CURRENT PRODUCTION – THE TEMPEST
–Etcetera Theatre, Camden from November 8th-27th 2016
OUR PRODUCTION OF THE TEMPEST HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR SIX OFFIE AWARDS!!
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Company C is a theatre troupe founded by director Lawrence O´Connor comprising actors, creatives and technicians. Company C has been created to be a family of practitioners working together on successive productions with geographical ´homes´ from which it finds, engages with, and strengthens its local communities and to which it seeks to be of service.
Our practise and process is based on Meisner-based acting technique and on the principles of Open Space Technology.
We are currently working on a production of the Tempest for 2016.
The project includes outreach and involvement with the local communities where it will be performed.
To read more about Company C please click here
Troupe member profiles
Click on the name for profile
Ben Altimira – actor
Will Anderson – actor
Crystal Arons – actor
Comfort Fabian – actor
Mo Idriss – actor
Will James – actor
Stuart Miller – actor
Lawrence O´Connor– director
Gianluca Pisano – design associate
Debbie Reeds– producer
Thom Short – actor
Sara Felice Vetro – actor
Heather Warne – actor
David K Whiting– actor
Jessica Chloe Young – actor
Jack Barton – sound design
Johanne Jensen – lighting design
Olivia Wilson – assistant lighting design
Troupe Member Profiles
Ben Altimira is extremely proud to be joining the Tempest cast and Company C. Ben has trained in London at the Actors Temple and on going with the Salon:Collective at the Cockpit theatre. Credits include Don Juan in Soho (Tristan Bates); One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (Lord Stanley); Badge of Shame (Hen & Chickens); The Soho Project (John Lyon Theatre). Ben is thrilled to be undertaking the role of Antonio in the Tempest, to help tell this beautiful and poignant play.
Crystal was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia when she was only three years old. She is now an International Actor and Clown working in London. She has trained with Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, Queensland Actor’s Playhouse, Grin and Tonic and completed a Bachelor of Theatre Arts (Acting) at the University of Southern Queensland. During her training she performed in plethora of plays including The Threepenny Opera, A Soldier’s Tale, Bard Wired and The Tempest.
Crystal has been performing since 2003. A few of her many Australian credits include Lazarus Won’t Get Out of Bed, The Virtuous Burglar. The Bald Prima Donna, The Void and the Light (for video visit outcastarts.com.au/the-void-and-the-light), Metamorphosis (Steven Berkhoff), Metromorphosis, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and an all-female version of Reservoir Dogs. She performed at Woodford Folk Festival for three years performing as a Clown in Gremlins and an Actor in Pigford.
Last year she moved to Ireland and worked on two Immersive theatre shows called Lord Ghoulsley’s Manor and the Cork North Pole Christmas Experience. She also wrote and performed her one-woman show called Dating Dingleberries, which she hopes to workshop further and perform in London.
Crystal’s directing credits include Savage Love, Keep Everything You Love, The Importance of Being Earnest and Willy’s Wicked Little Love Bits. She performed and co-directed The Merchant of Venice alongside Curt Tofteland (founder of the Shakespeare Behind Bars program) for QSE. She also had the pleasure of being selected as one of the Top 20 Directors for Short and Sweet Brisbane in 2010. That same year she wrote and performed An Ugly Stillness at the National Play Festival. She also appeared in a one-woman show called Shortfall by Sally Lintott (Selected for the Gala Final for Short and Sweet).
Alongside Acting and Clowning, Crystal also excels as a Teacher. She had lectured in Voice, Accents, Clown, Shakespeare and Acting at Drama schools such as New York Film Academy and the University of Southern Queensland. She also taught for Fame Theatre School, Brisbane Youth Theatre and Brisbane Arts Theatre in Queensland. In 2010, Crystal travelled to Bangkok for a month and had the pleasure to teach Shakespeare to students involved in the IASIS International Convention.
Crystal moved to London in 2016 and so far has performed with her Clown at the House of Idiot in Brixton, The Faraway Tree and in a new production called The Life of Oscar Wilde, where she had the pleasure of playing Oscar Wilde, which was performed at The Cockpit Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe Festival.
Crystal is thrilled to be performing as Miranda in The Tempest with Company C later this year.
I first appeared on a professional stage alongside Teresa Berganza in the 1978 Edinburgh Festival production of Carmen (I played an urchin). I loved the experience and subsequently seized every opportunity to act, sing and play. As a student I took on many roles including Creon, Claudius, Bardin (Gorky’s Enemies) and even the Real Inspector Hound (not my finest hour).
