Ann wishes she could be braver and thinks that she is not very confident. The cast and crew of Barnstormers however disagree and claim that her wild and wacky performances as Haggie Aggie (Dick Patchington), Daphne/Mama (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Mr Tumnus/Hermoine/Voldemort (A Night at the Movies), Duchess Proudfoot (Cinderella), Fruma-Sarah (Fiddler on the Roof), Chastity (Anything Goes), and, her favourite role to-date, Genie of the Lamp (Aladdin) speak for themselves. Ann once caught her foot in a seat belt whilst climbing out of a car at Preston Circus and promptly found herself lying down on the pavement with her foot stuck in the car. She was not amused.
This year marks an extremely important event in Paul’s life: the opening of the new stadium for Brighton and Hove Albion. He was so excited about watching his favourite team playing in the new ground that he considered leaving Barnstormers in the summer to dedicate his time to watching them. However, as performing on stage is only just a narrow second to his love of football he decided that he could not disappoint his many fans. Paul has appeared in: Dick Patchington (Able Seaman Unready), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Bun Foo), A Night at the Movies (Sam), Just So (Cooking Stove), Cinderella (Snatch-it/Little Jack Horner) and Fiddler on the Roof (Rabbi).
Beauty and the Beast is Emma’s return to the Barnstormers stage after a long break to take care of her two little darling children. She has of course spent the intervening time dressing them up as all manner of characters. Emma was mildly amused to be cast as a cheese grater and has been doing her best not to rub the cast up the wrong way. She previously appeared in: Honk! (Penny), The Wiz (Addapearle - the Good Witch), Godspell (teenager), Joseph (Judah), and many other Barnstormers shows. Emma makes the best banoffee pie in the world (Ed. my opinion) but hates all vegetables other than carrots and sweetcorn. She hopes that her children will one day follow in her footsteps on the Barnstormers stage.
John keeps attempting to escape from Barnstormers but somehow never manages to get far! This year he was relieved not to have to memorise any songs and is looking forward to the relaxed life of a Pit Singer after setting the scene in the Prologue. The real reason John is not on stage is nothing to do with his memory but the difficulty of his jet-setting retirement that rarely sees him in the UK for more than a few weeks at a time. He loves every minute. John has performed in many shows including: Dick Patchington (Captain Quentin Queasy), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Kenneth/Policeman), A Night at the Movies (Joe/Father), Just So (Eldest Magician), Anything Goes (Rev Henry T Dobson) and Honk! (Greylag).
Bert’s relationship with Barnstormers seems to be like that of a strong elastic-band. He pulls away for a while but just can’t help himself from pinging back into the cast for the next show. In Godspell he is playing Jeffrey, one of the disciples. It's a show he's been in before (albeit a different version) and he loves it for the music and the familiar, yet moving, story line that unfolds. He has previously appeared as: Singing Cowboy (Crazy For You), Levi (Joseph), Cogsworth (Beauty & The Beast), Policeman/Muzzy’s Boy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Rick/Audrey (A Night at the Movies), Rhino (Just So), Baron Hardup (Cinderella), Lazar Wolf (Fiddler on the Roof), Elisha Whitney (Anything Goes), Drake (Honk!), General Schmitz (Seussical), Uncle Henry (The Wiz) Park Keeper (Godspell) and Potiphar (Joseph).
If Claire could have one perfect day she would spend it in the Seychelles wearing pyjamas whilst eating a roast dinner and sipping cocktails with Johnny Depp (but only if he stays in character as “Jack Sparrow”) Whilst she loves all chocolate bars and sweets she is of the opinion that Turkish Delight should die (Ed: simple answer – give all the Turkish Delight in the world to me, please). She has previously appeared on stage as: Keith Kindly (Dick Patchington), Alice (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Susan/Rose (A Night at the Movies) and, her favourite role to-date, Charlie (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Claire also performed with the Barnstormers band at the Ghana/Barnstormers Charity Gig earlier this year.
Roni only signed up for Beauty and the Beast when she was sure that she would still be able to watch the on-stage action from the pit. She was slightly offended that the score seemed to refer to them as BOG singers, but it then became clear the reference was to “Be Our Guest Singers”! Roni has previously been a Pit singer for Thoroughly Modern Millie and A Night at the Movies. She has also appeared in: Seussical, The Baker’s Wife, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, Autumn Colours, An Evening with Schwartz & Sondheim, Sing-a-long Joseph & Godspell, Winter Warmer and various concerts with Brighton Orpheus Choir and Brighton Voices.
