Oliver! production team
Director and Choreographer
LAOS welcomes Louise back to helm, continuing her association with us which began when she choreographed ‘42nd Street’ in 2003, followed by ‘Hello, Dolly!’ in 2004. She has directed and choreographed all our shows since then, most recently the highly acclaimed ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in April this year.
Louise trained in Leeds with Jean Pearce and John Auty, and later at the Laban Centre, London. Throughout her career, she has directed and/or choreographed hundreds of shows of all types. Her favourites include directing/choreographing ‘Ragtime’ for LAOS at Leeds Grand Theatre, ‘Les Misérables’ at Wakefield Theatre Royal, and ‘We Will Rock You’, which she also co-produced, at Harrogate Theatre and Wakefield Theatre Royal. Louise has also recently won three awards for best direction, choreography and overall production for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in Harrogate.
Louise is Artistic Director of the DAMUUS Dance Company, who perform annually across the region and have also performed in the USA. She enjoys a choreographic residency with the Alabama Contemporary Dance Co, and also at Scala Performing Arts in Leeds. In addition, she is a freelance teacher of Dance and Musical Theatre, having taught in schools and colleges throughout Britain, plus short spells in Europe, Australia and the USA.
Choreography for television includes ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Emmerdale’, ‘The Booze Cruise’, and the BBC’s ‘Children in Need’.
Louise has recently finished working on ‘A Star Is Born – A Tribute to Judy Garland’ which she wrote, directed and choreographed. Earlier this Summer, she directed/choreographed ‘A Chorus Line’ in Harrogate, ‘Bugsy Malone’ in York, ‘Fame’ (which she also co-produced) and ‘Boogie Nights’, both in Wakefield.
We are delighted to welcome back our Musical Director of our production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse earlier this year, for which Jim and his orchestra received much critical acclaim. Jim has held the baton at Leeds since 2005 when he joined us for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, then ‘West Side Story’ in 2006, both at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, followed by our production of ‘Ragtime’ here at the Grand last year.
Jim has a wealth of musical experience. He has been involved with a number of West Yorkshire groups over the past thirteen years, and has been Musical Director for the pantomime at Leeds City Varieties for fifteen seasons. He has been MD for the Potato Room Players here in Leeds, St Andrew’s Players in Harrogate, and for Stage 84 at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford. Further afield he works on an annual basis with 250 young people at the Swan in High Wycombe, producing a full scale musical in only two weeks.
Jim is a composer in his own right, having been shortlisted for the prestigious national Vivienne Ellis Award for new musicals when he co-wrote the musical adaptation of ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’. He also co-wrote the music for a children’s Christmas musical ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’, and has written TV jingles for two well known breakfast cereals.
In addition, Jim works as a musical arranger – recent work includes theatre shows for Page & Moy cruise liners and BBC Radio Four drama. Jim is also actively involved in delivering and managing community arts projects in South Yorkshire.