Sophia Lovell Smith - Theatre Designer
Sophia Lovell Smith – Theatre Designer
“Creating work for and with young audiences is richly rewarding, ever changing and dissolving, ‘such stuff as dreams are made on’.”
Sophia has been part of five Tell Tale Hearts productions and she continues to relish the mix of imagination, risk and creation. Designing for Sophia is a fascination with making new environments and being part of a collaborative team such as TTH.
Sophia’s theatre designs include, Catch a Sea Star (Spitalfields Music), Wave (Nottingham Playhouse), The Snow Queen (Unicorn/Trestle production, touring India and the UK), Flathampton (Royal & Derngate Theatres, Northampton), this production won the 2013 Brighton Festival Children’s Award. Shooting the Moon (Strangeface Company); Duck! (Z-Arts); The Tales of Molly Moonshine (Theatre Centre); Handa’s Surprise (Little Angel Theatre); Seven shows for Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, including The Caretaker. Futebol, (We light up the House), Graeae Theatre’s The Flower Girls (Hampstead Theatre); Little India (Trestle Theatre); Tonight We Fly (Arts Theatre & tour), Jemima Puddle Duck & Her Friends (Unicorn Theatre), Hot Mikado (Chelsea Theatre); Marat/Sade (Pleasance Theatre), Blackberry Trout Face (20 Stories High), Common Heaven (Theatre Centre) and Through the Wardrobe (Royal & Derngate Theatres).
Sophia’s educational projects include outdoor structures for primary schools, encouraging creative play and storytelling. She works with the educational departments of the National Theatre, English National Opera and the Southbank Centre designing summer shows and running design workshops. Sophia designs for Mountview Theatre School and Bennison Fabrics.
Visit Sophia’s website at www.sophialovellsmith.co.uk
Helen Thomas - Visual Artist
Helen Thomas – Visual Artist
“Once, when I was a child, there was a city street where the brightly coloured buildings were always changing. The city was built on empty land at the back of the sofa and demolished when the living room was cleared just after Christmas.
Observing, sharing and playing with children is an essential part of the wonderful collaborative, creative process of working and designing with Tell Tale Hearts. Creating spaces, places and things that can invite young children to share in the adventure and continue to play and make their own discoveries.”
Since studying fine art at Falmouth Helen’s creative work has taken her on many journeys, from her studio at the bottom of the garden, over the sea to the arctic circle and to schools and communities across England.
Helen draws and paints in response to her surroundings through residencies, projects, and studio based work. She has exhibited nationally and has work in many private collections.
Working with The Faceless Company Helen has engaged with thousands of people through arts workshops and community events.
In 2011 Helen was part of the creative team on Tell Tale Hearts production of The Snow Queen and delivered their community arts programme, working with pupils in Huddersfield and Barnsley schools. Helen was delighted to work with Tell Tale Hearts as designer on Yummm! in 2012. She has also contributed to Tell Tale Hearts Activity Packs for Space Hoppers, From Here to There, Yummm! and Inside Out!
Visit Helen’s website at www.toastedorange.co.uk
Michael Szpakowski - Artist / Composer
Michael Szpakowski – Artist / Composer
He has worked professionally in the arts since 1977. His music has been performed in Russia, the United States and all over the UK, at venues including the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank and Birmingham Symphony Hall, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and the World Service.
“For me the beating heart of theatre is still the simple fact of the human being on stage; the body, the voice, and the immediacy of the human presence. Without that, nothing. The rest of us are there to support, to focus, maybe even to gild a bit, that fundamental magic. I guess that’s where my specialism of music and sound comes in…
Added to which it’s a pleasure to work with a set of people who are so committed to quality work aimed at a young ( but very smart and discriminating) audience”
Matt Marks - Composer / Musical Director
Matt Marks – Composer / Musical Director
“When I’m working on theatre for children I just concentrate on finding the best expression for the story and characters, exactly as I would for any theatre, and I’m always surprised to see the sea of small faces at the opening performance. But it’s always such a joy to know that so often it’s their first experience of theatre of any kind and if there’s live music, to see their amazement that music doesn’t just come out of an ipod!”
Matt studied Creative Arts and Music Composition in Nottingham and Musical Theatre Writing in New York, where he was awarded the Frederic Loewe ASCAP award.
He has composed music for theatres including Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Polka Theatre, The Peacock Theatre and Sheffield Crucible as well as numerous theatre and dance companies internationally. Currently, Matt is co-writing 2 musicals, Giants in the Earth, with Nick Wood and The Bridge, with New York writer Liv Cummins.