Margaret often hides away backstage armed with all manner of pins, needles, threads, clips etc. The cast has always been secretly afraid of her reputation as the Mistress of the Wardrobe. At least on stage she has relinquished that role to Mandy. This year she has been working hard with her team behind the scenes in fitting the extremely large costumes for the castle inhabitants. She is delighted to be able to join in singing the beautiful Disney melodies and excessively high soprano notes. Margaret has designed and fitted the costumes for many shows including: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dick Patchington, Just So & Cinderella.
Joined Barnstormers in 2008. Previous on-stage experience was at school, aged 16.Now semi-retired, but do work as freelance copywriter and producing marketing content. Most other activities are musical - play flute in 3 orchestras locally + other odd bits and pieces.
Hyder’s one wish is to be able to instantly teleport himself anywhere whenever he wanted to. The cast are hoping that his wish is not answered during the show. His favourite Disney film is The Jungle Book and he looks forward to being able to perform in it with Barnstormers one day. Hyder has previously appeared as: Marvello/Harold Hardheart (Dick Patchington), George Gershwin/Policeman (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Captain Renault/Z (A Night at the Movies), King (Cinderella), Crocodile (Just So) – his favourite role to date, and Mordcha (Fiddler on the Roof). He considers that he is most like the character Yoda from Star Wars.
This is Heather’s debut performance with Barnstormers and she is both excited and petrified in equal measure by the thought of it. Many a person has said that she may be actually a little bit mad. She totally agrees. Heather is a whizz-kid at playing the game “Buzz” and loves partying with her friends in Brighton. Heather can also be found singing at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church’s Café services or partying out of hours whenever possible. She is currently on a placement as part of her degree in Maths and is looking forward to doing something really exciting with her life.
The role of Lefou is an unusual challenge for Hannah and she is not sure whether she is really pleased to be playing a man. Having played the roles of Jack (Dick Patchington) and Nachum/Sasha (Fiddler) she accepts that perhaps she should now be used to it by now. She is more upset at the thought of all the bruising she expects to sustain from her scenes and dance routines with Gaston. Hannah loves performing and has appeared in many productions with Barnstormers including roles as: Miss Dorothy (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Ballet Rose/Dance Captain – Men In Black (A Night at the Movies), Giraffe (Just So) and Widow Sharpeye (Cinderella).
James still tries to maintain that he cannot act or dance but with the ever-growing list of lead roles to his name we are becoming slightly less likely to agree with him. It was decided that his performance in Dick Patchington as the ever-so-slightly-effeminate Able Seaman Snitch was a little too realistic and perhaps a more “manly” role would be a bigger challenge. However, his early “roars” as the Beast were not as scary as they could have been and had the cast rolling around in fits of giggles. James’ other recent roles include: Trevor Graydon III (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Viktor Lazlo/Robbie (A Night at the Movies), Elephant’s Child (Just So), Big Elf (Cinderella), Motel (Fiddler on the Roof), Billy (Anything Goes), Horton (Seussical), Jesus (Godspell) and Joseph (Joseph).
Natalie has been in Barnstormers for some time with her first role as a duckling in Honk! in 2005. She has since gone onto perform in many of our shows and even took a hand in co directing and co choreographing in both 'Barnstormers does Broadway', with her mother Paula, and 'The Pajama Game', with Gary. Barnstormers for Natalie is a way for her to follow her passions of singing,dancing and acting whilst also allowing her to socialise with her friends. Her favourite told to date is Lois Lane, in Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate. She is looking forward to Barnstomers Big Night Out.
After appearing as a Pit Singer for Barnstormers in A Night at the Movies and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beth stepped up into the main on-stage cast for Dick Patchington as Jean and hasn’t looked back. She is delighted to be appearing in this classic Disney show and looks forward to the day when Disney creates a stage show of her favourite Disney film, Bambi. When not performing with Barnstormers, the Brighton Orpheus Choir or Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Beth can be found watching C.S.I. or skiing. She is also Circuit Steward for the Brighton & Hove Methodist Church Circuit.