I then took a very long break from acting. In the 1990s I fought AIDS as an activist, researcher and writer. In the 2000s, the focus of my energy switched to climate change and global ecology. In the 2010s, I became a builder and craftsman. Over the past three years I have been building an ecohouse inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement (see Building The Orchard).
I returned to acting in 2014 and have since participated in training at City Lit, The Poor School, Central School of Speech and Drama, and Scaffold State. I’ve performed in many short films but The Tempest is my first chance to get back on the stage. I am deeply honoured to have been asked to join this group of creative and experienced people to play Gonzalo, whose vision of a world in which nature brings forth ‘all foison, all abundance’ strikes a personal chord. I am aware that Gonzalo is deliberately only a beat away from Gonzo, the Italian for muppet, which captures my anxiety about taking on the part. However I know enough not to shy away from any possible source of truth about this many-sided character.
Comfort trained at Manchester School of Theatre and is now based in London. Most recent credits since graduating include Anne in Blown Youth at New Wimbledon Studio, Elle in This Is Art – a modern adaptation Othello for RIFT and Jessica in Prey, a short film.
In December she will be shooting the role of Rita in feature film Sid & Mandy.
Theatre credits whilst training include Louisa in The Art Of Success, Megaera in Welcome To Thebes, Ruth in 13, Isabella in The White Devil, Viola in Twelfth Night and Grusha in The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
The “smile” was born in Nottingham, Mohammed Idriss was brought up in North London went to Sir Phillip Magnus school and then on to Highbury Grove school. Although taking drama in school he initially took up the same professional as his father who is an accountant, after a long break from drama and acting he reignited his love for acting by initially getting involved with Bollywood films and supporting artiste work. He then moved on to get invaluable training from Mark McGann and Drama Direct. He then attended a short course at the Poor School, King’s Cross. Mo has one daughter, Imogen.
I am an actor who studied BA Drama and English Literature at the University of East Anglia. My past credits while studying there include John Proctor in The Crucible and Reggie in The Accrington Pals. Whilst there I was also able to take part in an independent Edinburgh Fringe show called Can you spare a crime? directed by Megan-Alice Reilly, which was a truly unique and wonderful experience. I am currently rehearsing for a production of Bronte by Polly Teale with the Southfields Theatre Group which runs 21st September-24th September.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on The Tempest and play the role of Caliban with Company C, which I think is a play imbued with all the wonder and strange music of Shakespeare’s writing.
Stuart studied Film Production at the University for the Creative Arts. After completing university he moved to Hastings where he turned to acting in 2012 after being asked to participate in a site-specific play. Realising he preferred being in front of an audience to behind the scenes, he began to focus more on acting, exploring his dramatic range by taking on a variety of roles in various productions.
He sought training in his spare time, doing a short course with ACT Brighton before discovering Meisner classes in St Leonards-on-Sea. Stuart became interested in Meisner technique after reading ‘Meisner on Acting’ and continues to be inspired by the truthful approach to acting that it teaches.
Amongst his many theatre credits, Stuart has also recently played James in the short film ‘The Wild Yonder’, due to appear at festivals next year. Stuart is thrilled to be a part of Company C, playing Sebastian in their upcoming production of The Tempest.
Thom trained at The University of Kent with a Masters in Drama & Theatre, Thom has always sought to be an active member of the acting community, appearing in various theatrical productions such as Edward II, Bouncers, A Doll’s House and The School For Scandal; as well as various short & independent films such as Missing Call, Lift Hanger, The Favour and Romeo & Juliet.
Thom has been nominated for an Offie (OffWestEnd.com award) for
BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR for his role as Trinculo in Company C´s production of The Tempest.
Sara trained in the Meisner Technique with Dominic Kelly and the Salon Collective and at the Actor’s Temple and it changed her life. She comes from a family of storytellers and a lot of her growing up took place on film sets and behind the scenes in theatres. Since her early teens she has been living a life of adventure between her native Hungary, the US and the UK. Sara studied English, film and journalism at university and played Phoebe in the Twelfth Night and Helena in the Midsummer Night’s Dream while there. Ferdinand is her first male role and she is beyond excited, especially because she gets to play the romantic hero and the qualities and traits Ferdinand represents can very rarely be found in female roles but Sara can completely relate to them.
