Jake Brunger grew up in Nottingham and now lives in London, where he works extensively as a musical theatre librettist and lyricist. His stage adaptation of Sue Townsend's THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE - hailed by the New York Times as 'a delightful new musical' - played a sell-out season at the Menier Chocolate Factory in Summer 2017 following its premiere at Leicester Curve in 2015. ADRIAN MOLE was nominated for the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and the 2017 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.
Other musical theatre credits include PRODIGY for National Youth Music Theatre at the St James Theatre (the original cast recording for which reached #3 in the iTunes Soundtrack chart), RED RIDING HOOD (with productions worldwide at Singapore Repertory Theatre, Mexico City, Edinburgh Festival, London, Texas, Bahrain and Doha), TREASURE ISLAND and CHICKEN LITTLE for Singapore Repertory Theatre and the musicals JET SET GO! (Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre 503 and Jermyn Street Theatre) and THE GREAT BRITISH SOAP OPERA (Edinburgh Fringe and Jermyn Street Theatre), both of which are performed regularly worldwide. He also co-wrote lyrics for THE SNOW GORILLA at Rose Theatre Kingston.
Outside of his musical work, Jake wrote the stage play FOUR PLAY (published by Nick Hern Books), which was first seen at the Old Vic New Voices Festival at the Old Vic Theatre starring Richard Madden and Jeremy Irvine before completing a sell-out four-week run at Theatre 503, and PUB QUIZ at Manchester Royal Exchange Studio, which he also directed. As a screenwriter, Jake was selected for the 2016/17 BBC TV Drama Writers' Programme and was recently named as one of the upcoming writers-to-watch on the BBC's 2017 New Talent Hotlist, with film and television projects in development with numerous production companies. Jake started his career as an Associate and Assistant Director in London's West End with credits including BARKING IN ESSEX, CALENDAR GIRLS and DEATHTRAP.
Jake is published and licensed by Music Theatre International, Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals, Theatre Rights Worldwide and Nick Hern Books.
Playwriting / Musical Theatre Writing >
Rachel Fullegar trained at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, receiving the Undergraduate Achievement and Kathleen Tattersall Leadership Awards. She co-founded Gracefool Collective, devising 'post-intellectual-pseudo-spiritual-feminist-comedy-dance.' Gracefool commissions include: Furnace (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Reveal Festival (Bolton Octagon), Northern Connections 2015 & 2017, Choreodrome (The Place) 2017 & 2018 and CATAPULT 2014/15 - awarded to the most exceptional emerging dance-makers in the North. Recent achievements include a 22 date, 4 & 5 star run at the Edinburgh Fringe in the prestigious Underbelly Untapped Programme for innovative new writing and, a tour of double bill: Convicts and Lunatics, with Red Ladder Theatre.
Rachel has created work for Qdos Creates including bespoke projects for the Tour de France, Barnsley Museums Trust, Isle of Man Arts Council and the NHS. She has choreographed for poet Andrew Mitchell, was Artistic Assistant to Zoie Logic and Namibian company OYO for the Tour de France celebrations and she was commissioned to choreograph for Britain in Song Festival. Rachel performs and devises work for Rusticus Arts, Yorkshire Life Aquatic, Tea and Tolerance and for Ellie Harrison's Unfair Funfair. She teaches extensively, as a sessional lecturer for NSCD, a community practitioner for Yorkshire Dance and for Qdos Creates, leading dementia and young carer groups and, workshops in education contexts. She is co-leader of Raised, an integrated, inclusive adult dance company in Yorkshire.
Leo Geyer is a young composer and conductor with a passion for imaginative, daring and dramatic approaches to music-making, encompassing new work, cross-disciplinary collaborations and re-imaginings of existing music.
Leo has received various accolades for composition, having most recently been awarded the Lord Mayor's Composition Prize. He has received particular acclaim for his stage works, including his opera The Mermaid of Zennor, described by The Times as "imaginative and beautifully shaped".
Leo is the Founder and Artistic Director of Constella OperaBallet – the world's only company dedicated to the fusion of opera and ballet. He is also a Cover Conductor for The Royal Ballet and Music Director for EMG Symphony Orchestra, and works as a guest artist internationally, collaborating with The National Theatre, Ensemble 212 (USA), AUT (Denmark), and the Southbank Sinfonia. Upcoming engagements include Theater an der Wien (Austria) and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Ryan Hurst trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College. He completed his post graduate in drama education at Plymouth University and since then has taught in schools, colleges and conservatoires in the UK and worldwide. He is currently the programme leader for Performing & Production Arts at a large FE college in inner London.
He has extensive experience teaching Drama & Theatre Studies, Performing Arts and Dance to students of varying ages and abilities and has directed for NT Connections on numerous occasions.
He implements schemes of learning and workshops that culminate in a final performance, from small scratch showings to large scale productions. He works with classical material, new writing and devises specific and bespoke projects. He tailors work to suit the needs of the group and approaches the subject matter from an innovative perspective.
