CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST FOR 2022 UK TOUR
PRODUCERS - Turtle Key Arts in association with AIK Productions
WRITER - Asif Khan
DIRECTOR - Rosamunde Hutt
PERFORMER - Natalie Davies
PERFORMER – Sara Mazzanti
PERFORMER– Riad Richie
PERFORMER/UNDERSTUDY- Anshula Bain
ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSITIONS - James Hesford
SET DESIGN & COSTUME- Mila Sanders
LIGHTING DESIGNER - Aideen Malone
LIGHTING ASSISTANT: Holly Ellis
PRODUCTION MANAGER: Stacey Potter
TECHNICAL STAGE MANAGER: David Coull
ILLUSTRATION: Nadine Kaadan
Outreach Workshop Team: Qasim Mahmood, Mez Galaria, Oliver Campbell -Smith & Natalie Davies
ORIGINAL CAST FOR FILMED AND STREAMED PREMIERE:
PERFORMER - Safiyya Ingar
PERFORMER Contract - Jay Varsani
ASIF KHAN – WRITER
Asif is an award winning writer and actor, born in Bradford. He studied at the University Of Bradford, before training as an actor at RADA. Asif’s debut play Combustion toured the UK in 2017 and was nominated for OffWestEnd’s Best New Play award and Best Writer in the Stage Debut Awards. It also won Best Production at The Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards (2018) and at The Asian Media Awards (2017). In 2018, Asif won the Channel 4 Playwright’s Scheme Award with RIFCO and Watford Palace Theatre, where he was commissioned to develop a new play, Jamil’s Legendary Stag Night. In 2019, his play Imaam Imraan was produced by the National Youth Theatre, playing at the Bradford Literary Festival. He is a Tamasha Theatre Alumnus with whom he has developed two plays for teenagers. Part of the BBC Comedy Room in 2017, he was named on the BBC New Talent Hotlist (2017). In 2015, Asif set up AIK Productions to produce new, high quality theatre, specialising in stories and voices from minority backgrounds. Previous AIK productions include: Combustion and Love Bombs & Apples.
TURTLE KEY ARTS – PRODUCERS
Turtle Key Arts produces and devises original, inclusive art to entertain and inspire. They believe that access to the arts helps to improve the quality of life by bringing people together, offering creative opportunities, social interaction, confidence and self-esteem.
They produce a number of innovative and original theatre, dance and circus companies and have a long track record of running excellent arts projects, free to all participants, for disabled, disadvantaged and socially excluded people.
As creative producers they enable each project to reach its full artistic potential and ensure that participation and education is embedded at the heart of everything they do.
Their work has a UK and international reach through a wide variety of innovative projects with many different collaborators and partners, currently including the companies: Ockham’s Razor, Amici Dance Theatre Company, Open Sky, AIK Productions, Oddly Moving, Kill the Cat and Hassan Abdulrazzak, and recent collaborations with English Touring Opera, Royal College of Music, Lyric Hammersmith, The Wigmore Hall, National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Court Theatre, University of Oxford.
They have played a committed role in advancing participation in the arts by disabled, disadvantaged, and socially excluded people, and are widely recognised as a leader in this field, often charting new territories, such as Turtle Song for people with Dementia and The Key Club for young people with Autism.
Turtle Key Arts was formed in 1989 as a unique and ground-breaking accessible space, and accessibility for all continues to be a key philosophy of the company.
TURTLE KEY ARTS
Artistic Director – Charlotte Cunningham
Chief Executive – Alison King
Marketing & Development Director – Shaun Dawson
Senior Producer – Holly Cameron-Jennings
Producer – Kelly Bray
Finance Manager – Alan Bowyer
Project and Office Assistant – Niamh Hanns
Participation Manager – Ruth Naylor-Smith
Dementia Consultant – Carolyn von Stumm
Autism Consultant – Ceri Black
Associate Artist for Inclusion – Oliver Campbell Smith
NATALIE DAVIES – JABALA
Natalie was born and brought up in Bradford of mixed Asian and English parentage. She trained at Northumbria University. Natalie’s television credits include Casualty, Doctors, and the 2020 Christmas Vicar of Dibley shorts (all BBC), and Coronation Street (ITV). She will soon be seen playing Ashley in new Channel 4 Comedy Hullraisers. She also plays Parveen in the award winning feature film Eaten By Lions.
