Who we are

The Shakespeare in Italy team has worked together either on stage or behind the scenes alongside a network of community groups, organisations and educational establishments.

 

 

Bill Alexander - Associate Artist

Bill Alexander is an award winning theatre director who began his career at the Bristol Old Vic, directing everything from the classics to innovative drama. He joined the RSC in 1977 and remained there as Resident  and then Associate Director until 1992. He was Artistic Director of the Birmingham Rep between 1992 and 2001, when he left to pursue his freelance career. His production of THE SNOWMAN is performed in London’s West End every year. Bill and his productions have won numerous awards including Best Director at the Olivier Awards for THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
He has also lectured on Shakespeare all over the world. 
 

FREELANCE DIRECTING CREDITS 
2012  NWCTC PORTLAND USA OTHELLO
2012  NATIONAL TOUR BETTE & JOAN (Anton Burge) 
2011  ARTS THEATRE LONDON BETTE & JOAN (Anton Burge) 
2009  NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE GLAMOUR (Stephen Lowe) 
2008  MARK TAPER FORUM THE SCHOOL OF NIGHT (Peter Whelan) LOS ANGELES Revival of Bill’s award winning production for the RSC 
2007  ZURICH BALLET A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM 
2005  RSC KING LEAR starring Corin Redgrave 
2004  RSC TITUS ANDRONICUS starring David Bradley 
2003  NATIONAL THEATRE MAPPA MUNDI (Shelagh Stephenson) World premiere starring Lia Williams and Alun Armstrong 
2002  NATIONAL THEATRE FROZEN (Bryony Lavery) Revival of Bill’s award winning production starring Josie Lawrence, Anita Dobson and Tom Georgeson 
2001  THEATRE CLWYD AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE 
2001  NORTHAMPTON REP THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST 
1991  SHAKESPEARE THEATRE TROILUS AND CRESSIDA nominated for the WASHINGTON DC prestigious Helen Hayes Award 
1990  VICTORY THEATRE ROMEO AND JULIET NEW YORK 
1981/82  CAMERI THEATRE OLD TIMES TEL AVIV ANNA CHRISTIE

BIRMINGHAM REP – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 1992-2000 
Productions include:
OTHELLO, OLD TIMES, THE SNOWMAN, MACBETH, THE WAY OF THE WORLD, THE ALCHEMIST (transferred to the National Theatre starring Simon Callow and Tim Pigott Smith), HAMLET, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, TWELFTH NIGHT, DIVINE RIGHT, AWAKE AND SING, NATIVITY and ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR of the RSC 1977-1991
Productions include:
TARTUFFE, MOLIERE, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE and RICHARD III (all with Antony Sher), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (with Pete Postlethwaite), THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, CYMBELINE and TWELFTH NIGHT (both with Harriet Walter), VOLPONE (with Richard Griffiths), THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (with Roger Allam and Susan Fleetwood). 
New plays and other Classics include:
CAPTAIN SWING, THE BRIGHT AND BOLD DESIGN, THE ACCRINGTON PALS, THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, THE SCHOOL OF NIGHT, COUNTRY DANCING, MONEY, FACTORY BIRDS, MENS BEANO and BASTARD ANGEL.

ROYAL COURT 1975-1977
Productions include: 
CLASS ENEMY, SUGAR AND SPICE, AMY AND THE PRICE OF COTTON, NUMBER ONE ROOSTER and UNDER THE CLOCK

BRISTOL OLD VIC 1973-1975
Productions include: 
BUTLEY, HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES, NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND and
RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE.

 

  

Lucy Bailey - Associate Artist

Lucy Bailey studied English at Oxford University where she directed the world premiere of Lessness by Samuel Beckett in consultation with the author.

She trained as an assistant director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and Glyndebourne Opera Company. Lucy co-founded  The Print Room a new venue in Notting Hill Gate and was artistic director from 2010 - 2012 . Shows she directed include: Fabrication, Snake in the Grass, Kingdom of Earth and Uncle Vanya with Iain Glen in title role. She was also co-founder and co-artistic director of the gogmagogs (1995 – 2007) a music theatre company comprising seven string players.

Recent productions include: Oleanna ( Arts Theatre, London's West End and Bath Theatre Royal) Gaslight (UK tour with Martin Shaw) Switzerland (Ustinov Theatre, Bath and the Ambassador’s Theatre, London’s West End); Witness for the Prosecution ( London’s County Hall); Cave a site specific opera by Tansy Davies and Nick Drake (London Sinfonietta, Print Works London), Love From A Stranger (Royal & Derngate Northampton and UK tour); The Graduate (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Comus, A Masque In Honour Of Chastity (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Globe), Kenny Morgan (Arcola, London).

