Mr Bumble: John Haywood
John began his musical theatre career with Normanton Amateurs in 1962 with ‘The Desert Song’. He was speedily promoted and was soon cast as the leading man, playing Curly in ‘Oklahoma!’ the following year. In the late 1970s he became a member of Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society, with whom he played many tenor leads until 1996. John also directed many productions for Leeds G&S at the former Civic Theatre.
He has played over the years with Headingley Amateurs, Leeds Light Opera Group, Castleford G&S, Wakefield G&S and Tingley Sylvanians. He has also acted since 1986 with the STARS Group in Cookridge and Ireland Wood, who took all the awards at the recent Wharfedale Drama Festival with According to Hoyle.
Fagin: Paul Hopkins
This is Phil’s third appearance as a leading principal on the Grand Theatre stage with LAOS, having played the role of Bill Snibson in our 1997 production of ‘Me & My Girl’, and previously the Emcee in ‘Cabaret in 1995’. His performance this week will make up his Fagin hat trick, as he has played the role twice before. Phil also played Herod with LAOS in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2005.
Other principal roles have included the title role in ‘Barnum’ (Great Horton Theatre Company), Al Jolson in ‘Jolson’, the title role in ‘Scrooge’ and Jacob in Danny La Rue’s ‘La Cage aux Folles’ at the City Varieties (all Potato Room Players).
TV and film credits include ‘All Creatures Great & Small’, Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’ and ‘Only Fools and Horses’.
Nancy: Jacqui Bell
Jacqui began her theatre training at the age of 4 under Kim Bettany and Louise Denison, and was an original member of the DAMUUS Dance Company.
She trained professionally at the London Studio Centre, gaining an honours degree in Musical Theatre with distinction in Singing. She went on to play Bunny Byron in a tour of ‘Babes in Arms’, and worked with Anthony Van Laast in his production of ‘Hair’ at the Oslo Spektrum, Norway.
Locally, Jacqui has played a variety of principal roles including Laurie’ in ‘Oklahoma!’, Julie in ‘Carousel’, Mary Magdalene in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Scaramouche in ‘We Will Rock You’, Reno in ‘Anything Goes’, and most recently Carmen in ‘Fame’. Jacqui first joined LAOS in 2003, playing Peggy Sawyer in ‘42nd Street’.
Bill Sikes: Paul Rookes
Paul has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 3, and began his stage career with Stage 84. He has taken many principal roles with them at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, including The Lion in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Riff in ‘West Side Story’, and Pop in ‘We Will Rock You’. He has also previously appeared in ‘Oliver!’ as Mr Bumble with the Potato Room Players at the City Varieties. Further afield, Paul played the part of Adam in ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ at the Edinburgh Fringe.
This is Paul’s second production with LAOS, having been cast as one of the featured singers in ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in April this year. He is very happy to finally be playing ‘the Baddie’!
Oliver: Jed Berry
Sharing the role of Oliver, Jed has played a number of principal musical roles, and will be reprising the role of Oliver in a forthcoming production at the Grand Opera House in York. He has previously played at the West Yorkshire Playhouse as Noah’s Child in ‘Ibsen’s A Doll’s House’ (2005), and in the ensemble of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (2006). Jed will also be appearing as Michael in the Playhouse production of ‘Peter Pan’ this Christmas.
TV credits include playing Sam Denton in ‘The Royal Today’ for YTV, and as Harry Hastings in Series 8 of ‘The Royal’. He has also appeared as an extra in a film called ‘Very Heaven’, which is soon to be released.
Jed began singing in 2004, and hopes to pursue a career in the theatre.
Oliver: Connor Philipson
Sharing the role of Oliver, Connor has just finished playing in the professional touring production of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford. He has also appeared with Buttershaw St Paul’s AODS in ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Carousel’, and also in ‘Barnum’ in which he played the part of the Ringmaster.
Connor began acting at the age of 7, and a year later joined the Stardom School of Performing Arts in Shelf. He hopes to go on to drama school and to pursue a career on the stage.
The Artful Dodger: Kia Rika-Rayne
Sharing the role of The Artful Dodger, Kia has played twice in professional touring productions at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, appearing with Gary Wilmot in ‘Half a Sixpence’, and also as part of the children’s ensemble in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’.
In addition, Kia has played the role of Oliver in Cleckheaton with Heckmondwike Amateurs, and has also appeared with the Scala Kids in many of their productions. Kia began singing at the age of 7, and wants singing to be part of his future career.
The Artful Dodger: Bradley Judge
Bradley shares the role of The Artful Dodger. Having already played The Artful Dodger in a school production, Bradley has taken several principal roles with various amateur companies, including Nathan in ‘The Full Monty’ (Stampede Theatre Company in Yeadon), Michael in ‘Peter Pan’ (Ilkley AOS), Louis in ‘The King & I’ (both Ilkley and Bingley AOS), and also Joseph in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’. Professionally, he appeared in the QDOS pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’ with Billy Pearce at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford.
Bradley began singing at an early age, and recently won Most Promising Musician for singing at school. Bradley is keen to pursue a career in Performing Arts.
Widow Corney: Jane Robinson
Jane trained as a dancer from a young age and has always been interested in theatre, her first principal role being Princess Maria in ‘Call Me Madam’ with Leeds Thespians at the Grand Theatre when she was 15 years old. At the age of 17, Jane went on to train in musical theatre in London. After turning professional, she toured nationally in children’s musical theatre and has various pantomimes, TV and cabaret work to her credit.