For stage Natalie’s credits include her own show Full English which recently won Best Production at the Asian Media Awards 2021. Other theatre credits include This Space is Occupied , Northern School (Bent Architect ) and North Country (Freedom studios).
Recent BBC Radio 4 credits include Bangla Bantems by Kamal Khan and The War After The War (Woolyback productions).
SARA MAZZANTI – JINN
With over 25 years performing experience, Sara is absolutely thrilled to be portraying the mysterious and dazzling entity that is the Jinn. Being the playful spirit that she is, and living her life by the phrase ‘the creative adult is the child that survived’ it is the perfect role for a timeless being who is centuries old.
Sara spent last year working in Berlin on an immersive theatre event set outside the Volksbühne. After the huge success of the first performances she is due to return there after the tour in May. Sara is passionate about art through movement, spiritual enlightenment and the plant based lifestyle.
Born and raised in Leeds, Sara spent much of her childhood visiting family in Bradford which holds a special place in her heart. She is honoured and delighted to encapsulate the Bradford spirit in the form of such a beautiful story.
RIAD RICHIE – MUNIR/DAD
Riad is of mixed Scottish Moroccan heritage and grew up in East London. He trained at East 15 and has delivered dynamic and engaging performances on stage and screen.
Theatre includes: The Comedy of Errors (RSC Tour); The Whip, A Museum in Baghdad (RSC); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in the Squares); The Show in which Hopefully Nothing Happens (Unicorn Theatre); Tartuffe, Timon of Athens, Tamburlaine (RSC); Macbeth, Frankenstein (Ovalhouse); Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Royal Bath); Mark and the Marked, Getting There, Passenger, Merchant of Venice (Box Clever); Saturday Night Fever (Troxy); The Scarlet Pimpernel (Tower of London); Dick Turpin, LOL, The Changeling (Clifftown Theatre).
Film Includes: Romeo & Juliet; Jude Starbeam and the Mind Mission; Asylum.
Other: Special Action/Combat: Lead Fencer for Disney in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella. Combat for Adam Randalls iBoy, Jesse V Johnson’s Accident Man, Suj Ahmed’s The Gates of Vanity, Future Cinema with BBC’s The Musketeers and Martin Kemp’s Top Dog.
ANSHULA BAIN – JABALA/UNDERSTUDY
Anshula first worked with the writer Asif in his National Youth Theatre play Imaam Imraan as a young actor. She then made her professional debut in The RSC’s Tartuffe at The Birmingham Rep. Sadly, the play was postponed due to the pandemic, but she is so excited to step into the role of Jabala on the second half of this incredible tour.
ROSAMUNDE HUTT – DIRECTOR
Rosamunde has led or co-led three major companies, Hijinx Theatre 1990-1993; Theatre Centre, Director, 1993
-2007; Unicorn, Associate Artistic Director, 2007-2011 and is Artistic Director of Pursued by a Bear for whom she directed Nothing on Earth: Shorts, 5 digital films by Anna Reynolds (2020) and produced Pigeons and Plantain by Afia Nkrumah (Watford Fringe 2021). She has previously collaborated with Asif Khan and Turtle Key Arts on the award winning production of Love, Bombs and Apples by Hassan Abdulrazzak (Arcola, UK tour, Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco, and the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC 2019 World Stages season). Recent credits include New Nigerians by Oladipo Agboluaje (Arcola and UK tour), This Evil Thing by Michael Mears (UK and US tours) and the development of The Shadow World Musical, book by Hassan Abdulrazzak, music and lyrics by Karl Lewkowicz. She has worked as a director and producer in India, Romania, Japan and Bangladesh and regularly directs at RADA, Goldsmiths and East 15 School of Acting.
JAMES HESFORD – COMPOSER
James Hesford is an award-winning musician and composer working in Film, TV and Theatre as well as receiving regular commissions for contemporary orchestral and chamber music. James was born in a mining village in South Yorkshire (UK) and began performing in his early teens in soul and blues bands, touring Europe and the UK. After moving to London, at the age of 19, he studied Fine Art at Sir John Cass and Goldsmiths School of Art. Taking advantage of their music department, he frequently gate crashed lectures on 20th century compositional techniques taking a particular interest in the scores of Stockhausen, Varèse and John Cage. During this period he established himself as a leading jazz guitarist and won the Arts Council’s GLAA Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award. The next two years were spent in New York composing and performing all styles of jazz – from bebop to free atonal improvisation – as well as playing in punk bands. Now resident in the UK, James continues to develop his unique compositional style, drawing inspiration as much from his early rock, soul and jazz roots, as from late 20th century contemporary classical music.
