The Pantaloons are a vibrant and anarchic theatre company who bring what we consider to be a vital sense of “play” back to classical performance. In our theatre, your imagination is just as important as ours.
The Pantaloons draw from a wide variety of popular theatre traditions, from commedia dell’arte and pantomime to stand-up comedy and silent movies, to bring what we consider to be a vital sense of “play” back to classical performance. We aim to recapture an aspect of Shakespeare’s drama which the modern naturalistic theatre has lost: the riotous energy of the clown. Hamlet tells us that the clowns in Shakespeare’s day spoke “more than is set down for them”, and we have found that tapping into this rich vein of anarchic humour can have a strangely moving and uplifting effect.
Crucially, it also reminds us that we are all simply participants in a game of make-believe. In our theatre, your imagination is just as important as ours. We ask you to become co-creators of the play-world with us; or as Shakespeare put it in the prologue to Henry V, to “piece out our imperfections with your thoughts.”
Our aim is always to produce a performance which is experimental, eye-catching, moving and fun.
Who’s at the Helm?
MARK HAYWARD (CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / PRODUCER)
A founding member and company director of The Pantaloons, Mark is a playwright, actor, storyteller, director, producer, singer/ songwriter, attempted carpenter and father of two. Having graduated from the University of Kent in 2005 with a degree in English Literature he has adapted and directed numerous classics for the stage including Sherlock Holmes, A Christmas Carol, Gulliver’s Travels, Pride and Prejudice and Jekyll and Hyde as well as writing completely original material for shows such as The Almost Complete History of Britain. He is currently adapting H.G Wells’ The War of the Worlds.
CAITLIN STOREY (PRODUCER)
Caitlin graduated in 2006 from the University of Kent with an MDram, having specialised in Stand-Up Comedy. She has been working as an actor for The Pantaloons since 2005, having completed tours on The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet (twice), Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. It was in 2007 that she was made a producer and in 2008 gave up her full time job in PR to focus more on The Pantaloons. Caitlin puts her PR expertise to good use and currently deals with all press enquiries.
STEPHEN PURCELL (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)
Stephen is the artistic brains behind The Pantaloons having formed the company in 2004 at the University of Kent from where he holds a PhD. Steve has directed many a show for The Pantaloons including thirteen Shakespeares plus The Canterbury Tales, Grimm Fairy Tales and Bleak House, all of which he co-adapted. He is Associate Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, and has published widely on the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in performance: his publications include Popular Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Audience in Practice, a guide to Webster’s The White Devil, and chapters in The Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare and The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts.
We confer the title of Associate Artist on those who have made an outstanding commitment and contribution to The Pantaloons,
our house style and our work. In turn, we are committed to frequent collaborations with our Associates, on a project by project basis.
ROSS DRURY (DIRECTOR)
Training: University of Kent, East 15 Acting school and National Theatre Directors Course.
Recent Credits Include: Reunion by Neil Smith (The Mint Studio: Edinburgh Festival 2015), ABSENT by Neil Smith (Illuminate Festival: The New Wimbledon Studio) Strindberg’s Creditors By Neil Smith, (The Brockley Jack) ECHOES by Neil Smith (Theatre Lost), The Cow Play by Ed Harris (Theatre503, C Venues Edinburgh Fringe 2013), Private Lives By Noel Coward (The Grand Hotel, Brighton Festival – nominated, Best Show), 4.48 Psychosis (Hull Truck & Stephen Joseph Theatre – Award Winner, NSDF Award 2008). Ross has also been Associate Director on Still I See My Baby by Dan Horrigan ( Theatre 503) , The Seagull and Three Sisters By Anya Reiss (The Southwark Playhouse). His assistant directing credits include The World Premiere of Shivered by Phillip Ridley (The Southwark Playhouse. Directed by Russell Bolam). The Fool By Edward Bond (The Cock Tavern. Directed by Edward Bond.) He is currently Artistic Director of Living Record Theatre Company.
EDWARD FERROW (PERFORMER)
Edward is an actor/musician who graduated from Cygnet Training Theatre’s Classical Acting course in 2010. Previous roles for The Pantaloons include Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens, Richard III and Mr. Darcy among others. Edward is an associate artist with the company and is very happy to be returning after a brief absence over the winter to play Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre. Other work includes two productions with immersive theatre pioneers Secret Cinema, a starring role in RTS award-winning sitcom Dark Matters and various TV adverts.