Other theatre credits include: Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, As You Like It, The Maid’s Tragedy (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Winter’s Tale, Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford/Roundhouse, London/The Armoury, New York); Great Expectations, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Dial M for Murder (West Yorkshire Playhouse/West End/UK tour); Around the World in 80 Days (St James Theatre, London); Gaslight (Royal & Derngate Northampton); The Importance of Being Earnest (Harold Pinter, West End/UK tour); Fortunes Fool (London’s Old Vic); King Lear (Theatre Royal Bath); The Beggar’s Opera (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Private Lives, Glass Eels, Comfort Me with Apples (Hampstead); adapted and directed Tennessee Williams’ Baby Doll, The Night Season (National Theatre/West End); Don’t Look Now (Crucible, Sheffield/Lyric Hammersmith); Tonight at 8.30, Stairs to the Roof (Chichester Festival Theatre).

Opera/Music Theatre credits  includes: Gudrun Fier Sang (Copenhagen dry dock), Jenufa (English National Opera); Cheryoumushki 1958 (Lyric Hammersmith); Noyes Fludde, Triptych, Mary of Egypt (Aldeburgh Festival); adaptation of Pasolini’s Teorema (Maggio Musicale Florence/Munich Biennale/Queen Elizabeth Hall).

 

Frankie Parham - Producer

Frankie Parham is a producer of theatre, opera, film and comedy. He is a Co-Founder and the Executive Producer of The New Generation Festival, Chief Financial Officer at the Mascarade Opera Studio (both in Florence, Italy) and Executive Producer of Andermatt Music in Andermatt, Switzerland.

Frankie has previously worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company (Revolutions season), Shakespeare’s Globe (Globe to Globe season), Sovremennik Theatre, Rustaveli National Theatre, Théâtre National de Nice, Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Soho Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston, predominantly producing productions of Shakespeare's plays.

Frankie read Classics and Russian at St John's College, Oxford after which he studied Law at both SOAS and BPP University in London and qualified as a solicitor with White & Case LLP. He worked for the City law firm in London, Moscow and Paris.

 

 

Collette Parker (Nicholls) – Associate Development

Collette trained as a journalist working on regional and national titles. She took a career break in 1998 and graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2001 with a degree in English, Drama and Education.

She worked for a short while at her college Homerton for Prof Peter Raby and the Director of Studies, the playwright Steve Waters. She specialised in theatre direction and arts in the community and ran Ocras Theatre Group until 2009, also working in community arts, public relations and event management, combining her skills for both the written and spoken word to communicate with audiences of all kinds.

Collette worked on Menagerie Theatre Company's Hotbed Festival in Cambridge both as an actor and director, and worked with the company on their skills in the workplace programme during this time.

She has acted as a spokesperson for companies on radio and television, and has been instrumental in the success of a number of award-winning environmental PR campaigns She has been a school governor, chairman of governors, and trustee and chairman on arts and youth enterprise organisations.

 

Nikki Pearson - Education Advisor and Project Manager

Nikki has spent a lifetime enchanted by the works of William Shakespeare from theatre trips
as a school girl to teaching GCSE English and recently achieving a Masters Degree in
Shakespeare and Education at Birmingham University’s Shakespeare Institute. She was of
late Education Advisor to Fred Theatre, supporting their programme of Shakespeare and
other plays for Schools with writing script adaptations, devising workshops and advising on
the pedagogical elements in the performances. Before qualifying as a teacher Nikki spent 20
years working for the government in both policy and operations. She obtained qualifications
in Project and Risk management and had responsibility for projects with over 200 staff and
budgets of up to £35 million. Now retired Nikki is using her talents as part of the Outreach
work of Shakespeare in Italy, particularly in Education and provides management support to
Shakespeare in Italy’s numerous projects.

 

Company Founders

 

Julian Curry

Julian was a British actor with wide experience on stage, television and film.
On tv he was well known as Erskine-Browne in Rumpole of the Bailey.  Numerous other appearances include The Hunt, Prince William, The Brief, The Queen’s Sister, The Life of Shakespeare, King Lear, Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC and Midsomer Murders (called Inspector Barnaby in Italy).
His films include Escape to Victory (Fuga per la Vittoria in Italy), Les Brontës, The Manions of America, Seven Days to Live, The Missionary, Fall From Grace, Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

Julian made his professional debut walking on in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Romeo and Juliet, in 1961 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. During almost 60 years as an actor, he worked on stage in a wide variety of plays both classical and modern, for the RSC, the National Theatre and in London’s West End. 

