A founder member of First Act Theatre, Lynne performed the role of Millie in the company's first show Seven Brides for Seven Brothers back in 1992. She continued at First Act for the next few years, maintaining her connection with the company whilst at drama school. During this time she held many masterclasses and workshops ranging from Musical Theatre, private singing coaching, Shakespeare, Acting & Improvisation. She also directed many shows for the company over the years including: The House of Blue Leaves, Into The Woods,Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Blitz,The Country Wife, and Whistle Down The Wind. She has also acted as vocal and acting coach on many more.

 

Lynne graduated from the BA Acting course at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in 1997. Since then she has been a successful working actress. She has been lucky to have had a varied career from Musical Theatre through Shakespeare to film and television and feels very fortunate for that. In 2013 Lynne got to realise a childhood dream and work with one of her favourite directors. Ridley Scott was directing a new television show for the U.S. called The Vatican, featuring Bruno Ganz, Anna Friel, Matthew Goode and Ewan Bremner amongst others. Lynne was selected to play the role of Abaddon opposite Bruno Ganz as the Pope. It was a masterclass and a honour to work with such a team in Rome, and an experience that she'll never forget. She also feels incredibly lucky to have had Les Miserables play such an important role in her career having loved it since she first heard the soundtrack as a child. It was her first major musical theatre engagement and she has not only performed in several concert versions since but was asked to return to the show to play Madame Thenardier in the 25th Anniversary production which toured the UK and also played The Chatelet Theatre in Paris. The show was completely redesigned and redirected for this production which gave Lynne the opportunity to work closely not only with the show's directors Laurence Connor and James Powell, but also with Cameron Mackintosh as well as Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil, the shows creators. Her relationship with this show led to her being offered a small but featured role in the film version of Les Miserables which hit cinemas in 2012.

 

Film credits include: Pole Dancer in Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg); Bar Maid in Beauty & The Beast; Bar Wench in The Huntsman, Resident in London Road; Whore 2 in Les Miserables; Sue in Tested; Cashier 2 in Purely Belter; and Laura in Virtual Sexuality.

 

Theatre credits include: Auguste in Captain of Kopenick at The Royal National Theatre; Fran in Carmen at Stephen Joseph Theatre; Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables; Pretty Little Sally in Oliver at Drury Lane; Dolly in Jerry Springer the Opera at the Royal National Theatre and West End; Crone in Les Miserables; Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd; Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath; Maria in Twelfth Night; and Engine in The London Cuckolds. In 2004 she jointly won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Role in A Musical for Jerry Springer The Opera.

 

Television credits include: Abbadon in The Vatican; Sophia in Atlantis; Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables at 25: Matt Lucas Dreams the Dream; Tina in Byker Grove; Shelia Rook in The Commander; Tina Taylor in Northern Lights; Freya in Road Rage; and Laura in Bedlam. 

 

Concerts include: Madame Thenardier (Barbican Company) in Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at London O2 Arena; Cook in My Fair Lady for BBC Proms at The Royal Albert Hall; Les Miserables at Cardiff Castle for Marie Curie; and Les Miscellaneous at Newcastle Arena, Belfast Playhouse, The Point Dublin, The Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh and The Palace Theatre Manchester. She also took part in a naming concert ceremony for victims of AIDS in Edinburgh in 2000.

 

As a teacher her career began at an early age. In her late teens she was not only leading theatre workshops but choreographed the launch event for Northumbria Coalition Against Crime attending school fayres and in class teaching events. She has also worked as drama and english specialist, going into high schools to lead sessions and whilst touring with Les Miserables in 2000 organised workshops with cast members in local schools around the country. She has also worked as a private vocal and acting coach and is proud to boast her 100% success rate of audition coaching and helping students achieve success and win places at the country's best drama schools.

 

Lynne has always had a love of creative writing and whilst in Newcastle recovering from treatment for aggressive lymphastic cancer she decided to study for her MA at Newcastle University. She graduated with a distinction (1st) specialising in Young Adult Fiction. she hopes one day to have the time to finish that novel. In 2009 an extract from the novel she is working on, Watching for Sharks, was selected for publiction by Sean O'Brien and W N Herbert for their anthology LIT, celebrating the best of Northern Writers. In 2011 a short story that she wrote was featured in The Living Planet Tour in association with The Great North Museum and Seven Stories. With this project she created new work inspired by an item in the Living Planet Gallery and provided creative prompts to accompany the piece for 15-19 year olds.

 

A keen photographer Lynne's work can be seen at www.lynnewilmotphotography.com. Her love affair began whilst playing Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables when she bought her first camera. She had a lot of time on her hands in rehearsals and back stage so started snapping away. Her photographs were quickly noticed by the press office for Cameron Mackintosh and used to publicise the show both in the UK and in Paris. She has studied courses at Central St Martin's and was delighted to be asked to shoot for The Three Phantoms Tour. She also regularly photographs actor headshots as well as portfolio shots for websites.

 

Delighted to be relocating to the North East with her young son and to be taking the helm of the company, Lynne is looking forward to what we can achieve with the theatre and the community that we can create. She believes very much in providing quality creative practice and experience that is financially accessible.

