The Mystery of Edwin Drood

by Rupert Holmes

Directed by Ruth Sullivan

Tuesday 18th - Saturday 22nd December, 2012

The Tower Theatre performing at Theatro Technis

  The cast

Photography by David Sprecher

Our esteemed CHAIRMAN, Mr. William Cartwright : Martin South
Miss Alice Nutting as EDWIN DROOD : Fran Rafferty
Mr. Clive Paget as JOHN JASPER : Dom Ward
Miss Deirdre Peregrine as ROSA BUD : Kaytie Lee
Miss Janet Conover as HELENA LANDLESS : Ruth Anthony
Mr. Victor Grinstead as NEVILLE LANDLESS : Adrian Calvo-Valderrama
Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe as THE REVEREND MR. CRISPARKLE : Michael Bettell
Mr. Nick Cricker as DURDLES : John Chapman
Master Nick Cricker as DEPUTY : Ed O'Shaughnessy
Miss Angela Prysock as THE PRINCESS PUFFER : Anna Fiorentini
Mr. Phillip Bax as BAZZARD : Jonathan Norris
Miss Violet Balfour as ENSEMBLE : Jennifer Quinn
Miss Florence Gill as ENSEMBLE : Sue Brodie

The Band
Jo Southern (Clarinet)
Isaac McCullough (Bassoon)
Lizzi Tocknell (Horn)
Laura Gilroy (Trumpet)
Jonathan Norris (Trombone)
Tara Clifford (Keyboard 1)
Colin Guthrie (Keyboard 2)
Peta Barker (Percussion)
Marie Schreer (Violin)
Ioana Forma (Violin)
Sophie English (Cello)

Production Team
Director : Ruth Sullivan
Musical Director : Edward Bell
Set Design : Michael Bettell and Ruth Sullivan
Costume Design : David Taylor
Lighting Design : Rob Irvine
Sound Design : Phillip Ley

Stage Management : Alexa Poch and Michelle Roebuck
Lighting Operator : Adam Taylor
Sound Operator : Chris Drohan
Assistant Director : Leon Chambers
Assistant Costume Designer : Lynda Twidale
Set Construction & Rigging : Leon Chambers, Roger Beaumont, Keith Syrett and members of the cast & crew