I grew up in beautiful blue-skied New Zealand, and after my school years got a degree in acting at Unitec in Auckland. I followed this training with various stage, screen, musical and commercial roles, but also got particularly involved as an audiobook narrator for the Blind Foundation’s Talking Books. I moved to London in 2013 to pursue acting in the midst of all the culture, history and diversity the UK has to offer. Since then I have acted in short films, web series and voice over, as well as in theatre, with highlights being the role of Sister James in John Patrick Shanley’s ‘Doubt: A Parable’ and my most recent production and first professional Shakespeare experience, as Gremio in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. I have also been writing my own one woman play and a screenplay. Outside of acting, I work at an international health and development organisation called The Leprosy Mission, where I am regularly reminded of the ups and downs of the human experience, the pain of isolation, and the power of compassion and reconciliation.
I’ve always been passionate about Shakespeare, and the opportunity to now work with Company C on The Tempest, one of his most magical and most human plays, is extremely exciting. My training didn’t particularly include Meisner technique, but on reading Meisner’s book ‘On Acting’ which shows his method of teaching in action, I found many of his opinions and exercises resonated with how I wanted to work, so I am thrilled to be able to use them and collaborate with a group of like-minded actors and creatives in exploring and staging The Tempest.
David K Whiting – actor
“David is a true poet and,from the first, I knew he was Prospero. A man of humanity, compassion, of a life well lived. A man of heart. A man of honesty. A man of honour. Beautifully human, as imperfect as are we all and an actor of great skill who gives himself passionately and fully to his life, his work and to those whom he loves which, in my experience, appears to exclude no one. ” ~ Lawrence O’Connor
David’s strong resume includes roles in film, TV and theatre. He was attracted to join Company C for its methodology, involving working at depth over time. He studied acting for 3 years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is currently training with Tom Radcliffe.
Jessica is a recent graduate of the Drama UK recognised BA (Hons) Acting course at the Arts University Bournemouth. Upon graduating she joined Dorset based AsOne theatre company for four months on tour in a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s Tinderbox, directed by Jacqueline Sealey of the MakeShift Ensemble. Since her professional debut, Jessica moved to London to continue pursuing acting, namely in theatre, television and radio. She has a background in music and dance training and a penchant for classical and period texts.
Lawrence O´Connor – director
I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and was immersed in theatre as a young child. I had my first, paid job as an actor in 1979 with The Lindsay Kemp Mime Troupe in which my mother, Annie Balfour, was a member.
While at Holland Park Comprehensive School and then at Battersea Arts Centre, I was mentored by Tony Fegan (currently artistic director at Tallaght Community Arts, Ireland). I trained at Drama Centre, London (group 23) from 1983-84 under Christopher Fettes and Yat Malmgren and worked as an actor until 1990. I then explored other fields including, set design and construction, pioneering 3D digital modelling for theatre and television, designing and delivering training and running my own business while raising a young family.
I resumed work as an actor in 2010 after re-training in Meisner Technique with Simon Furness. With this new understanding, I seek ´to help the human heart have knowledge of itself´ by being honest in the work and enabling moments that actually ´happen´ in the given, imaginary circumstances of the piece.
Driven by my desire to serve my acting community, I have established an acting school in St Leonards on Sea and am now offering regular classes in London. My teaching is based on the principles established by Sanford Meisner, as taught to me by Simon Furness. Teaching is a source of continual growth for me and of limitless inspiration as others discover this approach and put it into practise in their own work.
My work both in the theatre and other spheres has led me to create Company C, a family of actors, creatives and technicians coming together to work on productions, and in directing. In my directing practise, I work with heart and passion, collaborating supportively to collectively ´find´ the piece and, together, get to depth with it.
It is beyond my wildest dreams to find myself, today, working on the Tempest with such an extraordinarily capable group of people who work fearlessly with total commitment and faith in the process.
Debbie Reeds – producer
This is Debbie’s first adventure into Producing. Her performance experience is mainly as a dancer in shows and amateur productions. She has a combined degree in Contemporary Dance and Business Studies and has studied many different dance forms.
Her natural abilities in organisation, planning and building relationships served her well in her early career in personnel, training and consultancy and she is experienced in managing large scale projects including budgeting, managing learning programmes and evaluating success.