Matt recently composed the score for When The Pictures Came, a 3-way collaboration between Terrapin Puppet Theatre from Australia, The Childrens’ Art Theatre of China and Lakeside, Nottingham Matt has also worked with the site-specific company Parrabbola, creating the music for a large-scale community productions of Pericles and The Winter’s Tale in Poland and Czech Republic.
Film and television credits include The Morris Jelly House of Fashion, Insight in Mind and Hotel for Channel Four.
Matt is a member of The Institute for Crazy Dancing in Leeds and is Associate Practitioner for RSC Education. He continues to perform with the improvising quartet Kiplefti and the central European-inspired The Balkan Express as well as arranging and performing music ranging from East European Klezmer to Tango to South African Township Jive and Balinese Monkey Chant.
Visit Matt’s website at www.mattmarks.com
Pauline Mayers - Choreographer
Pauline Mayers – Choreographer
“This is a story of a little girl called Pauline who was born and raised in London. Pauline had dreams of being a dancer at the tender age of eight, after seeing Gene Kelly in the film Singing in the Rain one rainy Saturday afternoon. Watching Michael Jackson dance in his many music videos convinced Pauline that dancing was something she absolutely had to do.”
After years of dancing as a hobby, which gave her the opportunity to do film and television work, she decided that the best way to be a dancer was to train to be one. Pauline started her training at Lewisham College in South London, but she wanted to train even harder. After seeing the Rambert Dance Company at the Sadlers’ Wells Theatre in London, Pauline decided she would audition for the Rambert School. To her delight, she was successful. And, thus, started her career in dance!
Three years later, Pauline was dancing for companies like Janet Smith and Dancers, and Diversions Dance. One day Pauline watched Phoenix Dance Company. After moving to Leeds where the company is based, Pauline auditioned for them and once more to her delight got her wish. After several years dancing, not just with Phoenix, but also with many other dance and opera companies based in the North, Pauline wished to start collaborating with theatre artists. Again, with enthusiasm she set about making her wish come true. Pauline played the lead role of Desdemona in Patrice Naimbana’s Gospel of Othello in 2008. After performing at the West Yorkshire Playhouse Transform season in 2011 as both dancer and actress, Pauline became a regular collaborator with Chris Goode and Company and to top it all off, is also a movement director working with Red Ladder on their production of Promised Land in the summer of 2012! And just when she thought she couldn’t be happier, Pauline became the choreographer for the wonderful show, Yummm! with Tell Tale Hearts.
Jo McFarlane - Designer
Jo McFarlane – Designer
Jo McFarlane studied Theatre Design at Bretton Hall, University of Leeds. Since then she has worked for many companies including Lawrence Batley Theatre, Full Body and the Voice, Figment Theatre and Impact. She also enjoys working on community projects and most recently was involved in the Huddersfield Carnival.
Jo has been working with Tell Tale Hearts for several years now as part of the design team on Beneath The Waves, as designer for Rumpelstiltskin, Suitcase Stories and in 2008 she created the stunning set, puppets and costume for the innovative Black Light Theatre project Arctic Antics.
“I have loved working on several Tell Tale Hearts projects over the past years. I especially love the strong sense of collaboration amongst all members of the team and the opportunity to turn everyday objects into the building blocks of inviting theatrical worlds for young children. I trongly believe in leaving time and space to allow children’s imaginations to blossom and for these young theatre goers to be allowed to fill in the gaps themselves.”
Emma Louise James - Costume Designer
Emma Louise James – Costume Designer
“My passion for performance began at the tender age of 2 when I began dance classes. As a little girl I was constantly ‘on the go’ dancing, singing, acting, drawing, swimming, playing hockey and of course bossing my two brothers about! Not much has changed to date.”
Her most recent work has seen her tackle a large scale production of Flash Dance at Wakefield Theatre Royal, where she was solely responsible for producing costumes for the 67 strong casts. Emma describes this project as thoroughly enjoyable, ’set in the 1980’s it was like taking a trip down memory lane; bad hair do’s, puff ball dresses (which she had several of), ripped denim and tight shinny lycra dance wear: What more could a girl ask for?’
In autumn 2012 Emma is working on productions for Leeds Grammar School, Wakefield Theatre Royal and Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Visit Emma’s website at www.seamlessdesigns.co.uk