Martin South has acted, directed and designed with the Tower Theatre Company for nearly thirty years. Juvenile roles are now firmly behind him and he has specialised lately in parts requiring the growth of eccentric facial hair. His grandfather had a music-hall act which involved whistling, the musical saw and a device known as a flexatone.
Anna Fiorentini has performed in 4 productions with the Tower Theatre : Smells of Wee, Hay Fever, The Real Thing and Dangerous Corner. Although she is delighted to be playing Princess Puffer, an ex-prostitute who can no longer attract the men, now turned opium den mistress, she sincerely hopes it is because of her acting ability that she was cast as opposed to any kind of type casting.
Fran Rafferty is by day the Ugly Betty of the West End but by the evening the all-singing, sometimes dancing, knitting fanatic who one day hopes to own a French bulldog called Digby. She appears in Drood straight from playing Kate in The Priory for KDC. Previous productions include : Rosalind in As You Like It, Gloria/Matti in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Anybodys in West Side Side Story and Tribe in Hair (all for SEDOS); Betsy Boo in Femme (Von W Productions); Soloist in Life is just a Bowl of Cherries, Kate in The Matchgirls, and Navigation Officer in Return to the Forbidden Planet (all for Tinhatters); Whore/Physio in Piaf, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Eva in The Accrington Pals (all for NTP); and Rita in Billy (HCG).
Kaytie Lee is a writer and reviewer for She also monstrously volunteers at The Ministry of Stories. Previous roles include Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music and Sheila in Hair, both for SEDOS. In America, she performed with the San Diego Lyric Opera in several productions. Drood is her first with the Tower Theatre.
Ruth Anthony is excited to be taking on her first role for the Tower Theatre after a year of working backstage on various productions. Earlier in 2012 she appeared in SEDOS's production of Three Sisters as the Maid and in their Six Plays, Seven Days new writing programme as Annette in Casual Encounters.
Michael Bettell's acting career started in 1973 at the the ripe age of 4 when his brother Paul cast him as the Housewife in his short film Gone with the Windows. He joined the Tower in 2010 and has since worked on 34 of the last 39 Tower productions in one capacity or another. He is absolutely delighted to be making his formal acting debut in Drood although strictly speaking that happened on The Boy Friend when he memorably played the dual role of waiter/newspaper vendor.
This is Adrian Calvo-Valderrama's third production with the Tower, having appeared as a guard in Her Naked Skin and as Polidori in Bloody Poetry. He has been performing with amateur and semi-professional companies since he was 10 in productions such as Twelve Angry Men and The Suicide. He trained at the Cours Simon in Paris.
John Chapman spent over twenty five years with the RSC - though to be accurate that's the Redbridge Stage Company and not the other rather more famous user of the same acronym! He appeared in/directed over a hundred productions during that time. This is the second time in six months that he will have taken on the challenge of a Dickensian role for the Tower : his previous outing as Mr Micawber in David Copperfield saw one reviewer describing his performance as "fabulously camp"! As the filling in his "Dickens sandwich" he appeared in the Tower's recent production of Loot.
Over his 18 Tower Company years, Jonathan Norris has somehow got tangled up in about 50 productions, whether acting (Hubbard in Dial M For Murder, Doolittle in Pygmalion); music-directing shows such as A Little Night Music and Guys and Dolls, or otherwise adding music to things, producing from nowhere a trombone to be played in Curiouser & Curiouser and Lark Rise. Eschewing traditional advice he performed a Morris dance in Lark Rise and taught others to do so for Ayckbourn's Garden. By day, he and his wife commute in from fashionable Clapton to earn a crust as Administrators of the Company.
Sue Brodie joined the Tower in 2006 after a long spell away from acting. Since then she has appeared in The Country Wife, Breath of Life, Cigarettes and Chocolate/Hang Up, Whipping it Up, the controversial production of Dinner and most recently as Betsey Trotwood in the Tower's touring production of David Copperfield.
Jennifer Quinn studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York, where she performed in I Am A Camera, Damages, and Boy's Life. In London, she has worked on radio and short films. She joined the Tower in September 2010 and has appeared in Proof, Jake's Women, Damages and David Copperfield.
Dom Ward joined the Tower by accident, having been press-ganged into a production of The Entertainer in 2001. Having briefly cornered the market in romantic juveniles with roles in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Hot Mikado and Guys and Dolls, Dom went off to train at Mountview Academy. Since then he's broadened his range, playing everything from the Devil (Brimstone and Treacle) to (the front half of) a pantomime horse. Tower members will have seen Dom in The Birthday Party, The Last Five Years, A Doll's House and most recently twirling a caddish moustache in David Copperfield. Dom made his directorial debut for the Tower with last October's ghostly Darker Shores at St. Leonard's Church and followed this up with his recent production of Loot Upstairs at the Gatehouse.
Ed O'Shaughnessy has been with the Tower since late 2009 and has appeared in Cigarettes and Chocolate, Julius Caesar, Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Princess Ivona, Macbeth and, most recently, David Copperfield.
Ruth Sullivan joined the Tower in 2007. Her first play as an actor saw her traipsing up and down imaginary stairs in Taking Steps, since when she has acted, choreographed and directed for the company. This is her third show directing for the Tower following Macbeth and The Maids. Other shows include Putting It Together, The Fabulous Eddie and Otis Soul Revue, Hamlet, The Real Thing, The Last Five Years, Lark Rise and, most recently, David Copperfield. She has also choreographed Hair and Assassins for SEDOS.
Edward Bell works in theatre as a composer, musical director and performer. His first musical, Alice: A Fresher's Tale, enjoyed a sell-out run in 2008. The Way Through the Woods, a play with music described as an "ambitious show with a flippant disregard for compromise", was produced at the ADC Theatre, Cambridge before running at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe. Edward's most recent show, Gary of the Antarctic, was performed in London at the Britten Theatre last May. Musical direction credits include Captain Improv (Edinburgh Fringe), The Little Shop of Horrors (North Wall, Oxford), The Way Through the Woods (Edinburgh Fringe), Something's Coming: A Musical Theatre Showcase (RCM, London) and Songs for a New World (RCM, London). This month Edward made his professional debut as musical director in Richard Thomas and David Hoyle's Merrie Hell at the Soho Theatre. Edward is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music, London.