His numerous Shakespeare roles included Angelo, Horatio, Macbeth, Polixenes, Lear’s Fool, Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, Oberon, York in Richard 2nd, Malvolio, Cymbeline, Pandulph and Leontes.

In 2018 he played the Judge in Witness for the Prosecution in London’s County Hall and in autumn 2019 played a retired professor in the comedy/ horror TV series Truth Seekers.
Julian was also an experienced teacher who conducted drama workshops at London’s Guildhall School and on many American college and university campuses.
Following the success of his book Shakespeare on Stage, a collection of interviews with leading actors focussing on the Bard’s key roles, he wrote a second volume. Both volumes were shortlisted for the annual Theatre Book of the Year award.

His one-man entertainment Hic! or The Entire History of Wine (abridged) was premiered on Cape Cod in May 2000 prior to being performed over 150 times from Hong Kong to London to San Francisco. A more extensive list of credits is available on Wikipedia.

Julian died on June 27th 2020 in Brighton of natural causes. We miss him beyond words.

 

 

Mary Chater

Mary read music at Somerville College, Oxford and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Her theatre work includes Hamlet, The Shaughraun and Square Rounds at the National Theatre, London and On at NT Studio.
Much Ado About Nothing, Two Shakespearean Actors, The Seagull, A Woman of No Importance and Women Beware Women at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Winter's Tale, Orange Tree, London. A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Nativity, Bolton Octagon. As You Like It, Manchester College Gardens, Oxford. The Triumph of Tears, Finborough Arms, London (writer and actor) Mrs Vershinin, Riverside Studios, London. A Woman of No Importance, Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London. Night Must Fall, Worcester Swan. Eve of Retirement, Gate, London. The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Oxford Playhouse and the Young Vic, London. Me and Michael, Old Red Lion, London. Saving Charlotte, Bridewell, London. Lady Windermere’s Fan, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Second Mrs Tanqueray, Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, Sex and the City of Westminster UK tour (writer and actor) and Gaslight, UK tour 2019.

In Italy, a Shakespeare recital programme with Julian in Bologna, Cesena and Urbino.

TV work includes Footballer's WivesWycliffe, People Like Us, Five to Eleven, Shoestring and Robin of Sherwood. BBC radio work includes Sir Walter Raleigh - A Devon ManThe Russia HouseUncle DynamiteA Fatal Inversion and The Triumph of Tears.

Mary is a trained pianist and has accompanied many professional instrumentalists and singers over the years. She also plays the flute, organ and accordion.

She taught English using Shakespeare and theatre at Urbino University and in schools and technical colleges in Marche and Emilia Romagna, work which she absolutely loved doing. Mary and Julian bought a ruin in Fermignano in central Italy in 2004, did it up and lived there from 2007 - 2016.

 

 

Sandro Pascucci

Sandro graduated in Philosophy with a dissertation on the Aesthetics of Music, having completed a three year course in electronic music at the Rossini Conservatoire in Pesaro.

For several years he worked for town councils in Emilia Romagna and  Marche. There he inaugurated the initiative "Creative Residencies", an innovative method of directing in the historic theatres of those regions, making diverse scenic spaces available for rehearsals, previews and the staging of shows. Sandro has been instrumental in the re-opening of numerous municipal theatres. He has overseen the management of, and given expert advice to the CRT in Milan, the Teatro Fondamenta Nuove in Venice and the Ambra Jovinelli in Rome.

From 2002 – 2007 he was director of the Network of Historical Theatres in the province of Pesaro Urbino. In 2008 he managed and was artistic director of the Santarcangelo Theatre Festival, re-establishing it as a festival for leading contemporary companies. From 2009 – 2011 he was jointly responsible for the restored Salsomaggiore Terme Theatre.

In 2013 he founded the cooperative Cartoleria 18 in Bologna to facilitate interaction between Psychotherapies and the Arts. Sandro has been director of the Teatro Comunale in Cagli [PU] Marche since 2015.

 

 

Giacomo Tarsi - Assistant in Italy and UK

Giacomo Tarsi attended the Académie Internationale des Arts du Spectacle de Versailles before graduating from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Italian National Film School) in Rome.

He has worked as an actor in Italy for the past 10 years.

He’s also worked as an assistant director on several films and theatre productions. Giacomo directed his own short film in 2013, ‘Ci sentiamo domani’ which premiered at the Cagli Opera Prima festival.

In 2018 Giacomo was an assistant director and actor in a Conservatoire production of La Traviata at the Teatro Alessandro Bonci, Cesena . He also assisted the director Patrick Mattarelli in the production of his film “Limbo”, which will be released in Spring 2019. In September 2018 a feature film, La Banda Grossi, directed by Claudio Ripalti, was released in cinemas. Giacomo is pleased to have contributed to this film, which is a true story based in Le Marche where he was born.

