudy for Carly Anderson who plays Polly, the lead female character, in Crazy For You. This brand new production, which celebrates the work’s 30th anniversary, is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.After growing up in Stoke on Trent, Kate went on to train at Arts Ed, Kate before launching her professional performing career. She played Stephanie in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ for Bill Kenwright, and performed in ‘Follies’ at The National Theatre, and 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' on the UK Tour. She was also in the Netflix series 'The Crown'.Kate is also a qualified fitness instructor.You can follow her on instagram @kateparr_
20 minutes | Mar 27, 2022
Ep 86: Deborah Laws, dancepreneur and owner of the Dance Business Lab
After running a dance school for 27 years and a franchise theatre school for 12. Deborah made a break and invested in a business coach, studied marketing, retention, business strategies in relation to the dance world, customer services, finances, planning, social media, team nurturing, leadership, systems, processes, the list goes on. She read over 30 business books, went on business retreats, attended summits, webinars you name it.Soon she was implementing her newly learned skills and it started to pay off. She experienced wonderful growth in her businesses and turned her schools around. That is where she thought her story would end…… but I saw friends and fellow dance bosses sharing the same struggles that she had experienced. Knowing she had the answers she found it difficult to sit back and watch them struggle. She started to share at every opportunity. Little bits of valuable information that she had learned. People started commenting “why didn’t I know this already”. Soon after she was approached not once but three times in a week from dance school principals asking to pay for my help. That is when Dance Business Lab was born and 1-1 coaching began.Hear part of her journey with Craig on this podcast or visit her website at dancebusinesslab.com
14 minutes | Mar 20, 2022
Ep 85: Live from Move It, the world's biggest dance event.
This weeks podcast was recorded live at this year's Move It which is the world's biggest dance event where Craig was promoting Starquest Performers College, and takes place at London's Excel.Craig interviews Move It Event Creative Director, Tia Hassen and Lucy Newton of Cogo Travel.MOVE IT is the World’s biggest and best dance event, celebrating all forms of dance and the performing arts across three amazing days. No matter what level you are, MOVE IT has something for every dancer, teacher, spectator and professional, at this electric celebration of all things dance and performing arts! www.moveitdance.co.ukCOGO offers a wide range of group breaks, performing arts trips and educational conferences in Disneyland® Paris, as well as tailor-made group tours and city breaks in Europe and beyond. cogotravel.co.uk
15 minutes | Mar 13, 2022
Ep 84: Thanet Dance Festival
Craig is at it again! Adjudicating at this year's Thanet Dance Festival which is based in Birchington in Kent.
26 minutes | Mar 6, 2022
Ep 83: Chesham Festival
We are back with season five and kicking off is Craig's interview with parents, teachers and performers at Chesham Festival in Bucks, UK which was held on 24–26 February 2022.A chance for students to compete again and for parents and teachers to get together and share experiences.
46 minutes | Dec 5, 2021
Ep 82: Tim English, professional performer, director and vocational tutor.
Tim English trained at Arts Ed and graduated with honours. He was recently resident director for Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre London and The Lion King UK/International Tour. His theatre credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical, Harry in Mamma Mia!, Monsieur Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities and Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore. Tim helped set up the Chris Hornby bursary fund at ArtsEd where he and Chris both trained. Chris had received a bursary to train at ArtsEd, a small grant that had a big impact on his life and all those he went on to meet. The Chris Hornby Fund has been set up as a lasting legacy that will help talented students at ArtsEd facing financial hardship. Attendees of the memorial showed exceptional support for the fund, resulting in an incredible £3,261 being donated on the day and a further £3,700 online.If you would like to support the Chris Hornby Fund please visit the justgiving page.
9 minutes | Nov 28, 2021
Ep 81: It's behind you. A big panto shout out for 2021.
This week we give a big shout out to all the pantos that are going ahead this year around the UK. After a year without we thought a much needed reminder to support your local pantomimes would be the right thing to do. They are the life blood for keeping theatres and venues alive and without them theatre land would be a much sadder and poorer place. So get your tickets booked for you and your family and friends and get ready to shout, boo, hiss, cheer, laugh and clap as you spend a fun packed evening or matinee in the company of dames, princes, barons, wicked step mothers, evil queens, ugly sisters, princesses and pantomime horses.Have fun!
35 minutes | Nov 21, 2021
Ep 80: Jack O'Neill aka Ava Cardo, drag entertainer, singer and panto star.
