THE EPSTEIN THEATRE, LIVERPOOL – NOVEMBER & DECEMBER 2016
The successful premiere run of Liver Birdsong – The Liverpool Blitz Musical took place at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, in late 2016.
This is the fantastic team who were instrumental in this first run.
Jodie Marshall, Founder and Managing Director of A Mind Apart Theatre Company Limited
Jodie Marshall set up A Mind Apart Theatre Company Limited in 2008 after finishing her degree in Drama at Lincoln University. She currently lives in Sheffield where she was born and bred. After taking a gap year before University and working with street children and children at risk in Brazil she fell in love with the country and regularly returns to a local community in Olinda to train children and young people in performing arts.
Much of Jodie’s career has been focused around community theatre and making the performing arts accessible to all both in and out of theatre environments. Her Theatre Company works with and trains weekly over 300 children and young people, in Sheffield alone.
Having found her love from the Brazilian social and political theatre, Theatre of Oppressed, Jodie’s directing often leans towards bringing unheard voices out for the audience to hear whilst encouraging them to look deep into themselves. Jodie encourages her actors to stay true to their characters, whilst bringing historical themes and texts into the present, questioning current political and social themes in our society. She has experience of working with a wide range of abilities and ages and adapts her directing according to what her actors need.
Much of her directing has been done within her own Theatre Company, A Mind Apart, and with community dance and theatre groups in Brazil. This has included directing Forum Theatre Pieces for a range of audiences. She has successfully coached and trained various students into Drama Schools such as Rose Brufords and Arden. Jodie also has experience in various other areas of theatre, which include: Assistant Stage Management with a leading UK pantomime Company; Lighting and Sound Assistant (The Drill Hall, Lincoln); Deputy Stage Manager for Sleeping Beauty (A Belly Dance Theatre Production by Belrobics); Assistant Director, coach and voice coach for The Sheffield Song (Montgomery Theatre). She also performs professionally with skills in Latin Dance, Singing and the Electric Violin.
Jodie has a strong passion for social fairness and justice, which has helped to ignite the fire for her work both here and abroad, both in theatre and with social enterprises and cooperatives and charities. She has a Masters in Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management with Sheffield Hallam University, and also works with other arts and youth organisations, offering consultation and mentoring.
Tony Bradley is a university lecturer in social enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship at Liverpool Hope Business School, and has also had a lifelong involvement in media, theatre, music and the arts. He was Development Director of Forward Vision Communications, a multi-media TV production company, for 10 years and later a producer/director with Sky. Music and the arts is in Tony’s lifeblood – he started as a boy chorister at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral; ran his own theatre company in Essex during the 1980s; and has written/produced for TV and stage. Liver Birdsong: The Liverpool Blitz Musical is Tony’s first full musical theatre book and lyrics.
Rebecca Myers graduated from the University of Hull in Music & Drama in 2012. She now specialises in music composition and music therapy. Liver Birdsong: The Liverpool Blitz Musical is Rebecca’s first full musical composition.
Natalie Dignam was born and raised in Liverpool. Her love for the arts began at the young age of 8 years old. At the age of 16 Natalie trained professionally at Liverpool Theatre School for 3 years. She graduated with distinction achieving a National Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. Whilst at college Natalie was awarded the Dance Award, the Drama Award and the David Needham Award for most promising performer. Natalie has studied many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, latin and ballroom. She has also studied drama and singing.
Whilst at college Natalie performed in the Ken Dodd Happiness Show, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Moby Dick – The Musical to name but a few.
Natalie’s credits include:
- Sarah Kines in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (West End Production/UK Tour)
- Featured Dancer/Cover Dandini in Cinderella (Grande Theatre Swansea)
- Sleeping Beauty in Sleeping Beauty (Theatre Royal Bath)
- Singer/Dancer (Onboard P&O MV Aurora)
- Dance Captain/Assistant Tour Manager in John Bishop’s Sunshine Tour (UK Tour)
- Assistant Dance Captain/Swing/Cover Cha Cha and Miss Lynch in Grease the Musical (West End Production/UK Tour)
Now based back in Liverpool Natalie now runs her own theatre school. Natalie Dignam Theatre School is based in Cronton, Liverpool and was opened in May 2013. The school teaches dance, singing and drama to children aged between 2 and 18. Since opening in 2013, NDTS has flourished and now has over 100 pupils.
Natalie is delighted to be part of the creative team for Liver Birdsong. A fantastic plot with lots of new music for everybody to enjoy.
The Musical Director
Alan Moore is a professional musical director, tutor, and composer. As a musician he enjoys performing, arranging, directing, and teaching. Though at first he developed his skills as a musical theatre performer, Alan specialised in singing technique at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, before later gaining a BA Hons Degree in Music at Liverpool Hope University.
Working as an MD based in Liverpool, he has collaborated with all sorts of performers from across a wide range of art forms. Alan started by working with the Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre Company as the Assistant MD on productions such as Sister Act, Footloose, Grease and Cats. His MD credits now include Bugsy Malone, Hairspray, Grease, Beauty & The Beast, Jack & The Beanstalk, High School Musical, and Cinderella.
Alan is also the Musical Director of Liverpool Harmony Club – Liverpool’s stand-out male ‘barbershop’ chorus established in 1974. He also plays keyboards regularly in various function bands.
The Set Designer
Alfie Heywood: “As the set designer for this show I wanted to create an atmosphere for the audience to become engaged within the world of Liverpool during World War Two. I have designed a playground for the performers to tell this emotional, feisty and grippng story using various levels and combining the set with Alex Hewitt’s imagery showing what life was like during the Blitz of the early 1940’s.
It has been a challenging design process figuring out how we could move through each scene without doing too much but having a great relationship with the director and other creatives has been key. Whilst wanting to put the audience in the time of 1940, the Epstein have worked brilliantly alongside us and they are going to create an immersive experience for the audience as the venue will be more to the period. As a local lad, the history of Liverpool is something I am very fond of and when I was given this opportunity, I couldn’t turn it down. It has been great fun, a great pleasure to get stuck into this show researching the Liverpool Blitz and I hope that the audience enjoys this show as much as I have.”
The Lighting Designer
Oliver Bush has worked around the country lighting aerial circus, musicals, dance and theatre. He trained at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts being awarded a first class honours degree. Most recently he designed The Gin Chronicles, Julius Caesar at the Brighton Fringe festival and the UK tour of Life On Wheels by Bella Kinetica. His designs have won awards from The Association of Lighting Designers and been praised for his work. Future projects being Knock Knock, Ruby Slippers and the return of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee later this year, and the 2017 Tour of Life On Wheels.
The Set Animator
Alex ‘Spider’ Hewitt is a Liverpool based video designer, technician and film maker. He studied at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, specialising in video design. Since graduating he has contributed to many different projects, including content for installations, games and shows with Hope St Ltd, touring with Tmesis theatre company, as well as contributing to projects like Rewind Fast Forward. Alex is pleased to be designing for Liver Birdsong and is glad to be able to bring many elements of local history into the show through his designs.