In 2001 she trained to teach English as a foreign language and set off to Asia. Here she taught all ages and abilities, ran English camps and led voluntary programmes in rural communities in Thailand. Through this involvement, she enjoyed gaining a deeper understanding of local cultures not usually available to tourists. She made Bangkok her home and studied for Life Coaching qualifications, starting her Coaching practice in 2005.
Returning to the UK in 2009, Debbie continues to coach individuals and groups (www.deborahreeds.com) as well as facilitating programmes for teenagers in schools. Her interest in the theatre has been reignited by involvement in productions and projects with her partner Lawrence O’Connor and she is looking forward weaving all the different threads of her experience into the process of co-producing The Tempest.
Jack is a composer, sound designer and musician exploring new ways in which sound and music can interact with the mediums of theatre and film to create compelling and immersive atmospheres and narratives. Since studying music at the University of Manchester with a specialisation in electroacoustic composition, he has dedicated much energy to theatrical and filmic collaborations as well as developing his own voice as a composer and performer.
Click here for more about Jack
Born and raised in London England, Shareen Swainson has always been a lover of the art form from as far back as she could remember. Taking every opportunity to act in productions from nursery right through to college where she studied performing arts at ‘A’ level, but went on to obtain a BSC in psychology as her inspiration dwindled under the intellectualised academia of drama. Swapping the stage for the city lights, Shareen worked hard at developing her financial career but held onto her passion by attending various drama courses outside of work: The Poor School, The Metropolitan Film School and Identity School of Acting (to mention a few). It wasn’t until she was encouraged by a sales assistant in Samuels and French to explore the meisner course being offered close-by, did she meet her teacher and fell in love with acting all over again. For the first time she became aware that she was searching for something, and for the first time she became aware that she had found it.
Enrolling for two years of intense study, she trained under the direction of Tom Radcliffe who was one of the final three that Sanford Meisner appointed to teach before he passed away. Many profound experiences were had during this time which made Shareen the performer that she is today. And although her acting abilities deepened and expanded profoundly, she knew what her teacher said to be true – that she wasn’t being taught how to act, but rather how to view the world through the eyes of an artist. Shortly after her training, She was led to Nancy Mayans who taught her how to develop ultimate control over her performance with the direct awareness and use of energy, and some 5 years later Shareen travelled back and forth between London and LA to become certified as the first teacher in Europe of The Unlimited Actor Method, created and offered by Nancy Mayans.
With credits from TV, Film and stage, Shareen was excited to be a part of the Company C Theatre troupe, participating in preparatory workshops for the mighty Tempest written by William Shakespeare.
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Craig J Simons
Craig’s most recent appearance was in an immersive theatre project at the London Vaults, Waterloo as Corporal John Delaney in “Never Ending Night”, a completely improvised immersive theatre piece. Last year he also appeared as Solyony in Anton Chekov’s “Three Sisters” and George McBrain in Trevor Griffiths “Comedians”. With new writing, monologue and scene events in progress, Craig is also Acting, Producing & Co-Directing a current in-your-face political play with a team of actors and writers and he will be leading on screen in the short film “No Man Is An Island” which will be appearing at film festivals later this year.
Craig Trained at The Actor’s Temple and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and is part of at Theatre workshop/rehearsal group called “London Group Theatre”. It is a group of actors who continuously work on the acting craft through the Meisner Technique headed by Tom Radcliffe.
Of working on the preparatory workshops for William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” as a member of Company C, Craig suggests that maybe a quote from Mikhail Lermontov describes this best: “He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace”.
Click here for more about Craig
I am an Angolan actress, activist and long time traveller.
I started acting in Lisbon – Portugal, in 2008 with the acclaimed Children’s Musical, “Eli” at Teatro Tivoli. I then moved to London to pursue an acting career, thus graduating from Arts Ed in 2011 with an MA Acting. I then started working on numerous projects from TV, film as well as animations, as a voice actress. But the ones that stand out are the stage performances as a Child Soldier from DRC in Like Enemies of the State, and Stella, the activist in the Ukrainian riots of 2013/14 in Point of no Return, both by BeFrank Theatre Co.
I embarked on a new adventure with Company C, which is enabled me to explore, alongside a team of passionate artists, one of the most complex works of the English literature. This is a great opportunity to tackle the rich poetic language and themes of the play, as well as to expand my knowledge on a technique I have been working on since the early days of my career in London – the Meisner Technique.
Click here for more about Luiana