AIDEEN MALONE – LIGHTING DESIGNER
Theatre credits include: Hamlet (Young Vic); Old Bridge (Bush); A Kind Of People (Royal Court); Death of a Salesman (Young Vic / Piccadilly); A Monster Calls (Old Vic & Bristol Old Vic); Brighton Rock and A View From A Bridge (York Theatre Royal); La Strada (The Other Palace); Jane Eyre and Peter Pan (National Theatre & Bristol Old Vic); Fiddler On The Roof / Conquest To The North Pole (Liverpool Everyman); Hetty Feather (Duke of York); Frankenstein (Living Spit); Napoleon Disrobed and The Strange Tale of Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin (Told By An Idiot); A Raisin in the Sun and Talent (Sheffield Theatre).
Musical credits include: Carousel (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Talent (Crucible); Worst Witch (Vaudeville).
Dance credits include: Outwitting The Devil and Kaash (Akram Khan Co); Darbar Festival (Sadlers Wells); Raft (GED); Unkindest Cut (Sadhana); Time Over Distance Over Time (Liz Roche); La Tete (Jasmin Vardimon).
Opera credits include: Ariodante, Turn of the Screw, The Marriage of Figaro, A Midsummers Night’s Dream, Mary Queen of Scots, Cosi Fan Tutte, Jenufa and Tosca (English Touring Opera).
Future Productions: Running With Lions (Lyric); Wonder Boy (Bristol Old Vic).
MILA SANDERS – DESIGNER
Mila trained at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and Wimbledon School of Art. Her designs include: Combustion (Tara / AIK productions), Love, Bombs and Apples (Arcola, UK Tour, San Francisco and The Kennedy Centre), Imaam Imraan (National Youth Theatre), The Pixie and the Pudding (Little Angel), The Little Mochi Man (A Thousand Cranes), Soapbox (Talawa), Pinocchio, The Wind in the Willows (Birmingham Old Rep), The Only Way is Chelsea’s (York Theatre Royal), Queen of the Nile (Hull Truck), Dogs Barking (RADA), Parallax, The Door Never Closes, All the Little Things We Crushed (Almeida).
As costume designer: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Twelfth Night (National Theatre), Jason and the Argonauts and St George and the Dragon (Warwick Arts Centre). Mila is the resident designer at East 15 Acting School and is an associate artist with All Change Arts.
STACEY POTTER – PRODUCTION MANAGER
Stacey has worked in the arts for over 30 years as a Production Manager, Technical Stage Manager and Company Stage Manager. She has been involved with individuals, companies and festivals producing circus, experimental work and more traditional pieces.
Credits include: This Time (Ockham’s Razor), Article 19 (Proud & Loud Arts), Love Bombs and Apples & Jabala And The Jinn (AiK Productions), Oreo, (Tania Camara), The Chairs (Extant), Flight Paths (Extant & New Earth Theatre), Transit, Cinema, Heart (Zendeh Productions), Rule 35 (Community Arts Northwest), Whose Sari Now? & Handlooms (Rasa Productions), Happily Ever After (Action Transport), Manchester Street Poems (MIF), Thumbelina (Dancing Brick), What Is It? (PrefaceMorn Dance Theatre), Lost in the Neuron Forest (Bread & Goose), Baby Balloon & If All The World Were Paper (Oily Cart).
DAVID COULL – TECHNICAL STAGE MANAGER
David graduated from the University of Derby in July 2020 with a first-class honours degree in (return) Technical Theatre. Working as a Theatre technician, with an emphasis on Lighting Design and Production LX. Working across the UK in theatres including Derby Theatre & The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering. Recently establishing his own business, Carpe Noctem, offering Lighting, Sound & amp, Stage solutions to the UK. This is David’s debut tour and he is delighted to be working with such a brilliant company on an amazing performance. Previous productions include: Barnum (Derby Theatre, 2018); Blood Brothers (Derby Theatre, 2019); Peter Pan (Lighthouse Theatre, 2020). Lighting design work includes: The Pillowman (2019, Derby Theatre); Seven Acts of Mercy (2020, Derby Theatre); Derby Rises (2020, Derby Theatre); Northern Girls (2021, Pilot Theatre); Sleeping Beauty (2021, Duchess Theatre).