As a professional actor he has over 20 years' experience in TV, film and theatre. From West End to International TV Drama.
After graduating from the University of Birmingham with 1st Class Honours in BA Drama and Theatre Arts in 2014, Cassiah Joski-Jethi began her career working for 'Bend It Like Beckham' director Gurinder Chadha OBE assisting on her theatre and film projects including 'Bend It Like Beckham The Musical' and 'Viceroy's House'.
She continued to write and in 2016, her debut play Under My Thumb was shortlisted for the Red Women Theatre Awards and the play went on to tour in 2016 and 2017 in Brighton, London and Edinburgh where it received 5* reviews. It was also nominated for its second award, Best New Play, in the New South Writing Awards 2017. She recently had her short play How To Invest In Poverty staged at Greenwich Theatre.
Since joining her agent Olav Wyper at SMA Talent in early 2017, Cassiah has worked on a number of script commissions, as well as directing her own projects and working on the feature adaptation of the hit CBBC/BBC series 'Cavegirl' as associate producer.
This year, Cassiah was long listed for the BBC Script Room Drama 2018 with her pilot spec Rain Dance, and in March 2018, Cassiah was a finalist in the West Field Screenwriting Awards with her feature spec For My Mother. Her original television series Robyn is currently in development with Gurinder's company Bend It TV and Fremantle Media.
Nicolas Lewis is a classically trained guitarist and currently performs, composes, and creates music for installations.
Over the past few years he has toured the UK performing his compositions for new theatre works; performed at the Southbank Centre and Royal Albert Hall with his Brazilian choro group; designed a ukulele syllabus for a London music service; and run exciting music-making workshops throughout the country.
When creating works and performing, he often fuses classical traditions with cutting edge technology to create a tangible dynamic between him and the audience.
Ben Musgrave was the winner of the inaugural Bruntwood Prize for playwriting, with PRETEND YOU HAVE BIG BUILDINGS , which was performed at the Royal Exchange, Manchester in 2007. Since then he has been commissioned or performed by many companies, including the National Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Paines Plough, the Point, Eastleigh, and The Big House. His most recent play, CRUSHED SHELLS AND MUD, was performed at the Southwark Playhouse in 2015. He is currently under commission to Tara Arts. He is also under option to Lime Pictures for two television series ideas, and has had two radio plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
He has extensive experience developing work for, with, and by young people. For example, his play BREATHING COUNTRY, for Y Touring, was nominated for the Theatre Centre/Brian Way award for best new play, and he has written with youth theatres including the Birmingham Rep’s Young Rep, with students at primary and secondary school students, and also with ex-offenders and care-leavers.
He has conducted playwriting workshops at venues across the country, including Hull Truck, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Plymouth Theatre Royal, and the Almeida. He is currently a lecturer in Scriptwriting at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and at the University of East Anglia.
Diane Samuels grew up in Liverpool and now lives in London where she balances solo writing projects alongside collaborations across art forms, particularly with composers/musicians.
KINDERTRANSPORT won the Verity Bargate and Meyer-Whitworth Awards, first produced by Soho Theatre Company in 1993, translated into many languages, performed in the West End, Off Broadway and all over the world. Other plays include THE TRUE-LIFE FICTION OF MATA HARI, Palace Theatre, Watford, 2002; CINDERELLA'S DAUGHTER, Trestle Theatre tour, 2005; HOW TO BEAT A GIANT, Unicorn Theatre, 2007; PERSEPHONE (a love story), with Maurice Chernick, Rosemary Branch, 2013; THE A-Z OF MRS P, with Gwyneth Herbert, Southwark Playhouse, 2014; POPPY + GEORGE, Palace Theatre, Watford, 2016; THIS IS ME, snapshots of girlhood, interactive monologue, Chickenshed, 2018; THE RHYTHM METHOD, with Gwyneth Herbert, a musical love story (with contraception) funded by the Wellcome Trust, work in progress showings at Bush Theatre Fertility Fest, and the Landor, 2018.
Plays for BBC radio, include HEN PARTY, PSYCHE, Woman’s Hour serial, TIGER WINGS.
Her plays and book, "DIANE SAMUELS' KINDERTRANSPORT" are published by Nick Hern Books.
Diane facilitates writing workshops for all ages, encouraging regular creative practice for a vibrant, productive life. She also works as Writer in Residence at Grafton Primary School in Islington, London.
Alistair Wilkinson is a theatre practitioner from Manchester, now based in East London. He received his undergraduate from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and completed an MA in 'Text and Performance' at RADA/Birkbeck.
He is an associate for NYT, a visiting lecturer at various drama schools, and also regularly facilitates drama-based workshops in schools, PRUs, young offending institutes, elderly care homes and refugee centres.
Alistair is also a writer and is currently under commission to various theatres and arts organisations. He is the Artistic Director of WoLab, a working laboratory for artists to create. Details on his company can be found www.wolab.co.uk / @WoLaboratory
Devising / Playwriting >