Giacomo has worked with Shakespeare in Italy since 2015 when he took part in a Shakespeare Recital in Urbino. Since then he has worked with them in Italy and England including acting in the Commedia dell’Arte pop up street show “Aliens Order” in Peterborough.

 

Advisors

Business advisor – Anthony Sykes

Funding advisor – Tabitha Allum 

 

Trustees

Iqbal Khan 

Iqbal Khan is a freelance Theatre Director. His productions at the RSC include acclaimed versions of Tartuffe, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello and Much Ado About Nothing (also the West End). 

Other work includes Educating Rita, Oleanna, Rafta Rafta, Perfect Days & Beautiful Thing (Bolton Octagon) Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe); Shakespeare at the Bowl (collaboration between LA Philharmonic & BBCSO at the Hollywood Bowl & Barbican); The Wildman of the West Indies (Donizetti opera for ETO, Hackney Empire & National Tour); Treemonisha (Pegasus Opera); The Importance of Being Earnest:The Musical (Riverside Studios) The Killing of Sister George (West End); Broken Glass (Tricycle/West End); A Slight Ache & Landscape (National Theatre); Snookered (Tamasha/Oldham Coliseum/Bush/UK tour): A Christmas Carol/ Romeo & Juliet/ The Tempest/ Merchant of Venice (Box Clever); East is East (Birmingham Rep); The Last Photograph (Edinburgh Festival); Otello (Birmingham Opera Company); Simply Cinderella (Curve); Too Close to Home (Lyric Hammersmith/Library Theatre); Madama Butterfly (Lyric Hammersmith/Minack)

Iqbal has worked extensively in Drama Schools including RWCMD, LAMDA, RADA & BSD. He has directed in Paris, Japan (awarded a year long prestigious fellowship, based in Tokyo), he’s had residencies and delivered lectures at Michigan State, La Fayette, Nanjing, and, most recently, was the Michael Douglas Visiting Artist at UC Santa Barbara.

Iqbal has an MA (Distinction) in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University, was awarded a RYTDS bursary, based at Leicester Haymarket, trained on the National Theatre Studio directors’ course and was, most recently, made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by De Montfort University.

 

 

 

Bernard Harvey

Following a successful career in the Private sector, Bernard transferred from HR to General Management –  becoming MD of 32 European Legal entities, before he left to set up as a “Solutions Provider” – any issue and he’s there to help.
“Now I see myself as a ‘Social Entrepreneur’ looking to help as many charitable organisations as possible, often linking them together or with businesses. My role is to balance the creative thrust of my colleagues with the Governance requirements of operating a charitable organisation in today’s climate of compliance….We continue to build upon our USP’s that show we are more than a production company. We truly believe in giving something back by helping the disadvantaged through our workshops, summer schools, interaction with schools and much, much more.”

Jayne Bridges 

Jayne trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the 1960s but after a few years of playing bit parts on television and a short spell in ‘rep’, she decided that there was more to life than being a barmaid, eating baked beans and imagining she was Peggy Ashcroft. She therefore jumped ship and became a theatre critic, later moving to main stream journalism. Fast forward, aged 40 when she realised “I was never going to be invited to be a leader writer for The Spectator, or any National newspaper, I reinvented myself and joined the Wine Trade where for 25 years I had a fulfilling and exciting career.”  She has given more than 2000 public wine tasting events, worked in Chile, Argentina and New Zealand and generally had “a jolly spiffing time”. When she semi-retired in 2008, she returned to education and completed a BA in The History of Art at the University of Warwick and is currently undertaking an MA at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford upon Avon. “However I still do some ’tastings’  so like all ‘performers’ I never gave up acting, I now just do my own ‘one lady show.’”

 

 

Peter Lennon

Peter is a chartered accountant and spent his entire professional career at PwC, where he was a partner for 27 years before his recent retirement. Since 2015, he has been honorary treasurer and trustee for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and he is also director and trustee of the Hellenic and Roman Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rodney Stewart Smith - Chair of Trustees

Rodney Stewart Smith has practised as a barrister for over 50 years, specializing in trust matters of all kinds, including charities. He was a Recorder (part time judge) for 14 years and also for 18 years a judge of the Court of Faculties which exercises disciplinary functions over notaries. He has considerable experience of governance of non-profit making institutions, having held the office of Master of the Statutes of the Middle Temple for several years. This involves advising the governing body of the Inn and its officers on any constitutional and governance issues which arise.

He has had a lifelong interest in the theatre having been a member of the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Theatre for many years.