Jane first joined LAOS in 1994 for our production of ‘Chess’ at Leeds Grand Theatre. She went on to play Velma in ‘West Side Story’ (1996) and Ella in ‘Mack & Mabel’ (2000), also at the Grand. Jane is perhaps best known for her comedy performances in the ‘Musical Years’ concerts presented by LAOS at the former Civic Theatre.
Bet: Helena Bloomer
Helena joined LAOS for our production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse earlier this year. Helena’s first principal part in musical theatre was in ‘Annie’ with the Encore Theatre Company at Wakefield Theatre Royal, when she played the title role. She has also performed with Wakefield Youth Music Theatre, where she played the part of Lorraine in ‘Boogie Nights’. Further afield, Helena has appeared in ‘Ruckus’ in the Garden at the London National Theatre, as part of the Connections Festival.
Mr Sowerberry: Joe Mellor
Joe joined LAOS in 2007 for our production of ‘Ragtime’ here at the Grand Theatre, and in Spring this year appeared in ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Joe has played a number of principal roles, notably Fagin in ‘Oliver!’, and Arial in ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’, both at Sixth Form College at Bruntcliffe School in Morley. He played Paul McCartney in ‘We Will Rock You’ and Joe Vegas in ‘Fame’ (Wakefield Theatre Royal), and in the past two years with St Andrew’s Players in Harrogate he appeared as ‘The Purser’ in Anything Goes, followed by Mark in ‘A Chorus Line’ earlier this Summer.
Joe also appeared in a film called ‘Expired’ when he was 17.
Mrs Sowerberry: Nicola Brook
Nicola first joined LAOS in 1987 for our production of ‘Pirates of Penzance’. Principal roles since then have included Ado Annie in ‘Oklahoma!’ (1992), Fraulein Schneider in ‘Cabaret’ (1995), Mabel in ‘Mack & Mabel’ (2000), Dolly Levi in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ (2004) and Mother in ‘Ragtime’ (2007). Earlier this year, Nicola appeared as Mrs Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Other parts she has played include LV in ‘The Rise & Fall of Little Voice’ and Eliza Doolittle in ‘Pygmalion’, both with Bingley Little Theatre, Miss Hannigan in ‘Annie’ with Bingley AOS, and Susan in ‘Bed Among The Lentils’ (Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads) with the Endellion Theatre Company.
Charlotte: Nicole Quartermain
Nicole has been a member of LAOS for the past six years, appearing in many shows as part of the dancing team and ensemble, and also playing principal roles such as Minnie Fay in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ (2004) at the Grand, and Rosalia in ‘West Side Story’ (2006) at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Nicole has also played leading parts with other amateur societies, including Dorothy in ‘The Wiz’ at Bradford Alhambra last year (Ilkley Upstagers), and more recently Maggie in ‘A Chorus Line’ at Harrogate Theatre (St Andrew’s Players), and Miss Bell in ‘Fame’ at Wakefield Theatre Royal (Locked Out Productions).
Noah Claypole: Jake Mitchell
Sharing the role of Noah Claypole, Jake’s first appearance on stage was at the age of 7 at the Leeds Grand Theatre. Since then, he has played many principal roles with Wakefield Youth Music Theatre including Gavroche in ‘Les Misérables’, Troy in ‘High School Musical’ and Roddy in ‘Boogie Nights’. He appeared with LAOS for the first time in 2007, when he played the role of The Little Boy in ‘Ragtime’. Earlier this year, he played Mike in ‘A Chorus Line’ with St Andrew’s Players in Harrogate, and Nick in ‘Fame’ with Locked Out Productions at Wakefield Theatre Royal.
TV credits include ‘Heartbeat’, ‘The Royal’ and ‘Emmerdale’. Jake is currently studying for a BTEC in Performing Arts, and hopes to pursue a career in theatre and television.
Noah Claypole: Danny Jones
Sharing the role of Noah Claypole, this is Danny’s first production with LAOS. Danny dances with the Momentum Youth Dance Company. He has previously performed in shows with Wakefield Youth Music Theatre, 2 Act Theatre Company and the City Varieties Youth Project. He is currently studying all aspects of Performing Arts and English at the Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts in Wakefield.
Mr Brownlow: Mike Porter
Mike joined LAOS to play the part of Frederick in ‘Pirates of Penzance’ in 1987. Since then, Mike has played many leading principal roles with us, including Henry Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’ (2001), Julian Marsh in ‘42nd Street’ (2003), Horace Vandergelder in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ (2004), and Father in ‘Ragtime’ (2007), all here at the Grand. At the West Yorkshire Playhouse, he played Pilate in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ (2005), and The Beadle in ‘Sweeney Todd’ earlier this year.
Mike has also played roles with other local societies, and among his favourites are The American in ‘Chess’ with Buttershaw St Paul’s AODS, and Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ with Kippax AOS.
Mrs Bedwin: Janet Page
Janet first joined LAOS in 1971 as a member of the dancing team in ‘Hello, Dolly!’. She progressed to taking principal parts in various shows, which recently have included Lottie in ‘Mack & Mabel’ (2000), Mrs Mullins in ‘Carousel’ (2002), and The Beggar Woman in ‘Sweeney Todd’ (2008). Janet has earned a reputation as a comedienne both in the main productions and in the Musical Years concerts at the former Leeds Civic Theatre.
She has also performed with Kippax AOS, playing Ann in ‘Half a Sixpence’ and Tzeitel in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.