LYNNE WILMOT

Artistic Director

 

Callum has been working at First Act since 2011 and is responsible for directing shows and senior facilitator for the workshops. His history with the company goes back even further when you consider that he was originally a member with his first outing on the Jubilee Theatre stage was in 1999.

 

Callum studied drama at Northumbria University. Since graduating in 2012 he has performed in the Connection International Festival in Milan and alongside such artists as Tiim Crouch. During his time at University Callum started to move away from acting and moved more towards the creation of original work. He started his own company, Oblivious Productions, in 2010 and more recently was a founder member of Six Space which has helped to produce shows on behalf of The Empty Space and Dance City. He also directed a sell out run of The Bacchae at Newcastle's Theatre Royal for Oblivious Productions.

 

Callum's key area of interest is finding ways of modernising the classics. From Greek tragedy to Shakespeare he has changed the context of the piece as with his 2013 Romeo & Juliet which was based on the fair fighting traditions of the modern day traveller community or scrapped the original script entirely and devised something entirely new from the skeleton structure.

 

Working closely with schools to use drama as an alternative way of learning all topics on the curriculum is also one of Callum's passions. 'The mantle of the expert' which is a student centred dramatic enquiry based approach to teaching and learning invented and developed by Professor Dorothy Heathcote at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the 1980's.

CALLUM BUCHANAN

Senior Facilitator

BOBBY TROTTER

Facilitator

 

Bobby started performing at the age of five with the Debbie Barrass academy for performing arts and this inspired her love of dance to progress into teaching at the age of sixteen. Here she began her journey into the world of performing and learnt a range of performance skills ranging from dance to drama, from writing to physical theatre and incorporates all of this training into her teaching.

 

From then she studied Performing Arts at sixth form level and progressed on to study dance and choreography and was awarded an Upper Second class Bachelor of Arts Honours degree. During this time she worked with artists such as Liv Lorent from Ballet Lorent and choreographer James Wilton who she feels she draws inspiration from for her teaching, choreography and teaching methods.

 

Bobby has distinction qualifications from the London College of Music in Drama, ballet and tap dance.

Her experience in teaching began with extra curricular activities during her time at sixth form choreographing for their annual shows 'The Wizard of Oz' and various musical theatre numbers for the college's variety shows.

She progressed on to teach and choreograph for a local schools rendition of 'Little Shop of Horrors'. She was then approached by local facilitators as was asked to run several workshops for schools and youth theatres in the town.

 

Bobby currently teachers for two youth theatres in the north east and in this facilitates with a range of dance styles including contemporary, ballet, modern, musical theatre, jazz and many more.

 

Her experience doesn't stop there as she also is the co-director and facilitator of her own theatre company and within this works with a range of people aged from 17-70. Her main role within Unbounded Theatre is choreographer and she recently directed and performed in their debut show 'Double Helix'.

All in all, Bobby is passionate in passing on creativity to young people and encouraging them with their own creative flare.

JOE DIGGLE

Associate Musical Director

Joe started working with First Act Theatre as a Sound Technician in 2011. Before this he had technical experience working on productions at Gosforth Central Middle School, Gosforth Parish Church, and Gosforth High School.

 

Since joining First Act Joe has worked on over twelve shows at The Jubilee Theatre and been involved in the directing of four. Musical Direction credits include Sunshine on Leith, The Dreaming, RENT and several Showcases. As well as this Joe had worked as Assistant MD on Sweeney Todd (Tyne Theatre Company) and Blitz. As a freelance musician Joe plays keyboards with local cover band ‘The Scandals’ at regular gigs and festivals, and teaches piano and keyboards, and is a reserve Organist at Gosforth Parish Church. Joe has experience working in specialist education, having worked as a SEN Teaching Assistant with the Percy Hedley Foundation, and as a Lead Mentor for students progressing through the NCS programme with Catch 22. 

 

Through the Pixel Palace programme at the Tyneside Cinema Joe has been involved in mixing sound for three short films. He is also regularly employed on a freelance basis to provide technical assistance for various live events using sound and lighting equipment purchased through Keyfund, running his own company organising regular rock and folk gigs in Newcastle with the aim of promoting local artists. 

 

Joe completed A Levels in Music and Drama in 2015, and holds ABRSM Grade 8 qualifications in Piano and Voice and is currently working towards a professional ABRSM diploma in Piano performance. Joe is currently studying Music at Birmingham University, so no longer facilitates workshops on a weekly basis, but remains on the Associate team providing Piano accompaniment for workshops, rehearsals and shows and assisting with the administrative side of the company. 

JOHN DALZIEL

Facilitator 

John began acting at the age of 11, performing as the Wizard in a school production of The Wizard of Oz, and quickly decided it was something he would like to pursue. Alongside studying drama at school, he joined First Act Theatre and performed in many shows, including The Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on The Roof and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 

A keen musician, he took on his first show as Musical Director in 2011 for First Act’s production of Bugsy Malone, and has since worked on many revues, musicals and shows. In 2012 John graduated with a BA Hons in Drama and Scriptwriting from Northumbria University, and went on to create work at various venues including The Theatre Royal (The Bacchae, 2012), The Tyne Theatre (Pirates of Penzance, 2015, Sweeney Todd, 2016) and Alphabetti Theatre (Carols and Cocktails, 2015).