A loveable live singing drag queen from the Midlands who brings glamour, comedy and a contagious energy to her performances. Singing camp classics, musical parodies and all the songs you forgot you loved, It’s Ava Cardo! After graduating drama school training at East 15 Acting School, Ava immediately started her drag career performing to 100s of holiday makers a week across the Canary Islands as part of the Musical Hall Tavern show throughout 2016. Since moving back to the UK, Ava has made her mark on the drag scene starting out and excelling in competitions such as Drag Idol and has now been performing her very own show in venues across London and the UK. Now residing in LGBTQ hotspot of Brighton, the live singing sensation continues her drag career. Aside from cabaret, in 2021 Ava performed her own comedy Fringe Theatre show which received a five star review and the Pebble Trust’s international touring award. Ava is now set to make her Panto Debut as Snow White on the West-Ends number one Adult Pantomime!
47 minutes | Nov 14, 2021
Ep 79: Kerry Ellis, West End and Broadway leading lady, recording artist and global musical theatre star.
Kerry Jane Ellis is an English actress and singer who is best known for her work in musical theatre and subsequent crossover into music. Born and raised in Suffolk, Ellis began performing at an early age before training at Laine Theatre Arts from the age of 16. Ellis made her first professional stage appearance in 1998 and went on to make her West End debut in the 2001 revival of My Fair Lady as an understudy for the role of Eliza Doolittle. In 2002, she landed the role of Meat in the original London cast of We Will Rock You and has subsequently played lead roles in musicals Les Misérables, Wicked (in the West End and on Broadway), Oliver! and Cats as well as appearing in national tours and concert productions of musicals like Miss Saigon, Chess, The War of the Worlds and RENT. Ellis, who has received several awards and nominations for her performances, has become recognised as the First Lady of West End musicals. She has also worked sporadically in film and television. After meeting Queen guitarist Brian May in 2002, Ellis expanded her repertoire as a solo artist. She has released four studio albums Anthems (2010), which reached number 15 on the UK Albums Chart, the self-titled Kerry Ellis (2014), Golden Days (2017) and Feels Like Home (2020) as well as an extended play Wicked in Rock (2008) and a live album Acoustic by Candlelight (2013). Ellis also appears as a featured artist on several other albums. Ellis has performed in concerts across the world in addition to headlining solo concert tours like Anthems: The Tour and The Born Free Tour. In addition to her musical work, Ellis involves herself in charity work for the Born Free Foundation with May and is the patron of several arts organisations. In 2019, Ellis received an honorary fellowship from the University of Suffolk.
49 minutes | Nov 7, 2021
Ep 78: Andrée Bernard, TV, film & theatre actress & experienced voiceover artist
Andrée’s best known from TV series Only Fools & Horses, Hollyoaks, Holby City, Poirot & Doctor Who. She has starred in many West End theatre shows including Hair & Kiss Me Kate. Andrée has worked extensively with writer/director Steven Berkoff over the past few years on new plays The Actor’s Lament and 6 Characters in Search Of A Director. For an in-depth account of all of Andrée’s work from film & TV roles, to viewing clips, listening to her voiceover work and more, visit her website at andreebernard.com.
18 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
Ep 77: Live from Maidenhead Dance Festival
This weeks podcast comes 'live' from the Maidenhead Dance Festival in the UK. We get to hear teachers, parents and students views on performing and training as well as coping during lockdown. Also, the aspirations of the future performers.
53 minutes | Oct 24, 2021
Ep 76: Pasha Kovalev, BBC strictly, professional choreographer and latin and ballroom dancer
Pavel "Pasha" Kovalev, born 19 January 1980 is a Russian professional Latin and ballroom dancer. He started dancing at the age of eight and in 2001 moved to the United States with his professional dance partner Anya Garnis. In 2007, the couple competed on the third season of the American version of So You Think You Can Dance and they have since participated in the eight subsequent seasons as either choreographers or 'All-Star' partners to the contestants. In 2011, Kovalev moved to the United Kingdom to take part in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer. After finishing runner-up on both the ninth and tenth series with celebrity partners Chelsee Healey and Kimberley Walsh, he went on to win series twelve with his partner Caroline Flack. Despite facing backlash over her past dance experience and landing in the bottom two three times, he and his celebrity partner, Ashley Roberts, later became runners-up on the sixteenth series of the show. They currently hold the record of the highest average for any celebrity on the show – with an average of 36.9 – and another record for scoring the most perfect scores – with a total of five. Kovalev announced that 2018 was his final series on the show as he had decided to "find a new challenge" after "eight incredible years".Kovalev started dating his former Strictly partner Rachel Riley in 2013, and the couple now live together in London. In May 2019, Riley and Kovalev announced via social media that they were expecting their first child in December. The couple subsequently married in Las Vegas on 28 June 2019. Their daughter, Maven Aria Riley Kovalev, was born on 15 December 2019. The couple are now expecting their second child.