MARTIN GIBBONS (PERFORMER)
Martin has toured regularly with The Pantaloons since their inception in 2004. His favourite roles have been Macbeth (Macbeth), Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet), Bottom (Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Scrooge (A Christmas Carol). Martin also works as a storyteller, writer and director. He dedicates much of his professional time to community theatre projects. He also works regularly in schools and other community settings.
KELLY GRIFFITHS (PERFORMER)
Since graduating Birmingham School of Acting in 2010, Kelly has also worked with Birmingham Repertory theatre, BBC Radio 4, The Young Shakespeare Company and Big Talk productions. Kelly’s more notable roles to date include: Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), The Wife of Bath (Canterbury Tales), Mrs. Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) Lady Dedlock (Bleak House) and, most recently, of course, Lady Bracknell (The Importance of Being Earnest). Kelly is also an in-house writer for German theatre company, The Phoenix Theatre, where her condensed Shakespeare production, ‘Shakespeare’s Bottom’ had its premiere in January which she also directed. Follow Kelly on Twitter @kellysgriffiths
NEIL JENNINGS (PERFORMER)
Neil trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School such a long time ago, that it was probably called the New Vic. Since then he has spent many of his days delivering Shakespeare in the rain. He has also appeared in a number of independent Features Films including PULP, a comic book comedy, playing Tyler Jake the foulest mouthed copper in the UK, and DOUBLE TOP, a comedy about Darts. His theatrical credits include Benedict in Much Ado about Nothing, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth in… well, duh! He has also discovered that he is very good at making children laugh… despite the fact that he is supposed to be teaching them! He also loves increasing his musical instrument collection, periodically, and one day hopes to learn to play them.
ALEX RIVERS (PERFORMER)
After many years stalking and fan girling, The Pantaloons eventually allowed Alex to join the family and become an associate artist. They haven’t been able to get rid of her since. Alex Graduated from East15 Acting School where she received the Carleton Hobbs Award and joined the BBC Radio Drama Company upon graduating. Alex has been a part of over 50 radio dramas, documentaries and Comedy shows. Alongside being a Loon, Alex’s work spans across radio, theatre and television. Working with Companies such as; London Contemporary Theatre, the BBC, Blunderbus Theatre Company and Renegade Productions. Alex adapts and directs for radio and is also a Voice coach. Credits with the Loons include: A Midsummer Nights Dream, Canterbury Tales, Grimm Fairy Tales, The History Of Britain, Bleak House, Pride & Prejudice and Macbeth. Follow Alex on Twitter: @al3xr1vers
CHRISTOPHER SMART (PERFORMER)
Christopher grew up in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He trained at Birmingham School of Acting and since graduating in 2010 has worked as an actor both in England and Italy. He recently completed a nine month theatre tour of England and Ireland playing Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet. Other theatre credits include Young Shepherd, The Winters Tale (for Pendley Shakespeare Festival), Wit, The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom (The Lion’s Part/ Shakespeare’s Globe), Drakino, The Queen and Mr B. (Teatro Della Cadutta) Christopher is trained in circus skills and accomplished in stage combat. For The Pantaloons: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Canterbury Tales, Grimm Fairy Tales, Sherlock Holmes, History of Britain, Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice, Macbeth, Gulliver’s Travels
Discover what makes us so great to work with, setting us apart from other theatre companies.
INFORMATION FOR VENUES
Year on year we are extending our tours to more locations across the country and we are always on the lookout for new performance venues. If you are interested in booking The Pantaloons for your venue then please contact us for more information.
WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK THE PANTALOONS:
- Our fees/box office splits are unbeatable
- We help with PR, which will get your venue more exposure in national and local press along with radio and consumer magazines
- We make no demands and have no rider
- Our shows are unique and family friendly and the productions are unsurpassable
- You liaise with the same people at every stage of the process
- We provide you with all the marketing materials you will need
- We can sell our own tickets if needed
- We are lovely people and work hard to get big audiences for shows that everyone will enjoy
- We provide a total theatre experience – the cast can do their own crowd management, sell programmes and warm-up the audience with songs and comedy before the main show even starts.