 

He helped found Oblivious Productions in 2012 alongside fellow First Act Facilitator Callum Buchanan as both an actor and musician, performing in several shows and creating music for others. He wrote his first full play for First Act (Treasure Island) in 2016, and is keen to work on more scripts for young people in the future. As well as theatre, he formed local alt-folk outfit Gilded Thieves in 2013, and has been releasing music and performing across the country ever since.

 

Stuart has been a director of First Act Theatre since 1996. Stuart has extensive experience in all aspects of theatre sound, lighting and set design and has provided design and technical support for over 100 productions in the Jubilee Theatre and at other venues across the North East, including the Sage Gateshead. These have included many musical theatre and live music events.

 

 

Stuart is a qualified First Aider and amateur musician. His one stage performance was in 2004, when he starred as Audrey II in Second Act Theatre’s production of The Little Shop of Horrors.

STUART BAGNALL

Production Director

Barry has been directing shows and running workshops for children and young people for over 30 years.

 

He was the director of The Tyne Youth Theatre, based The Tyne Theatre, for many years.

 

He was also the joint founder of the British America Youth Festival Theatre Company and directed shows at The Tyne Theatre and in New York using young people from The Tyne Youth Theatre and Brooklyn Preparatory College for Performing Arts.

 

In 1991 Barry founded First Act Theatre and moved to the company to The Jubilee Theatre.

 

Although Barry no longer directs the shows or runs the workshops he still plays a major role in the administration of the charity and our productions.

BARRY WILMOT

Company Secretary

BOB LEEMING

Technical Director

Bob has been a Director of First Act Theatre for several years, and works closely with the creative and production team to design and create the technical set up for productions in the Jubilee Theatre including set and lighting design. As an electrical engineer, Bob looks after the mechanics of the theatre and the electronics including maintainence of the lighting rigs, having installed the current on stage wench system.

As well as First Act and Second Act Theatre productions, Bob also provides technical support for the wide variety of visiting companies using in the Jubilee Theatre.  , a

 

JENNI WATSON

Associate Musical Director

Jenni is a multi-instrumentalist, playing instruments from the brass and woodwind families and holding ABRSM Grade 8 qualifications in both piano and violin. She is also a vocalist; a former choral scholar at St. John the Baptist Church in Newcastle, Jenni has sung with Gateshead swing band Paraffernalia on several occasions and now performs regular gigs as part of an acoustic duo.

 

Jenni studied Music at Newcastle University where she graduated with a 2:1 in 2014. She has always had a keen interest in theatre, taking the opportunity to join the theatre society during her time studying, participating both acting and playing in the orchestras for shows. She was involved in several productions with Newcastle University Theatre Society, including Fiddler on the Roof and Guys & Dolls.

 

As a freelance musician, Jenni has continued this involvement with the theatre since graduation, working across the region playing both in pit bands and as a rehearsal accompanist for several theatre groups. Some recent credits include The Wizard of Oz, The Addams Family Musical and A Chorus Line. She also teaches violin and piano, working in several schools across Gateshead.

 

Since their foundation in 2015, Jenni has worked extensively with Tyne Theatre Productions, a charity set up to put on shows to raise money for the Tyne Theatre & Opera House in Newcastle upon Tyne. She has played in the orchestra for all their shows, also working as Assistant Musical Director and Rehearsal Accompanist for their recent production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

 

Jenni has worked on several shows with First Act and Second Act, both in the band and on the creative team. She played for First Act’s productions of Sunshine on Leith, Treasure Island and for their latest showcase concert. Jenni was Assistant Musical Director and Rehearsal Accompanist for Second Act’s RENT, playing keyboard II for the show’s performances, and is now working as Musical Director on Second Act’s current production of Spring Awakening.

My name is Lucy Hall and I have brought Pyjama Drama to Newcastle upon Tyne so that geordie children have the opportunity to experience inspirational and engaging classes that allow them to explore a variety of emotions, thoughts and dreams!

 

I have a BA (Hons) degree in Early Primary Education from Northumbria University and I have taught in nursery, reception and year one for many years, therefore I have a solid understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and Key Stage one curriculum. 

 

As a class teacher, I would happily spend a lot of time in role play areas, instigating conversations with children and developing their imagination by giving them dilemmas to solve. Sadly, the time to be a pretend dinosaur or eat scones with the queen was limited. Now I get to spend all my time in role and incorporate music and movement to give children a fun and exciting package that stimulates creativity and challenges their perceptions about their world!

LUCY HALL

Early Years Facilitator

 

 

 

First Act Theatre is a registered charity (1027875) and receives no revenue funding from any local authority or arts body, relying solely on production revenue and donations to run and improve the theatre.

© First Act Theatre 2014. No images to be reproduced without prior permission.

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