53 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
Ep 75: Emma Kate Nelson, actress, singer and dancer
Emma Kate is a British performer. Actress, singer and dancer she performs mainly on stage in theater and opera but also in cinema.Recently Emma Kate was spotted on stage at The Monte Carlo Opera House in Kurt Weill's Street Scene. At the Grand Palais and at the Théâtre du Châtelet for her portrayal of Lina Lamont in Singing In The Rain, or in the role of Anytime Annie in 42nd Street. She also played the role of La Fée Des Lilas in French in Peau d'âne at the Théâtre Marigny, re-orchestrated by Michel Legrand produced by Jean-Luc Choplin (Cast Album / Sony France) and Jenny Diver in The Beggars Opera by Robert Carsen & William Christie, Les Arts Florrisant, Theater Bouffes Du Nord and OPUS ARTE / FRA Prod Cinema.Emma Kate Nelson began her career at a young age in the West End, London in Aspects of Love at the Prince of Wales Theater, she will be found later on many stages in London: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (The World's Greatest Show, The Enchanted Pig), Aldwych Theater (Stephen Ward), Southwark Playhouse (Victor Victoria), Young Vic Theater (Street Scene), Union Theater (The Pajama Game), Jermyn Street Theater (Jean de Florette), Open Air Theater in Regent's Park (The Music Man, The Boyfriend, Lady Be Good, (A Midsummer Night's Dream), The Gatehouse Theater (Call Me Madam), Chichester Theater (42nd Street), at the Swan Theater in High Wycombe (Me and My Girl) but also on tour with White Christmas and That's Entertainment.Outside the UK, she performed the role of Princess Adelaide (The Enchanted Pig) at the New Victory Theater in New York, Soloist at The Eldorado Showroom in Reno, Nevada, the lead role in the Australian tour of Putting on the Ritz, as well as several roles in Starlight Express in Germany. On tour again with Street Scene (Toulon Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Theater an der Wien Vienne, Oper Koln and Opera De Monte Carlo).
73 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
Ep 74: Javier De Frutos, director, choreographer and designer
Javier De Frutos, Spanish Director, Choreographer and designer (born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1963) was named by the Evening Standard as one of 2016 most influential people in the UK. He is one of only three artists in the history of the Olivier Awards to have received nominations in all of the dance categories. His awards include the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreography for Cabaret, The Evening Standard Award for The Most Incredible Thing in collaboration with Pet Shop Boys, Critics’ Circle Awards for Milagros with Royal New Zealand Ballet and Elsa Canasta with Rambert and Scottish Ballet, The South Bank Show Award for Grass and The Time Out Award for Sour Milk with Candoco Dance Company. Further credits include the National Theatre production of London Road - winner of the Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and for which he received an Olivier nomination for the stage version and The 2017 Chita Rivera Award for best choreography in a feature film for the screen adaptation. His work Fiction for BalletBoyz was named Best of Dance by The Arts Desk and Top 10 by the Guardian in 2016. From Here to Eternity, the Tim Rice musical which he premiered on the West End, was nominated for the WhatsOnStage award for Best Choreography and The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud for Royal New Zealand Ballet was nominated for both an Olivier Award and a National Dance Award. He has received further recognition in the field of music video with a nomination for best choreography in the UK music Video awards for his collaboration with Jake Nava in Delilah’s Inside My Love and also received the Prix de Auteur in the 1996 Concours de Seine-Saint Denis in Paris. His work has been the subject of several documentaries. The South Bank Show in 1998 dedicated an hour king feature. Only a handful of Dance Artists have received that Honour. In 2011 the BBC broadcasted in prime time The Most Incredible Thing in collaboration with Pet Shop Boys, and the US premiere took place in Charlotte North Carolina in March 2018. He was invited by the McColl Center for Arts and Innovation to be the same years’s Artist in Residence. Their first Choreographer and Director in their History. in 2000 De Frutos became one of the first Fellowship recipients The Arts Council of England, through which he studied extensively the works of Tennessee Williams for more than two years. He also represented Britain at the internationally prestigious Venice Biennale in 2006.
42 minutes | Oct 3, 2021
Ep 73: Robbie McMillan, West End and International dancer.
Robbie trained in Brisbane, Australia and made his debut in the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance for television. From there he performed with the Paris Opera Ballet as part of their Australian tour. He was part of the Expressions Dance Company in Brisbane before performing on a number of cruise ships including Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.After moving to the UK, he went on to perform in shows such as the international tour of Cats playing Mistoffelees, the UK, Ireland and Turkey tour of Strauss, Chess at the London Coliseum, the UK, Ireland and Swiss tour of Flashdance, White Christmas at the Leicester Curve, Guys and Dolls at the Theatre Marigny, Paris. He reprised his role as Mistoffelees in Cats at Kilworth House in 2019–2020 and also performed again in White Christmas, this time at the Dominion theatre in London's West End. Robbie is currently appearing with Sutton Foster, Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendall and Gary Wilmot in Anything Goes at the Barbican Theatre in London.